August is always an exciting month as there can be many unexpected plants in flower.

Walking along the cliff tops I have been rewarded with wonderful sweet scents from the small, four-petalled yellow flowers on the aptly named Bower Spinach, Tetragonia implexicoma. I love the way the trailing branches cascade over other plants and fences forming shelters for small animals, and I was pleased to get a pair of ladybirds on a flower in this photo.

bowerspinachBower Spinach

For several weeks the spikes of small, white, fluffy-edged flowers on the bushes of Coast Beard-heath, Leucopogon parviflorus, have also been adding to the sweet aromas along these scenic coastal pathways.

coastbeardheathCoast Beard-heath

Just about to burst into flower are the white flowers of the Small-leaved Clematis, C. microphylla. However, the one near my back door is only just starting, as it is a female plant which always flowers later than the males.

smallleavedclematisfemaleSmall-leaved Clematis female

smallleavedclematismaleSmall-leaved Clematis male

Look out for the golden, five-petalled flowers on the low growing shrubs of Silky Guinea-flower, Hibbertia servicea var. sericea. This widespread shrub with terminal clusters of flowers really brightens up the cliff tops and bush on dull winter days.

silkyguineaflowerSilky Guinea-flower

On Teds Track, on one plant, I saw a real precursor of spring in the delightful drooping flowers of Pink Bells, Tetratheca ciliata. This widespread, low, sprawling shrub is often called Black-eyed Susan, but I have never succeeded in photographing the tell-tale black stamens hidden in the centre.

pinkbellsPink Bells

Currently, a very obvious plant along this pathway is the many small bushes of Prickly Cryptandra, C. tomentosa var.1. The masses of small, white, bell-shaped flowers are now turning pink as they age. It is worth bending down and braving the prickly foliage to take in the delicate scent.

pricklycryptandraPrickly Cryptandra

I also saw several low-growing male plants of Small Sheoak, Allocasuarina misera, with their appealing terminal spikes of tan flowers. However, I did not see any of the inconspicuous globular scarlet flowers which should soon appear on the female plants.

smallsheoakmaleSmall Sheoak male

For some weeks flashes of red have been appearing on the ground in many areas, as Running Postman, Kennedia prostrata, has started to flower, with its rich red pea-flowers. The flat rounded leaves, in threes, are also feature of this prostrate herb.

runningpostmanRunning Postman

In these challenging times spring flowering will be even more welcome than usual. I hope you see some nice sights on your late winter walks.

Ellinor Campbell

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