The ongoing rains have given our plant an unusually luxuriant look at this usually dry and dusty time of year. There are some real gems to be found with careful looking.
Ellinor Campbell was very excited to find on the cliff tops at Aireys Inlet, some Pink Bindweed Convolvus angustissimus subsp. angustimus. This delightful, small, trailing plant is a rare find in our district, though masses of it were seen on the South Coast Walk in November. The delicate, showy, pink flowers have a quite distinctive, pentagon shape, as the petals are fused together.
Just near it, and also seen at Moggs Creek, was the deliciously aromatic `smelly` plant of the month, Sweet Hound’s-tongue Cynoglossum suaveolens. This small plant has tiny white flowers, but in the “right” conditions, the sweet smell is quite delightful, even from a distance, and otherwise, it is really worth getting down on hands and knees for a smell.
Bluebells Wahlenbergias continue to flower into the summer.
In wet gullies, anothyer uncommon plant Derwent Speedwell Derwentia derwentiana subsp. derwentiana is putting on a fine display. Growing to about a metre, it has long terminal sprays of white flowers, and long, paired, toothed leaves. Masses of this plant have been looking really spectacular in the high country in mid-January.
February is often associated with Ixodia achillaeoides subsp. alata. This quite stunning plant can be found in quite exposed and inhospitable locations. It grows to about 1.5 metres, and has dense clusters of shining, white, papery, daisy-like flowers. The rich green, narrow leaves tend to curl downwards.
On dunes and cliffs, it is worth taking a close look at, and smelling, the flowers of the lovely silvery-grey, low growing Cushion Bush Leucophyta brownii. Tiny yellow, sweet perfumed florets are starting to appear out of the small, spherical, flower heads.