On 13th April, eight of us set off for a Nature Ramble in the Fraser Avenue "extension" area. The flora was the "small but beautiful" variety.
Autumn is the flowering time for Monotoca scoparia, Prickly Broom-heath, and the western end of Fraser Avenue is one of the few areas in Anglesea where this plant grows. We all enjoyed its tiny cream bells growing in the leaf axils, but were careful of the prickly, pointed leaves. Did you know it has male and female plants? The male flowers are longer than the female's, and have visible stamens.
As a few of us went looking for Midge Orchids, the rest of the group waited, and as they stood in the one spot, Mandy spied the Leporella fimbriata, Fringed Hare Orchids.They are always difficult to see, being small, brown and green and blending in with the surrounding brown and green foliage. Thanks, Mandy, a great find.
Fringed Hare Orchid
Along the path, the Boronia nana var nana, Dwarf Boronia, was discovered. A low-growing plant, it is often difficult to spot. We were lucky to find some plants with tiny pink to white flowers. Boronias are one of only a few plants whose flowers have four petals.
Opposite the Boronia were the fine, white, lacy flowers of Platysace heterophylla var heterophylla, Slender Platysace, a plant seen infrequently.
The Grass Trees and Victorian Smoke-bush provided a lovely contrast of colour in the open areas.
On the way back to the cars, we saw Epacris impressa, Pink Heath in flower, the start of the heath's main flowering season.
Freesia refracta and Freesia alba X F. leichtlinii are declared weeds in the Surf Coast Shire because they spread easily and threaten to invade bushland. Freesias are perennial herbs that die back in summer and produce new foliage in winter. The highly fragrant trumpet-shaped flowers appearing in spring are white to cream and pink with yellow markings, shaded purple on outer surface. Each plant has at least two corms, one below the other, thus requiring deep digging to remove them.
More details about how to control this weed can be found in the archive of Weeds of the Month.
There are a number of wonderful local Friends Groups that provide ANGAIR members and the community with opportunities for involvement.