A group of ten ANGAIR members walked beside the Anglesea River to its mouth for the March Nature Ramble.
The east side of the river is typical saltmarsh, often waterlogged with saline or semi-saline water. The plants are a unique group which are salt-tolerant and low-growing.
One of the dominant species is the succulent Beaded Glasswort Sarcocornia quinqueflora – which was flowering with minute flowers in a single row along the stem. Some of the end segments of the stems were red, due to excess salt.
Another succulent Coast Bonefruit Threlkeldia diffusa was spreading everywhere under the Moonahs. Some of the hairless grey-green leaves were tinged with pink.
The tallest plants were salt-tolerant sedge-type plants, Sea Rush Juncus kraussii and Chaffy Saw-sedge Gahnia filum, growing along the edge of the river, with Australian Salt-grass Distichlis distichophylla carpeting the ground. The unusual Striated Arrowgrass Triglochin striata was discovered with its tiny globular green seeds on the ends of the stems.
A few waxy-white or pink star-shaped flowers were found, belonging to Creeping Brookweed Samolus repens.
There were also some patches of the white Marsh Daisy Brachyscome graminea whose flowers shone amongst the green foliage. The Creeping Monkey-flower Mimulus repens was seen in a few places with its pretty single mauve flower with a downy yellow centre. The foliage is beautiful but so small – pairs of leaves only 5mm long are stalkless and crowded along the stem.
We found the new boardwalk a definite improvement for walking along, and for protecting the plants.
We were pleased to see our true Coastal Wattle Acacia longifolia ssp saphorae near the rivermouth. It had thick, oval phyllodes which were four times as long as wide.
The river mouth was closed so we were able to walk along the sand to the west side of the river and then back to the office.