I am really looking forward to the spring flowering as our plants are looking so green and lush after the regular rains, and this month should be a wonderful lead-in to spring.
I seem to be seeing yellow everywhere, and in particular our gorgeous iconic plants, the wattles, which are bursting into bloom. Everyone’s favourite is likely to be the distinctive bright golden, bunched blossoms surrounded by the rich green large phyllodes, of the Golden Wattle Acacia pycnantha which is our national floral emblem.
We are very fortunate that this plant is so widespread in our district. Two spiky species Prickly Moses Acacia verticillata subsp. ovoidea and Spreading Wattle Acacia genistifolia are also lovely to look at, but not to touch! Prickly Moses is very common in our district with its fine sharp phyllodes in close whorls, and it has flower-heads which can be cylindrical or globular.
The less common Spreading Wattle has bigger phyllodes which grow alternately, and rich globular flower-heads.
Along the coast two vigorous climbers are also displaying yellow flowers, Coast Twin-leaf Zygophyllum billardierei and Bower Spinach Tetragonia implexicoma.
Coast Twin-leaf has very distinctive succulent paired leaves, bright yellow four-petalled flowers and may scramble abundantly over bushes and fences.
Bower Spinach has fleshy diamond-shaped leaves which hang down in lovely bower-like displays. Its single yellow flowers are quite small but have a delightful fragrance. I have made it my ‘smelly’ flower of the month as the wattles need to be avoided by people allergic to their pollen.
One more yellow flower has taken my attention, the Silky Guinea-flower Hibbertia sericea var. sericea. This low-growing plant has quite large bright yellow flowers with five-notched petals. It is found in heathland and woodland, mainly near the coast.
I was planning to write only about yellow flowers this month until I saw the brilliant red pea flowers of Running Postman Kennedia prostrata just starting to flower…. and I was hooked! This plant is set to provide a dramatic backdrop to our other spring flowers as it is a common ground cover in our district.
The delights of this special time of year are just starting, so be sure and take your ‘Flowers of Anglesea and Aireys Inlet’ on your walks.