At last spring has arrived with its splendour of colour and promise for the renewal of the bushland.
There are vistas of yellow of all shades, whites, pinks and reds, but there are also those less obvious, but just as endearing, and here are a few you may enjoy:
1. Rosy Baeckia, Euryomyrtus ramosissima subsp. prostrata.
This is a small ground hugging, scarcely branched spreading perennial, with small narrow lance-shaped leaves with pointed tips. The tiny single pink-tinged five-petal flowers usually hang face downwards. The fruit is a globular capsule, which when ripe opens widely. The seeds are kidney shaped with an aril. The plant is found in sandy soils in coastal heath and woodlands and it flowers from June-Feb. It can be grown by seed or cuttings, suited to coastal gardens.
2. Heath Daisy, Allittia uliginosa.
A perennial herb, the Heath Daisy’s leaves are mostly basal, non-hairy or lobed. The flowers are solitary on stems that exceed the leaves, are pale mauve underneath, with yellow centres. It has small dry one-seeded fruit with thin wings. It flowers from Sept-Nov. It is a common herb, found in heath and damp woodlands.
3. Grass Triggerplant, Stylidium graminifolium.
Widespread in plains, grasslands to low open forest, the Grass Triggerplant has narrow grey-green grass-like leaves, standing erect (5-30 cm). The flower spike has many small pale pink flowers from Sept-Dec. In your garden plant it in drifts to get the best effect. The trigger is composed of male and female parts of the flower being fused together. This ensures the flower is pollinated. The insect visitor releases the trigger and also collects pollen from the new flower and so on. The trigger mechanism slowly resets ready for the next insect visitor.
4. Blunt Everlasting, Argentipallium obtusifolium.
This perennial herb grows in clumps to 35 cm in sandy conditions in heathland and woodland. The leaves are sparse, narrow and short with blunt ends. The upper surface is green and the under is covered with silvery hairs. Petal-like bracts which are white and papery surround the many tiny yellow flowers giving it a daisy-like appearance. All six species are endemic to Australia. It flowers from Aug-Dec and is very attractive en masse.
5. Scented Sundew, Drosera aberrans.
Widespread in heathland and open-forest, the Scented Sundew grows from a tuber, with a round flat basal rosette. Foliage comprises green, bronze or red spatulate leaves to 25 cm long. It has single large perfumed white flowers on 3 cm erect stalks from June-Oct and can form large colonies. Each plant can have several flowers, but only one opens at a time. It is common in the district.
6. Climbing Sundew, Drosera macrantha subsp. macrantha.
This perennial herb grows in sandy heathland. It is a weakly climbing plant that grows from an underground tuber, using surrounding plants for support. Its modified leaves are cup-like discs edged with radiation hairs that are sticky to attract insects. The white to pale pink flowers appear in terminal clusters. In due course a capsule is formed, which splits releasing many small seeds. It flowers from Aug-Nov.
Flowers of Anglesea and Aireys inlet
Flora of the Otway Plain and Ranges 2
Flora of Melbourne – 3rd edition
Photos courtesy of Margaret MacDonald