Tuesday, June 21, 2011
Wildflowers of Anglesea
The photos I have added this time are all wildflower photos taken in the Anglesea Heathlands in Victoria. This is a small selection of the plants that grow in the bush. There are more than 600 species of plants in the area, including over 100 native terrestrial orchids (some of which are shown in an earlier entry. Select orchid off the label list to see them to).Most of these flower in Spring.Sundew.
I call this a native citris but Im not sure what it is really called. It is a small flower, maybe less than a cm but a closer look at this flower reveals a beautifully complex centre structure.
This is a mistletoe flower. They are a parasitic plant that grows on a number of different trees in the area including gum trees. They are parasitic but they belong here and dont seem to present any real problems to most of the trees they grow on. There is a bird called a mistletoe bird which feeds on the fruit from this plant and it is the creature that spreads it to other trees.
Leafless Bitter Pea
Everlasting Daisy with a Hover Fly.
Hovea (pea family)
Hakea. There is also another very common hakea in the area(not pictured here) Im not sure if this one is introduced into the area or if it belongs here.
Grass tree, above and below. Grass trees are like living fossils. They are amongst the earliest flowering plants to evolve. In the past they were important to the aboriginal people. There were many uses for this plant: The grass blades can be used for weaving, the sap makes a very strong glue which was used among other things for joining stone axe heads to the wooden handles. The flower spike wood was useful lighting fires and while it is in flower they would soak it in water and let it ferment for about 5 days, making an alcoholic drink. They collected the seeds and ground them to make a type of flour and in the base they could also find honey, made by carpenter bees that nest in them. There a a few other grubs that feed on the base that could also be eaten, so it provided some protien as well. They were very useful plants. They are slow growing, at most a few cm a year and they are a protected species now.
When I was a child the street I live in was lined with them but they were removed when they made the road. They are really expensive to buy, especially a larger one. The council planted one in the centre of a roundabout in Anglesea a few years ago and it was stolen within a few days.
They are very fire tolerant plants and will soon sprout after a fire. (as long as the fire hasnt been too intense or burnt too long.
Pale Grass-Lilly. Also come in pink and pale blue.
Beard Heath. This hairy flower is very tiny, maybe 4mm across.
This is a banksia cone. Some seed pods like this in Australian plants need the heat of a bush fire to open them and release the seed.
Tree ferns (Otways) Not actually a flowering plant, or a tree just very large ferns.
Eye Bright. This is an intersting flower because it only grows in one small patch. It is known mainly from other states in Australia