“The hardiest and also the earliest flowering of the local species” – NPOS p.116
Tom was the only one that had been home all Sunday, by late afternoon he had a bad case of cabin fever and demanded to go on a bushwalk, and one he’d never been on before. We took a path that joins the usual route, but past where we normally finish, then ended up doing the river loop in reverse. A few different wild flowers were in bloom, it really felt like the start of spring. I took pictures of these small purple flowers, I had a hunch they were a species of Boronia and I was right. Boronia is another one of those plants that everyone seems to be familiar with except me.
This particular one is a Boronia ledifolia, commonly known as Sydney Boronia. It’s a common plant, abundant in heath and woodland and also the earliest flowering of the local Boronias. The plant itself is small only growing to 1m in height. it’s flowers are four petalled and a sticking pink in colour, approximately 4cm across. Leaves are thin with a waxy shine, deep green in colour with pots and recurved margins.
“Easily recognized by it’s large pink flowers and thick grey green foliage” NPOS p.118
After having come home from the boys soccer to an empty house without keys there was only one thing to do, get the boys on their bikes and head down the bush! The weather was warm with the first hints of spring, a number of flowers had started to come out too.
I didn’t have my camera with me so I took these photos with my phone, I’m still so impressed at how clearly they come out with such a small lense and sensor.
This plant took me a while to identify, in NPOS it looks similar to Crowea saligna or Crowea exalata, but the flowers are not quite as depicted in the book. In the end I’m pretty sure it’s a Eriostemon australasius also known as the Pink Wax Flower.
Pink Wax Flowers are common in heath and woodlands on sandstone plateaus. They are a small shrub growing to about 1.5m They have leathery leaves that are narrow, 1cm, and long, 8cm or so. The flowers are numerous and striking, large and pink with 5 petals.
“A small, spreading shrub to 1m high”. – NPOS p.78
While revisiting the Prickly Moses I was reminded of a plant that I’d been unable to identify at the time. After some searching I think it’s a Heathy Parrot Pea, Dillwynia retorta.
I wish I’d kept notes on exactly where it was found but It’s clear it’s a pea of some sort from the non symmetrical yellow flowers. The short prickly leaves narrow it down, but it’s the twist in the leaves that is observable is some parts of the photo that make me think it’s the Heathy Parrot Pea.
The Heathy Parrot Pea is one of the commonest pea shrubs in the Sydney area. It’s found in heath or woodland growing on sandstone. It’s leaves are about 10mm long, prickly and with a twist in them. Flowers are non symmetrical, yellow with some red parts ( hard to see in my photo )
This one was growing next to and intertwined with a Prickly Moses, it was only that they had different flowers that made me realise they were 2 different plants.
“A small weak shrub to 1m tall with distinctive leaves” NPOS p.108
Will had “B.O.B” the classroom mascot for the weekend so we decided to take him down to the river to throw some stones! It had been raining for pretty much the whole previous week and the ground was soggy, and being the winter solstice it was dim and cold.
I spotted this small plant growing on a damp sandstone ledge near where of Allan Small creek meets Middle Harbour river. As usual I couldn’t identify it but figured the distinctive hairy leaves would give me a good chance of being able to look it up.
I’m pretty confident it’s a Leucopogon amplexicaulis, commonly known as Beard-heath. Beard heath is a small plant, up to 1m in height, made up of sparse scrambling stems with leaves attached directly. The leaves are 30 – 90mm long, heart shaped and have a distinctive “beard” of white hairs around their margins.
Flowing time is spring and winter, the specimen pictured was just beginning to flower. Fruiting is September to December and apparently it’s edible, I’ll be sampling some when it’s ready!