Several days ago, I responded to a blog post by Gaye from the Hunter, about her Pretty Pea flowers. I commented that it was too early for this district. Well, today I get to prove myself a liar - well, sort of.
Here is a "flat pea" Platylobium formosum, which has distinctive leaves, and a large pod, which is roughly "boat shaped" when it has formed. This plant grows more-or-less prostrate.
I found several Grevillea species, in flower and Acacia terminalis (the "Sunshine Wattle"), and another wattle which I believe to be A. rubida the Red-stemmed Wattle. I also found at least 3 species of "pea" flowers, also known as "Eggs and Bacon".
Here is a display of A. terminalis, growing in the bush.
And a close-up shot of the flowers, and the distinctive leaves, which are "fern-like", but much coarser than, most of the ferny-leafed wattles.
One uncommon Grevillea is G. oleoides, which is at its absolute southern limit here, on Tourist Road, in Kangaloon.
It is recorded as being here, (in the books), but this is the southern limit of the Sydney Sandstone geological formation, in this area. Because of the basalt hills immediately south of this area, these hills appear to form a limit to the spread of this plant. I have never seen it south from here, around Belmore Falls, or Carrington Falls, where the sandstone base is similar, and the forest seemingly similar, but plants are more "fussy" and "observant" than people are. If the soil and aspect are not right for a species, then they are not right for it. This species is named for the long, thick, leathery leaves. It has distinctive, bright red flowers, which have quite long "pollen-presenters".
Another common Grevillea in the area is G.bauerii - of which this is a close-up shot.
This is a low-growing plant, seldom above knee-height, with a classic "Cat's Claw" flower shape. That term is used to distinguish these Grevillea flowers from the "toothbrush-shaped" Grevillea flowers.