Christmas Bells

Christmas Bells
Christmas Bells - Blandfordia nobilis

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Early Spring flowering starts

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.


Gaye from the Hunter said...

Denis, your image of Grevillea baueri is superb. Your shallow depth-of-field isolates the bloom brilliantly.

I have only seen one Grevillea growing locally (G. arenaria) which is a delicate flower with a green pollen presenter.

I have seen several species growing on the sandstone escarpment of the Central Coast, but Grevilleas appear to be scarce in the Hunter. Of course, there are probably many more here, some of which I hope to seek out with persistence.

I haven't photographed many local pea species, but I also plan to remedy that in the coming months.

I'll be looking forward to seeing some of your high country species through your blog.


Denis Wilson said...

Hi Gaye

I look forward to your Pea flowers, but there are so many, and personally, I find them extremely hard to identify. So, for me, they are quite daunting. Already two taken yesterday which I do not have names for. I started by picking the easy ones (of course).


Beth said...

Thanks again, I love the clarity of the photo's. Isn't the internet just amazing!!!

Denis Wilson said...

Thanks Beth

Sometimes one gets a nice clean photo - which is a great pleasure. Glad you enjoyed it. Thanks for commenting.