Christmas Bells

Christmas Bells
Christmas Bells - Blandfordia nobilis

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Leucopogon flowering on Mt. Murray

Tonight I drove my friend Celeste back to her house, after a successful screening of two movies at the Robertson CTC.

On the way back, we talked about the amazing flowering of scented plants around Robertson at present.
  1. First of all is the Sassafras, which is the dominant tree in our local rainforests. At night these trees appear silvery, or even snowy, depending upon how heavily they are in flower. It has been an amazing flowering season for the Sassafras trees this year. Their sweet floral scent hangs on the warm evening air.
  2. Next, we talked about the Tree Violet, about which I wrote last night. That plant has a delicious scent of violets.
  3. And then there are the Blackwood Wattles, which is our next most dominant tree. Their flowers are only pale yellow, but they are large rounded trees, and carry huge numbers of flowers. They have a light sweet perfume.
  4. And as we drove up the long hill, approaching Celeste's house, she told me about a Native Heath plant which is growing in the forest beside her road. We stopped to collect a specimen, which I have photographed tonight. This plant has a sweet scent, reminscent of vanilla. A lovely light perfume. This plant is Leucopogon lanceolatus - the Lance-leaved Beard-heath.
The 40mm long leaves have prominent veins
which run the length of the leaves.
The flowers are held in sprays which protrude beyond the leaves.
Here are some more of the flower sprays.
This image shows why the plant genus has the name Leuco-pogon
White (or silver); and Bearded.
In botanical language, the corolla lobes are "densely bearded"
I have written about a related species previously.
And here it is in closer detail.
This is a lateral view of the flower
It shows its bell-like shape.
A medium shrub (up to 2 metres) which grows commonly on the sandstone cliffs and forests of the Illawarra Escarpment, but is not found in Robertson proper. But at Mt Murray, a mere 4 Km away to the east, and just above the escarpment, it is growing in the Sassafras forests on red basalt soil. Normally it is restricted to sandstone soils.


mick said...

There are a number of leucopogon which grow in the wallum up here and one of them has a delightful perfume too. Not strong but very sweet and absolutely lovely to come on some when you are walking through the wallum. I think its the L. pimeleoides.

Denis Wilson said...

Hi Mick
You are right.
I found an interesing website about Noosa Native Plants
That lists a number of Leucopogon species, in your area, but L. pimelioides is listed as "formerly L. lanceolatus" - so it is obviously similar to my plant.