Christmas Bells

Christmas Bells
Christmas Bells - Blandfordia nobilis

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

A strange little Pimelea in Albion Park

My friend Kirsten has done a lot of work in Croom Regional Park, at Albion Park. Amongst the treasures (and huge banks of weeds there), she has found an unusual little plant.
It turns out to be a red-flowered Pimelea - well sort of. Rusty brown is closer to it, in my mind. To add insult to injury, it has very few flowers per flower head. It is temporarily identified as being likely to be Pimelea curviflora var curviflora.
Pimelea curviflora var curviflora.
The NSW Scientific Committee lists this species as "vulnerable" in the Sydney Region. It does not appear to be reported (officially) from the Illawarra, which is where Kirsten comes in. She is in the process of getting this record officially verified and reported. Botanist have their own way of doing these things, properly, and getting the records officially established.
I was keen to see this red Pimelea, as they are often attractive plants. I grow a lovely pink shrubby Pimelea from Western Australia. It is a lovely plant. Wow, I was in for a shock with Kirsten's plant.
The NSW Threatened Species listing refers to this plant in the following terms: "Has an inconspicuous cryptic habit as it is fine and scraggly and often grows amongst dense grasses and sedges."
Right on.
I would describe it as an inconspicuous herb.

If you click on this image (to enlarge it),
you will see a series of yellow outlines 
(ovals and a rectangle) which I have added 
to indicate where the flowers are located in the image.
please ignore the Fireweed flowers.
By contrast, this is a common white Pimelea linifolia ssp linifolia, from Welby, photographed this afternoon. It shows a much more typical form of Pimelea flower - at least the east coast forms of the genus. (There are some showy Western Australian ones which look quite different to this, especially the one known as the "Qualup Bell").

This lovely pink tinged form is an immature flower, just opening. The buds are a delightful blush pink prior to opening.
Half-opened flower of Pimelea linifolia ssp linifolia
And here is a fully mature flower -  
a lovely pure white rounded head of flowers.
Pimelea linifolia ssp linifolia


mick said...

Quite a difference between the plant/flower that Kirsten found and the common white one. It would certainly take keen eyes to spot that one.

Anonymous said...

Hi Denis,
Kirst does it again! Her find at Granite Falls came to mind immediately. I bet it's put the cat among the pigeons at council.

Denis Wilson said...

Thanks Mick and Wendy
Yes, Kirsten has good eyes for the silliest of little flowers.
I keep teasing her about that - so I am NOT bad-mouthing her here. We often joke about this - and did on the day she showed me this plant.
But as a species, it is the fact of its existence which is important, not whether or not I think it is "pretty".
She is determined to get it put "on the record" officially.
And all power to her - for that determination!