On a bright, sunny November morning, 9 ANGAIR members, including a 4-year-old and his dad, went for a nature ramble on the corner of the Great Ocean Road and O’Donohue Road, part of the Great Otway National Park.
The low-growing wind-pruned tea-tree - Leptospermum sp. was in full bloom and a glorious sea of white as far as the eye could see.
However, growing in amongst the tea-tree was a wonderful variety of orchids and heathland flower.
A rarely seen mauve flower – the Slender Speedwell – Veronica gracilis was a pleasing find.
It was interesting and quite unusual to see the seedpods of Creeping Boosiaea – Bossiaea prostrata with the flowers.
Lots of Short Purple Flag – Patersonia fragilis were scattered throughout.
A patch of fringe lilies caught our eye – as they seemed to have no foliage we decided they were the Branching Fringe Lily – Thysanotis juncifolius.
As well as onion orchids and the remains of many sun orchids, there were lovely patches or single Mantis Orchids – Caladenia tentaculata.
There was the discovery of one wicked South African Weed Orchid which was quickly removed, with the help of a screwdriver!
The bright yellow Small St. John’s Wort – Hypericum gramineum, stood out amongst the foliage.
Over 60 species were identified and recorded, and we all agreed it was a wonderful day to be out in the bush enjoying our delightful flora.
Freesia refracta and Freesia alba X F. leichtlinii are declared weeds in the Surf Coast Shire because they spread easily and threaten to invade bushland. Freesias are perennial herbs that die back in summer and produce new foliage in winter. The highly fragrant trumpet-shaped flowers appearing in spring are white to cream and pink with yellow markings, shaded purple on outer surface. Each plant has at least two corms, one below the other, thus requiring deep digging to remove them.
More details about how to control this weed can be found in the archive of Weeds of the Month.
There are a number of wonderful local Friends Groups that provide ANGAIR members and the community with opportunities for involvement.