Along the cliff tops and the coastal dunes Coast Everlasting, Ozothamnus turbinatus, has had clusters of creamy-yellow tubular flowers. Its bright green foliage stands out along exposed cliff-edges.

coast everlastingCoast Everlasting

Coast Daisy-bush, Olearia axillaris, is developing masses of tiny stalkless creamy/yellow flowers in the leaf axils. The greyish leaves stand out in amongst the greener vegetation, and they also have a pleasant silky feel and an interesting, aromatic odour–try rolling and then crushing them in your fingers.

coast daisy bushCoast Daisy-bush

Autumn’s increasing dryness provides a challenge for our plants. In the salt marshes and waterways many saline plants such as Beaded Glasswort, Salicornia quinqueflora, have succulent leaves that store water. At this time of year, as plants mature, the older salt-filled reddish leaves fall off, removing excess salt. This gives these areas an autumnal glow.

beaded glasswortBeaded Glasswort

Two very similar coastal plants are currently of interest. Ruby Saltbush, Enchylaeana tomentosa var. tomentosa, a succulent, scrambling, prostrate bluish-green, hairy shrub is currently sporting small yellow or red berries. I find this plant grows really well in my garden, and I never notice the insignificant flowers, only the fruits, which in my garden are yellow.

ruby saltbushRuby Saltbush

The more common Coast Bonefruit, Threkeldia diffusa, also has narrow, nearly cylindrical, succulent leaves, but the leaves and stems are hairless—maybe a good use for a phone magnifier. A very close look may also help to locate the very small purplish berries which are quite a challenge to find.

coast bonefruitCoast Bonefruit (top plant) and Ruby Saltbusgh below

Most of our grasses, rushes, and sedges flower from late spring to late summer, and by autumn are browning off, which contributes to the brownness of our dry autumn rural landscape, roadsides and heathlands. Many of the flower-heads are worth a closer look. One of my favourites is Knobby Club-sedge, Ficinia nodosa, with its single, small, brown ‘pom pom' globular flower-heads, growing near the end of the stems. Its smooth, rounded stems would appear to make it a rush as it was formerly known, and fit the adage: “Rushes are round and sedges have edges.” However, rolling the stem between the fingers will demonstrate that, while not having sharp edges, the stem is uneven and not round. It has been planted in many roadside areas and reserves, such as near the Anglesea Information Centre and at Allen Noble Sanctuary. I have a very robust one in my fishpond, as it likes a wet environment but, once established, it thrives in dry sunny positions … a most useful plant!

knobby clubsedgeKnobby Club-sedge

The hardy Coast Sword-sedge, Lepidosperma gladiatum, has been bearing compact brown flower-heads for some time. The clumps of large, flat, sword-like leaves are an important feature of our coastal vegetation.

coast swordsedgeCoast Sword-sedge

coast swordsedge closeCoast Sword-sedge closeup

I wonder what you might find on your walks at this challenging time of year, and remember to take your Flowers of Anglesea and Aireys Inlet.

Ellinor Campbell

Events Calendar

Apr
27

Sat 6:00pm - 10:30pm

Apr
28

Sun 9:30am - 11:00am

Apr
29

Mon 9:30am - 11:00am

Apr
30

Tue 10:00am - 11:30am

May
14

Tue 9:30am - 11:00am

Weed of the month

Freesia

Freesia

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.

Sign up for membership

ANGAIR membership gives you access to a range of great activities and benefits. Learn more about all these benefits as well as how to sign up and renew.

Sign Up

Get to know your local Friends groups

There are a number of wonderful local Friends Groups that provide ANGAIR members and the community with opportunities for involvement.

Find a local group

Go to top