On 13th April, eight of us set off for a Nature Ramble in the Fraser Avenue "extension" area. The flora was the "small but beautiful" variety.

Autumn is the flowering time for Monotoca scoparia, Prickly Broom-heath, and the western end of Fraser Avenue is one of the few areas in Anglesea where this plant grows. We all enjoyed its tiny cream bells growing in the leaf axils, but were careful of the prickly, pointed leaves. Did you know it has male and female plants? The male flowers are longer than the female's, and have visible stamens.

Prickly Broom-heath
Prickly Broom-heath 

As a few of us went looking for Midge Orchids, the rest of the group waited, and as they stood in the one spot, Mandy spied the Leporella fimbriata, Fringed Hare Orchids.They are always difficult to see, being small, brown and green and blending in with the surrounding brown and green foliage. Thanks, Mandy, a great find.

Fringed Hare Orchid
Fringed Hare Orchid 

Along the path, the Boronia nana var nana, Dwarf Boronia, was discovered. A low-growing plant, it is often difficult to spot. We were lucky to find some plants with tiny pink to white flowers. Boronias are one of only a few plants whose flowers have four petals.

Dwarf Boronia
Dwarf Boronia 

Opposite the Boronia were the fine, white, lacy flowers of Platysace heterophylla var heterophylla, Slender Platysace, a plant seen infrequently.

Slender Platysace
Slender Platysace 

The Grass Trees and Victorian Smoke-bush provided a lovely contrast of colour in the open areas.

Grass trees 

On the way back to the cars, we saw Epacris impressa, Pink Heath in flower, the start of the heath's main flowering season.

Pink Heath
Pink Heath

Christine Morrissey

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