On April 16, 2012 a group of 11 walkers set out at the start of Ixodia Track to enjoy the colourful beauty of the Anglesea bushland.
At the start of the track there was an avenue of Hop Goodenia Goodenia ovata which was almost shoulder height, and the remains of an extensive stand of Ixodia Ixodia achillaeoides, with some excellent specimens of the upright shrub, with its dark green leaves and flower-heads borne in clusters at the end of the stems. These are made up of beige-yellowish tubular florets, surrounded by distinctive white papery bracts
Small shrubs of Cypress Daisy-bush Olearia teretifolia with bright green foliage were side by side with Twiggy Daisy-bushes Olearia ramulosa. Both of these shrubs have small white flowers, mainly in spring. Numerous and colourful Common Correa Correa reflexa plants were observed with variable red and green tubular flowers, favourites with small birds. Some fine bushes of the Soft Bush-pea Pulternaea mollis were seen which will have abundant bright yellow pea-flowers with a few red markings in clusters in late winter to spring.
There are several gums in this area, including the endemic Anglesea Grey-gum Eucalyptus litoralis which is a small spreading tree about 18 metres tall. It may be multi-trunked,with fibrous, thin grey-brown bark attached to the lower section of the trunk, while the upper trunk and branches are smooth and light grey or whitish. It has lance-shaped leaves which can be 18 –35 cm long. There were still a few fruits to be seen which are barrel-shaped, usually smooth attached to a broadly flattened stalk which is quite noticeable.
Two keen- eyed walkers spotted a Slender Rice-flower Pimelea linifolia hidden in a thicket of Prickly Teatree Leptospermum continentale. An interesting specimen of Hairy Rice-grass Tetrarrhena districhophylla was seen on the edge of the track. It is a perennial native grass, belongs to the Poaceae, found in gullies and coastal scrub. The flowers are borne on long thin stems, and it is widespread.
Ixodia Track is a rewarding walk with many wonderful plants eg.Grass Trees Xanthorrhoea australis, stands of Manuka Leptospermum scoparium, Heath Epacris impressa with its beautiful pink and red flowers, Silver Banksia Banksia marginata with its dark serrated leaves the back of which are whitish giving the plant its name and flower-cones in various stages of development.
This is a manageable walk of about one and a half hours which truly rewards with the beauty of this special area.
Pauline Dean (Photographer)