Lipstick for goats

Lipstick for goats

Thursday, 17 December 2015

Wild Flora part 2

I have always liked the look of neatly mown lawns but since discovering the world of wildflowers here the thought of chopping their beautiful heads off is abhorrent.  My driveway and along the verge of the road bordering our property are now looking beautifully raggle taggle. My back yard would be the same but for snakes, we must maintain the grass so we can see any slithery sliders who may casually visit.

I have decided the goats will be never be allowed go into the flower wonderland that is the heath area of our property. Such a turnaround for me, I had considered this area as useless unproductive land ready to unleash the goats on it. 

 Swamp Isotome (Isotoma fluviatilis)

 Vanilla Glycine (Glycine tabacina)

White Flax Lily (Dianella)

Common Centaury (Centaurium erythraea)

It’s pink and pretty, all through our grass in the driveway and paddock. Centaury is a herb, some of its uses is as a tonic and antiseptic.  A 10th century poem by Macer mentioned it as being powerful against ‘wykked speryts’. According to Nicholas Culpepper an English botanist, herbalist, physician, and astrologer of the 17th century  the herb is "wholesome but not toothsome" (being bitter). He reckons a decoction of centaury dropped into the ears cleanses them of worms...... Centaury also takes away all freckles, spots and marks on the skin when being washed with it.  There you go; as a beauty therapist I spend a fortune on fancy creams when all I need do is harvest my driveway! 

Small St. John’s Wort  (Hypericum gramineum) this is a native not the weed

Sun Orchid (Thelymitra pauciflora)

 Daphne Heath (Brachyloma daphnoides)
I only found two of these shrubs and they had just about finished flowering. There are probably many more Daphne Heath shrubs in our grassy woodland but as they weren’t in flower I wouldn’t recognise them. 

Grassland wood sorrel (Oxalis perennans)

 Juniper leaf grevillea (Grevillea juniperina)

 Pale Grass Lily (Caesia Parviflora)

Many flowered mat-rush (Lomandra multiflora) 

Scarlet Pimpernel (Anagallis arvensis)
“No heart can think, no tongue can tell,
The virtues of the Pimpernel.”

Another herb being a diuretic, expectorant, and the ancient Greeks used it for diseases of the eyes.  French women loved the distilled Pimpernel to cleanse their skin from any roughness, deformity or discolouration. Culpepper recommended it for bites of mad dogs and to dispel sadness.  Of course it also prevents witchcraft!

Leafy Bitter Pea (Daviesia mimosoides)

There are many ‘Peas’ flowering in spring, they are very showy little plants ranging from orange and red, yellow with red and this beautiful salmon version.

 Wattle mat-rush (Lomandra filiformis)

Purple Violet (Viola betonicifolia)
Gorgeous little violets found all through our grassy woodland.

Shrubby rice flower (Pimelea  linifolia)

 Stinking pennywort (hydrocotyle laxiflora)
Found in the shade of trees or amongst rocks, they really do have a foul scent!

Mitre Weed flower (Mitrasacme polymorpha)
I really want to know why we have the word ‘weed’ in this one’s name, it is noted as a perennial herb.  The photo doesn’t do it justice; it is really pretty, whether as a single flower popping up or in a clump. The leaves grow at the base of the plant. Buds start out as a beautiful salmon pink colour sitting at the end of a long delicate stem,  opening to the white flower which is about the size of my little finger nail.

Haresfoot Clover (Trifolium arvense)
Well I guess if I have to have what is considered a weed – clover – it may as well be a pretty one. Funny how in the city we consider all clover as weeds in our lawn but in the paddocks some clovers are desirable as a soil building plant,  nodules on the roots fix nitrogen in the soil. 

Pale Everlasting (Helichrysum rutidolepis)


Spiny headed Mat-rush ((Lomandra longifolia)

Tiger Orchid (Diuris sulphurea)

Leaf Daisy ((Brachyscome rigidula)

Slender Bottle Daisy (Lagenophora gracilis)

Photos are deceiving! This daisy is so tiny, being smaller than my little finger nail.

Austral Hounds Tongue (Cynoglossum australe)

Think this one might be a problem.  The description says it has tiny hooks that attach to clothing therefore gets spread.  Just as well I only found a few plants in one spot where we had a burn off fire. I will be revisiting to pull them out.

Clustered Everlasting (Chryscephalum semipapappoeum)

Clusters of 20 flowers or more with a flattened top at the end of erect stems. I think rabbits like eating these, I went back to take another photo when the flower heads had opened but they had been chomped off and just the stalk remained. 

Common Beard Heath (Leucopogon virgatus)

This flower is so tiny three or four of them would fit on my little finger nail!! The flower petals are surrounded by a fringe.

Common Everlasting (Chrysocephalum apiculatum)

Sisyrinchium iridifoium
Cream and the larger white version, they appear to be considered a grassland weed. I keep using the analogy of my little finger nail for size comparison, again three of the cream ones would fit my small nail; the white version is much larger.

No idea!

Again I don’t know the name of this one found in the heath area.

Prickly Tee Tree (Leptospermum continentale ?)

Name Please! Tiny mauve/blue flowers found in the heath area.

No Idea no.2

The flower on the reeds on the dams
The white parts of the flower head look like crazed worms!

Bidgee Widgee (Acaena novae-zelandiae)

Starts off as a unusual flower but it turns into a spiny burr weed, which can be widely dispersed by sticking to animals coats and to clothing.  I must look at eradication methods for this one, it is all over a steep hill and I sure don’t want burr weeds all over the farm.  Although I read it provides seed for Rosellas, which is probably how it is spread in the first place. 

Black Wattle Blossom (Acacia mearnsii)

I haven't been able to identify this one.  Must be a weed, or maybe a member of the yarrow family, but I am tending towards ‘weed' as it is absolutely all over our property. A tiny low growing mat.

Summer is now here so I now eagerly await what blooms the season may bring.

Wednesday, 2 December 2015

Wildflowers, not so wild flowers and weeds.

I have had a ragging fever.  It causes you to bend over from the waist, clasp hands behind your back and peer at the ground, every now and then an exclamation of glee comes forth from your vocal cords.  I caught this fever while playing with the kids in the paddock.  I believe it may be called ‘wildflower fever’.

With kidding finally settling down I have been able to enjoy the antics of the babies.  Sitting down in the paddock I can be assured of being assailed by a tangle of legs, floppy ears and warm bodies jumping all over me, pushing me into the grass.
But wait, what is that?  A tiny blue flower on a long delicate stalk, gently swaying in the breeze.There is another one over there nestled in the grass but it is mauve.  Beyond that is a yellow flower. On close inspection I was amazed at the variety of grassland flowers just in our home paddock.

Tuffted Bluebell (Wahlenbergia communis)
This was the first grassland flower I discovered with my nose pushed into the grass thanks to Chunky Monkey.

I am ashamed to say for the past 10 years in spring I have just been too busy or more likely walked around our property with my eyes tightly closed!   I have never noticed the array of spectacular wildflowers popping up.  Normally I would walk over the top of these delicate flowers with big heavy steel capped boots, crushing them out of existence; not even realising I had snuffed out their life.

I decided I would peel back my eyelids and venture into the bush and heath parts of our property armed with a camera to see what else I could find and to hell with the snakes.  This season I have already seen two Red Belly Black snakes.  I felt a little timid about coming across any snakes but wildflower fever had me firmly in its grasp, so snakes I’m coming in!!  I could not let this opportunity pass me by; the flowers here today may be gone by tomorrow. I had become obsessed with finding and photographing as many as I could.  

This guy gave me a scare when I came across him.  Thankfully a lizard, not a snake.  He was quite happy just to keep a beady eye on me while I inched closer to take a couple of photos of him.

Some of the flowers I found are so tiny, smaller than my little fingernail, they are extremely difficult to photograph as my standard camera lens doesn’t handle macro photos all that well. I resorted to my Iphone. I am not very good at allowing flies to crawl up my nose and into my eyes while holding the phone camera absolutely still for a critical close up focus.  When there were no flies there was a good breeze testing my patience.  No matter how teeny these flowers are a breeze makes them dance and sway making them impossible to focus on. Getting up at the crack of dawn before the wind comes is a waste of time; these wildflowers are lazy little flora, staying abed and not showing their gorgeous faces until at least mid-morning. 

Chunky Monkey wanted in on the action. "Nah not as good as a photo of me!  It doesn’t have cute floppy ears, why would you want to photograph that instead of me?"

While compiling this post I was surprised to find I had found over 60(!!!!) different flowers, far too many to amaze you with at once so I have decided to share these beauties over two posts. Some are probably weeds but what is a weed but a flower by another name. They are all beautiful.

For my own education I have searched the internet to identify the flowers. Where possible I have given the flower’s common name; who cares what the 15 letter unpronounceable botanical name is, I sure don’t, but for the purists I have added it. Maybe I have some wrong, I am happy to be corrected. 

In no particular order as they say on reality elimination shows....

 Grey Guinea Flower.  (Hibbertia obtusifolia)  Yes it’s yellow, I didn’t name it!

The weird but beautiful Allocasuarina flower.  This was at face height in the bush area of our property.

Grass Triggerplant (Styidium graminifolium)

 Ivy Goodenia (Goodenia hederacea) is absolutely everywhere on the property.

A rare find originating in Bunderberg Queensland with an exotic name ‘bundyrumcan’ of the family aluminium.

 Red Beard Orchid (Calochilus paludosus) 
A small Australian native orchid that is apparently not a common species so I was lucky to find a number of the orchids in our heath land.

 Dwarf Wedge Pea (Gompholobium minus)
 These are widespread over our entire property.

 Fringe Myrtle (Calytrix tetragona)
This small shrub has delicate white flowers with blush pink buds and are beautiful on mass. A few weeks after taking this photo my husband decided, without telling me, to slash the area where these beautiful bushes were springing up in. I felt a little devastated. 

 Black -anthered Flax Lily (Dianella revoluta)

Creeping Hovea (Hovea linearis)

Golden Weather-grass (Hypoxis hygrometrica)

 I suspect my husband planted this stunning red ‘plastic cappis’ flower.

Broom Milkwort (Comesperma sphaerocarpum) 
I only found two of these flowers together, they are so delicate and small.

Dusky Caps (Stegostyla moschato)
So pretty and very small.

 Common Onion Orchid (Microtis unifolia) a rather plain little orchid.

 Blue Dampiera (Dampiera stricta)
Named after the explorer William Dampier who was the first Englishman to explore parts of 'New Holland' now Australia. He has also been described as Australia's first natural historian.

 Narrow Leaf Drumstick (Isopogon anethifolius)
I did a double take when I saw this bizarre flower in the heath area of our property.

 Wire Lily (Laxmania gracilis),
Smaller than my little finger nail and delicate on a long stem, the wire lily seemed to only flower every few days.

Spotted Sun Orchid (Thelymitra ixioides)
Such a stunning little orchid with the delicate purple, blue and pink colouring.

Heath Milkwort (Comesperma ericinum)

 Austral Sunray (Triptilodiscus pygmaeus).  
This is all through the grassland areas.

 Dwarf Boronia (Boronia nana hyssopifolia)
Of all the flowers I found I think this one is my favourite.  It looks delicate but I think it is probably a sturdy little flora.


 Violet Kunzea (Kunzea parvifolia)

How can a shrub with such a pretty flower be such a pain in the behind?  As far as I’m concerned it is a woody weed taking over our property and the violet flush doesn’t last long enough to endear itself to me. It colonises areas so thickly that nothing can grow under it.  I try to kill, crush and destroy it with the slasher; even then the darn stuff grows back thicker and healthier, thanking me for pruning it. 

 Common Woodruff (Asperula conferta)

 Pale Sundew (Drosera peltata)
The plants gain some of their nutrients from insects trapped on the sticky leaves.

Broom Spurge (Amperea xiphoclada)

Native iris (Patersonia sericea)

Native Geranium (Geranium solanderi)