3. Waterside plants

SPRENGELIA INCARNATA                    Epacridaceae
Pink Swamp Heath

Sprengelia incarnata
Pricky shrub to 80cm, occasionally to 2m tall, with stiff erect branches, older stems smooth reddish brown without leaf scars. Leaves hard, alternate, lanceolate with sheathing base completely surrounding the stem, blade curved back and tapering to a long sharp point.

Flowers solitary terminal, on short shoots and lateral branches. 5 sepals, greenish pink or white. 5 petals, pink or white, very narrow and pointed, widely spreading. 5 stamens spreading or forming tube in centre of flower, style long. Fruit a dry capsule.

Flowering October-February.   Found in peaty heaths and other wet places.
Tas, Vic, SW, SA

Information courtesy of the Launceston Field Naturalists Club

GUNNERA CORDIFOLIA            Gunneraceae
Tasmanian Mudleaf

Gunnera cordifolia
A fleshy, stoloniferous, closely matted herb. 15-25cm in height, 5-50cm width.

Leaves:  Variable in size from 2-7cm across, usually oval or rounded, with prominent veins, on a thick hairy stalk, margins slightly toothed.

Flowers:  Cream/white in separated male and female spikes.  Male, as long as the leaves; female, spike shorter than leaves.

Flowering: Spring/summer.

Fruit: A flattened, ovoid, bright red drupe.

Information: Tasmania's Natural Flora

Gunnera cordifolia closeup

Habitat/Distribution: Rare at low altitude, but locally common in subalpine swampy areas of the west and south-west.

Cultivation:  Requires constant moisture in acidic, friable soil in full sun.  Suitable for a bog garden.
Propagate by division of stolons.

Distinguishing features:  Conspicuous round, tightly packed leaves, in a moist habitat.

CYPERUS GUNNII                        Cyperaceae
Flecked flatsedge

Related to C. papyrus from which the ancient Egyptians made papyrus, forerunner of paper.

A densely tufted plant to 1 m growing on marshlands and along river banks. Leaves: broad, flattened and folded, tapering to a long sharp point. Numerous flowers, clustered into compound heads on stout triangular stems and maturing to reddish brown colour.

Cyperus gunnii

BALOSKION TETRAPHYLLUM ssp Tetraphyllum            Restionaceae
Tassel Cord-rush

This erect plant has creeping roots forming thick stands in swamps. The stems are numerous and stiffly erect, cylindrical, bluish green. Leaves are short leathery sheaths closely stem clasping at the base, but smaller and light brown with spreading tips up the stem at nodes giving a fine plume-like appearance. Male and female flower clusters are chestnut brown at the end of stems.  Useful for pond margins or can be grown in bowl shaped containers but must be kept moist.

Grows in Tas. Vic. NSW Qld. SA

Baloskion tetraphyllum
Baloskion tetraphyllum

OZOTHAMNUS FERRUGINEUS                Asteraceae
Tree Everlastingbush

Ozothamnus ferrugineus

Branched aromatic shrub or small tree to 5 m. Branches ribbed. Leaves linear-lanceolate
to 5 cm long, flat, upper surface dark green, lower surface grey or yellowish white
tomentose (a dense covering of matted hairs), except on midrib and margins.
Flower heads numerous in large branched panicles, terminal on main and lateral branches.
Individual flower heads small, about 3 mm long, with about 6 florets, outer bracts
brownish, inner bracts white tipped. Pappus bristles 3 mm long with thickened tips.

Flowering November-February.
Widespread in most lowland gullies, along creeks and wet margins of forests.
Tas, Vic, NSW, SA

Information courtesy of Launceston Field Naturalists Club

Ozothamnus ferrugineus