MORE COASTAL PLANTS - part five

Scaevola aemula
    Information - Australian Plants Online & DPIW

SCAEVOLA AEMULA    
Goodeniaceae
Fairy fanflower


Derivation of Name: Scaevola...From Latin, scaevus, on the left side, referring to the flowers which have petals arranged to one side - fan shaped.
aemula...From Latin aemulus, comparing with or rivalling - of uncertain origin.

Scaevola is a genus of about 70 species, most of which occur in Western Australia. They are mostly small, herbaceous plants distinguished by their fan-shaped flowers.


                  
Scaevola aemula is probably the most commonly grown species. Because of its wide range, a number of forms exist but, in cultivation, it is typically a sub-shrub to about 150mm high by a width of half a metre. The leaves are 10 to 50 mm long, oval or wedge shaped and sometimes toothed. Flowers are seen in spring and summer, are mauve to purple and 25-30 mm in diameter.

This is a reasonably hardy to very hardy species in well drained, moist soils in temperate climates. However, some care in selection of forms is advisable because those native to semi arid areas may not grow well in areas of high rainfall, and vice-versa. A position in full sun or light shade is usually suitable and the species makes an excellent subject for a hanging basket.
Propagation is difficult from seed but cuttings strike very easily from firm, current season's growth.

Conservation Status: Endangered in the wild in Tasmania (DPIW listed)


LOTUS AUSTRALIS                        Fabaceae
Austral trefoil

Lotus australis
An erect perennial herb that grows up to 60cm tall, blue-green in colour and covered with short hairs.

Leaves:  composed of 5 leaflets,  long, narrow and wedge-shaped. Upper 3 leaflets 1-4cm long, the lower 2 are small and reduced.
Flowers: pea-like, between 14-20mm long, white to pink colour,  in clusters of 3-8 on long stalks in the leaf axils. Flowering  from spring to early summer.
Fruit:  a straight pod between 3-5cm long (description from Cunningham et al 1992, Woolcock 1991).

Occurs in all Australian states, but in Tasmania is found in Poa tussock grassland, low coastal shrubbery and on dunes around the State.

Status: considered rare in Tasmania but known reserves are as follows:

Well reserved in the Arthur-Pieman Conservation Area, Denison Rivulet Conservation, Foster Islands Nature Reserve, Mt Field National Park, Narawntapu National  Park, Pieman River State Reserve, Rocky Cape National Park, Southwest Conservation, St Helens Point Conservation Area, Tooms Lake Forest Reserve and the Waterhouse Conservation Area.
(Information Dept. Primary Industries, Water and Environment)

Calystegia soldanella
Lotus australis flower



Special Note:  The interesting plant at left, and in the top picture, is Calystegia soldanella
(Convolvulaceae) found on the east coast, and is also classified as Rare and Threatened



ERYNGIUM VESICULOSUM                                                  Apiaceae
Blue Devil

Eryngium vesiculosum
Prostrate perennial plant with branches to 30 cm. The leaves have deeply divided lobes each of which ends in a sharp spine. The base of the stem has a rosette of leaves and the branches have a pair of small leaves at each node. A flower head grows from the central rosette and others from nodes on the branches. Flowers are white to pale blue in an oval to globular head which is surrounded by bracts and sepals with sharp or spinous tips.
Flowering period: October to February
Distribution: Sandy and marshy flats near the coast.
Cultivation: Suitable for containers and is attractive when in flower. Propagate from seed or by division.
Tas, Vic, NSW, SA.



DILLWYNIA GLABERRIMA                                                                  Fabaceae
Smooth Parrotpea

Dillwynia glaberrima
Open wiry shrub to 1m. with slender branches, pubescent (downy, slightly hairy) when young leaves.  Leaves dark green, usually glabrous (without hairs), very narrow almost cylindrical, but grooved on the upper surface. Pea flowers in short clusters in the upper leaf axils, bright yellow with red markings, upper petal twice as wide as long, keel yellow.
Pod ovoid to 6mm long, inflated, pubescent. Flowering September-November. Wet heaths, coastal and inland. 
Also VIC, NSW, QLD, SA
Information courtesy of the Launceston Field Naturalists Club.



DROSERA  PYGMAEA                                                                                  Droseraceae
Dwarf Sundew

Drosera pygmaea
Tiny red plant with rosette leaves forming a conspicuous red circle, often occurring in colonies in swampy places, soaks and damp heathland. Flowers pale pink, single on very short stalks, buds bright red.


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