GROUNDCOVERS - Dry Woodland

CRYPTANDRA  AMARA               Pretty Pearlflower                 Rhamnaceae

Knee-high densely branched heath-like woody shrub often with delicate spines, found in grassland and grassy woodlands. Dull green leaves, small, narrow 2-6 mm long.  Flowers fragrant, white, bell-shaped with 3 tiny pointed lobes, crowded along upper branches and  occurring in spring and occasionally autumn.
Three varieties are recognised.
Cryptandra is an endemic genus of 40 species. Although not often seen in cultivation they would make good rockery plants, being hardy in most soils in full fun or partial shade.
Distribution TAS, SA, VIC, ACT, NSW, QLD.


Cryptandra amara
 
Thysanotus patersonii THYSANOTUS PATERSONII - Fringed Lilies. (Anthericaceae) Liliaceae 

Weak, tuberous twiner extending a spirally climbing stem around other plants to 60-80cm. Bears many tiny flowers over an extended period during spring and summer. Tuberous root and small basal leaves that wither quickly. 

 
Bossiaea prostrata BOSSIAEA PROSTRATA  Fabaceae

An insignificant wiry prostrate shrub, common in dry woodlands, and is only seen easily when a few pea flowers are spotted on the ground.

 
ASTROLOMA HUMIFUSUM  Native Cranberry
(Epacridaceae)

A prostrate shrub which forms a small mat. The red tubular flowers are usually inconspicuous, being partly hidden by the leaves. This very prickly shrub is easily overlooked. The leaves may be up to 1 cm and has a long point at the end. The edible fleshy fruit is up to 1 cm in diameter with a relatively large stone inside. Flowering is mainly in the autumn and is common on dry rocky sites in woodlands and sandy heathlands. This is a difficult shrub to cultivate either from cuttings or the woody fruit.

Astroloma humifusum
 
KENNEDIA PROSTRATA    Running Postman
(Fabaceae)

A member of the pea family which is very distinctive when in flower. The flowers are mainly red with two small yellow-green "eyes" near the centre. The prostrate branches can be nearly a metre in length. The small black seeds, which are contained in a long brown pod, have a white attachment. Flowering is in spring. Widespread in dry or sandy soils, especially near the coast, but rarely common. It is easily grown from seed after soaking in boiling water. The plant survives for several years before needing to be resown.
This distinctive plant has no close relations in Tasmania although it is found throughout Australia and is especially prolific in Western Australia with leaves and flowers much bigger than found in Tasmania. Several species are often cultivated in Tasmania, including K. nigricans which is a vigorous climber with black flowers, and K. coccinea which is also a climber with spectacular clusters of red flowers. Both of these cultivated species occur naturally in Western Australia.

Kennedia prostrata
 
Lissanthe strigosa (buds) LISSANTHE STRIGOSA 
Peach Berry
(Epacridaceae)
Lissanthe strigosa (fruits)
 
Lissanthe strigosa (flowers)

A densely branched shrub, usually under 20 cm tall, forming a low-growing thicket. The leaves are narrow-linear and sharply pointed with white stripes underneath. The flowers are typically white or pale pink with the buds a deeper pink. The small fleshy fruits are edible, and also white or pale pink when ripe, like miniature peaches, but do not seem to remain on the plant for very long. Although common, it is difficult to propagate from cuttings or seeds. Usually found in the understorey of woodlands in dry places. Flowering is in late spring.


HOVEA LINEARIS
(Fabaceae-Faboidea)
Hovea linearis


Hovea linearis
Small shrubby pea with slender branches, drooping and trailing through other vegetation. Leaves elliptical to narrow lanceolate, alternate, about 3 cm long with slightly recurved margins and prominent mid-veins. Flowers blue-mauve, 8mm across, 1-3 in the leaf axils along most of the stem in a leafy inflorescence. Pod 2-seeded, about 1 cm long, almost spherical. Flowering in spring and widespread in dry grassland and stony places. Endemic in  Eastern Australia. (Tasmania, Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland and South Australia.)


SPYRIDIUM OBCORDATUM
(Rhamnaceae)

A small prostrate shrub with wiry branches forming dense mounds
and mats. Flowers are small, 3-6 together in dense heads surrounded
by brown bracts and silky hairs; the small shining dark green leaves
are about 5mm long and almost as broad with a deeply notched apex, white silky hairy beneath except for the prominent mid-rib.
Flowering July-August.

A good rockery plant for temperate regions. Prefers a sunny, well drained position. Propagation is from cuttings.
Tas. endemic 

Spyridium obcordatum


MICROSERIS LANCEOLATA            Asteraceae
Yam Daisy or Native Dandelion

Microseris lanceolata








A perennial herb with fleshy, edible rootstock.
Ht. 10-40cm   W.5-30cm

Leaves in a rosette, variable but usually linear-lanceolate, sometimes with shallow lobes 6-15cm long.
Flowers:  Bright yellow 2-4cm across, terminal, single hollow stalk.
Flowering:  Winter/spring/summer.
Fruit: An achene 0.5-1cm long with longer pappus (tuft of bristles.)
Habitat/Distribution: Widespread in grasslands and light forest, from sea level to alpine.
Also WA, SA, Vic, NSW







Cultivation:  Requires well-drained soil in some sun. Suitable for rockeries and containers. Susceptible to Phytopthora cinnamomi  (cinnamon fungi).
Propagate from seed or by division.
Often mistaken for introduced flat weeds that have ground-hugging rosettes with broader leaves. 

Microseris lanceolata leaves


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