Environment

Wildflowers and Weeds

August is one of the peak flowering months in this area. Many plants such as wattles, buttercups and Lechenaultia are well recognised but there are
many other plants which are less well known and less noticeable.

One of these is False Boronia (Phyllanthus calycinus). It is a shrub with cream flowers which resemble those of Boronia (hence its common name) and is often found in sandy soils. Another which is also often found in sandy soils is Wild Violet (Hybanthus calycinus). This is a straggly herb with purple
flowers and is a member of the violet. Many orchids flower more profusely after a fire, so in those areas which were burnt in the local bushfires last summer this may be a good year to look for orchids.

One of the orchids which have a reputation for rarely flowering unless burnt, and which commences flowering in August, is Red Beaks (Pyrorchis nigricans). It is a widespread orchid occurring on white or grey sand, loam and sandy clay. The large, flat, fleshy and almost heart shape leaves may often be seen. The red and white flowers are produced in a spike.

Some of the tree wattles seen flowering this month, although very attractive, are introduced from eastern Australia and pose a threat to our local wildflowers.

The grey leaved Mt Morgan or Queensland Silver Wattle (Acacia podalyiifolia) is often seen along roadsides in Chittering and Gingin and is coming to the end of its flowering season now. Also with grey leaves (sometimes with a purple tinge) but with ferny rather than entire leaves is Cootamundra Wattle (Acacia baileyana).

Both species should not be planted, particularly near bushland, and if already present it would be preferable if they be removed. A close watch
should be kept for any seedlings and these should be removed. Removing flowers before seeds are set if trees are not removed will assist in reducing the
spread.

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