Birdwatching in Wagga Wagga

Signs of Spring
July 25, 2010, 11:30 pm
Filed under: Flora, Observations | Tags: , , , , ,

With barely more than a month left of winter, a number of early-flowering native plants are starting to show themselves. Of course, many Australian natives are highly opportunistic, responding swiftly to favourable conditions. Thus there will be often be wildflowers blooming at the coldest and least hospitable times of the year.

The native Grassland Wood-sorrel (Oxalis perennans) is one such. Unlike its weedy relative, Soursob (Oxalis pes-caprae), Grassland Wood-sorrel is a small and inconspicuous plant. It is a common constituent of open woodland areas.

Some species, on the other hand, have very specific flowering periods. Early Nancy (Wurmbea dioica), as its name suggests, is one of the first plants to flower each year. Flowering plants have been recorded on Willans Hill since the beginning of June.

Hardenbergia violacea is a popular garden plant, and cultivars are available with purple, pink and white flowers. In its natural form it is a deep, vivid purple and flowers towards the end of winter and throughout spring. It is a member of the Fabaceae (often called the Leguminosae), along with the Glycines, Dillwynias, Pultenaeas and so on. It is also related (though slightly more distantly) to the wattles (Acacia spp.)

Another early flowering plant is Erodium crinitum, the Blue Storksbill (also known by many other names). It can be seen flowering early in July, but is perhaps more distinctive later in the year, when it produces fruit. The fruit is a tall spike, often produced in clusters (see its PlantNET profile for pictures).

All of these photographs were taken on Willans Hill in July of this year.

In other news, I have added the Brown Treecreeper and Crested Shrike-tit to the species list for Willans Hill. Neither species is commonly seen – the former is classed as Vulnerable, the latter is simply extremely cryptic in its habits.

I have also added thumbnail galleries of flora and fungi images to the site. These are still works-in-progress. I hope to add similar galleries for insects, reptiles, mammals etc., and also for specific locations (the flora and fauna of Willans Hill, for example).


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Signs of Spring…

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