(Photos: https://ianluntresearch.files.wordpress.com/2012/05/inverleigh-dense-acacia-paradoxa1.jpg;, http://fobw.rnr.id.au/images/other/Acacia_paradoxa_BalukWillam080826-2195.jpg)
Prickly, prickly, prickly! You’ll know if you walk near one of these on a bushwalk, or try to push through, because the thorny little spines on the stems will grab at you!! These grow at the base of the phyllodes (or false leaves). But these thorns also mean the shrub provides great protection for little birds such as wrens and finches, and other creatures hiding from prey. A bushy, spreading shrub up to 3 m high and wide, it is native to large parts of SA, where it often occurs in thickets. It makes great, almost impassable hedges, and in fact is sometimes known as the ‘hedge wattle’. Resistant to salt spray as well as livestock, it does well on the peninsula. The phyllodes are dark green, quite crinkly, and hairy when new. Small balls of richly coloured yellow flowers appear in winter-spring, making up somewhat for its inhospitability to walkers!
(Photos: E. Cousins; a patch at Cape Jervis, flower head.)
This weed has been appearing on the foreshores at Cape Jervis over spring-early summer. As you can see from the photos, the plant stems sit upright, with the flower heads held high. The flowers are small (2-3cm), purple, and are around from September to December. They always occur at the end of a flowering stem, not along its length. Note the spiny bracts at the lower outside edge of these flowers. Later the flower produces two types of seeds: inner (about 85% of the seeds) and outer. These all have plumes for spreading by wind. Leaves are a dull green on top, paler underneath and hairy there. There’s a rosette of leaves at the base, but other leaves along the stems as well, forming ‘wings’. There can be multiple stems, ribbed and a bit hairy; these might be seen still standing long after the plant dies off in summer.
There’s a new interpretive sign at Cape Jervis, at the start of the Heysen Trail…a celebration and explanation of the on-ground works we have been doing over 3 years of planting and weeding. If you are walking this way, read the sign, look at the plants or sit at the recently installed picnic table. Planting on this exposed “lower loop” has been a challenge. If you have spare water at the end of your walk, look for tree guards/stakes with pegs and give them some water (gently please!). We are trying to water a few times during the summer, but it’s not easy, so every little bit helps. So many of our coastal plants are slow growing and take a few years to get established. We have re-introduced 70 different local species on site, so if you feel like a longer walk, check out the plantings along Flinders Drive (main road) as well.
Big thanks to our volunteers, many of whom live in Adelaide Adelaide, the Natural Resources AMLR (aka your NRM levy) and to Yankalilla Council for providing the picnic table, plants, and cutting the paths.
Next get together, 5 & 6 Dec 2015. Training & great cakes provided.
We welcome new volunteers. Contact Carolyn Schultz 0448 909 881.
(Photos: C. Schultz, habit, cones, foliage; Cape Jervis)
These trees can grow 4-10m tall, on a variety of soils including the limestone coastal soils around Cape Jervis. The branches droop with needle-like foliage, and no true leaves…sounds great in the wind! The seeds from its cones are the favorite food of the Glossy Black Cockatoo; you’ll see the ‘chewings’ from these under the trees on Kangaroo Island. You won’t see the cockatoos at Cape Jervis yet; they haven’t been seen on the mainland for years. However, extensive she-oak plantings started around the Cape with Greening Australia about 17 years ago, as part of the Glossy Black Cockatoo Recovery Program. Several other groups have contributed, including COOTs, Cape Jervis & Delamere Progress Association and CJCCG. More drooping she-oaks will be going in, winter of 2016! Come along then, plant some, and be part of the recovery program.
(Photos: E. Cousins; flower; a patch at Deep Creek Conservation Park.)
You don’t see many of this weed at Cape Jervis, because it likes more moisture than Cape Jervis provides. It is a pest though, in many conservation parks and creek beds nearby. It stands out with its glossy, dark green foliage and large white flowers. The flowers are funnel-shaped, with a side split, and held high on long, hollow stems. The bright yellow flower spike (spadix) in the funnel centre is part male, part female. This matures into a seed head. The weed is spread by these seeds, and also by disturbance of the rhizomes under the ground. Leaves are large and heart-shaped. Although often grown as a garden plant, it can be toxic to animals and humans; fatalities in both have been recorded