Weed of the Month – September 2016


(Malva parviflora)

Microsoft Word - WEED OF THE MONTHseptember16_malva_parviflora.d

(Photos: E. Cousins, clumps along roadside, close-up of leaf; Cape Jervis)

Originally from the Mediterranean, this weed is now widespread around Australia. It likes disturbed sites such as the roadside pictured above, or vacant urban blocks. Around Cape Jervis, it grows up to about 50cm tall, but can grow to 150cm in other, more hospitable areas. The leaves look a little like those of geraniums and can be much the same size, up to 9cm. They have 5-7 lobes, have rounded teeth around the margins, and pronounced ribs underneath. You can’t see them in the photo above, but there are fine hairs on the leaves. Clusters of small (1cm) pink flowers will appear at leaf junctions. Fruits, also small, dry to brown segments. The weeds at Cape Jervis weren’t flowering when the photos were taken, but with so many plants around you probably won’t have much trouble finding some to look for flowers and fruit yourself!

Plant of the Month – September 2016


(Caladenia latifolia)

Microsoft Word - PLANT OF THE MONTHseptember16_pink fairy.docx

This is a small, pretty, erect orchid 15-30cm tall; you can find it around from August to October. The flowers have 5 outer petals, with a 6th petal in the centre being modified to form a tongue with three lobes. Two of these lobes are rounded, the middle (third) one is that pointy bit of the tongue. The outer petals are bright pink (hence the name!); the tongue petal, though, is multi-coloured. There is an orange tinge to it, and some orange bumps (these are glands) while a fringe on the tongue is white. The outer edge of the flower is a bit hairy, but the long, lance-shaped leaves are REALLY hairy all over, front and back! The stem holding the flower up high is also hairy. We’ve seen these orchids at Cape Jervis, but also in the Adelaide Hills. Maybe there are some near you!