There are quite a few plants flowering in my district in May. They include Swainsona formosa, Acacia iteaphylla, Eremophila maculata forms, to name a few. This has stimulated me to begin again on my blog, as well as the queries for information that I periodically receive. My lifestyle has changed and should allow me to pick up again.
Swainsona formosa may seem to be an unlikely plant to include in this list. However a roughly 5square metres front yard of a house in the town has been sown completely to the Sturt’s Desert Pea. The owner described to me that he threw a handful of seed over the yellow gravel he had spread over the area which may have been lawn before. He did it at this time of the year relying on natural rainfall to germinate the seed. He applied some extra water during the height of summer to keep them going. The result was a gorgeous display of red flowers with the black eye, against the grey green foliage. He showed me where more seed was germinating in some of the bare patches. He also had an abundance of seed pods filled with seed, a handful of which he generously gave to me.
Olearia passerinoides is a mallee daisy and is quite a large bush with bright green leaves, different to many mallee daisies which often have grey green leaves. Although this is a shrub, to me it behaves as a perennial shrub, in that new growth appears along the older wood.
The bush has a tendency to become scruffy, with the leaves higher up the stems and the flowers also high. If it was cut back to the lower growths, it would have dense foliage and be a more compact plant, and I suspect the flowering would also be quite spectacular.
As usual, I promise myself that I will do this, and yet another season goes buy. Mine have just finished flowering, so out with the secateurs tomorrow, while I think of it.
Olearia passerinoides is drought, lime and frost tolerant. It has clusters of small white daisies and grows to 2-3m tall by about 1.5-2m wide if left to its own devices. Pruning will keep it to a more compact size.
I found another good photo of this suckering plant which spreads by underground shoots form the root stock. It is a good hardy plant to have in a perennial border. It is easily kept confined.
It is drought tolerant and frost hardy and grows in lime soils.
Calocephalus citreus is a small member of the daisy family, growing 20-50 cm high by 30-60 cm wide. It has silver grey foliage and small, yellow button type flowerheads in late Spring to Summer. The photo was taken in early January at Canberra Botanic Gardens.
This plant is perennial and should be pruned after flowering when new growths begin near the base of the plant. It is hardy in most situations and withstands dry periods.
I would call it a drought tolerant plant when I observe its survival here. It grows in loam and sand, in half to full sun, including dappled sun.
This attractive daisy dries well for use in flower arrangements.
We had lunch at Murrayville in Western Victoria at a rest area and this Eremophila formed a screen on one side of the picnic table. I am not really sure whether it is a hybrid, but it has the look of Eremophila oppositifolia, but then again, not quite. So I am assuming it is a hybrid, as many Eremophilas do form natural hybrids in the wild and they are being propagated. This plant has pink flowers with spots in the throat. The pure Eremophila oppositifolia has white, cream, pink or purple flowers, all of which are very pretty plants.
In most cases the plants I have seen are around two metres tall. These possible hybrids were about two and a half metres tall and nearly the same width.
Further along the road is a planting that I admired and had a number of photos of from a couple of years ago. I was really disappointed to see so many of the plants dead. This area has been in drought for a while. Some Eremophilas need a reasonable rainfall, probably deep drinks, infrequently, rather than small amounts often.