No- it's not a Wattle.

December 1, 2019

 

Saturday morning saw me out in the Hard Hills east of St Arnaud to try and get a photo or two of the Bristly Greenhood that had spiked up in the Club's big enclosure on L Bray's Rd.

 

Coming round the corner past the transfer station I was pulled up by the sight of what I first thought was a large wattle in full bloom.

 

 

Aha" I thought- a new species although I couldn't place this plant at all in the local wattle list.

 

The bush was full of bees having a grand time and after taking as  close a look as I dared, realised that this was a melaleuca, in fact it was Mallee Broombush Melaleuca uncinata in full fig.

 

 

There were only 4 or 5 bushes on the roadside and on reflection I realised that I had rarely seen this species in the Hard Hills although it is on the list for the area.

 

Has anyone else seen this species in the Hard Hills other than just east of the transfer station?

 

This is a valuable plant for insects in particular and is a beautiful sight at this time of year. 

 

Along with its cousin, Totem Poles Melalueuca decussata, it provides food for a number of insects, cover for small birds and would be a good addition to any windbreak planting or just in the garden as is decussata.

 

Totem Pole Flowers

 

After this small interruption, I went on to our site to find one Bristly Greenhood completely dessicated and the other, vanished!

 

This is P. setifera in slightly better times 9 years ago.

 

It is very similar to P despectans(Lowly Greenhood) but without the absurdly long sepal tips.

 

The trip was worthwhile, as most bush trips are, even if you don't find what you went out for!

 

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