Tag Archives: flower

Tarraleah Canal No 1 walk – flowers and lichens

I was lucky, so lucky – beside the track a solitary Tasmanian native Waratah bloomed.  Coming across a specimen seemed like a miracle and I was in awe of its beauty.

Waratah 1.jpg

Waratah 2.jpg

This Waratah is not to be confused with the New South Wales Waratah – also red but with more bracts – you can see a photo on Wikipedia.

Elsewhere and occasionally, other floral plants which are native to Tasmania, added colour and texture to the landscape.  My identification of the plants is possibly flawed but here goes (corrections are welcome via comments against this post). I think the following photo shows an example of the Snowberry plant.

20160218_124214.jpg

The next two photos show the Pink Mountain Berry.

 

20160218_144131.jpg

20160218_131138.jpg

The next photo is an example of Coprosma nitida known either as ‘Mountain Currant’ or ‘Native Currant’.

20160218_140401.jpg

I am not sure what the plant is below.  Its pink berries are not spherical rather drop like, and they are fleshier than the Pink Mountain Berry.  I suspect it may be the Aristotelia peduncularis commonly known as the Heartberry.

20160218_140315.jpg

Because of the extreme general wetness of this remote locality and the fact the vegetation is seldom disturbed, beautiful lichens grow on rock, fallen trees, man-made objects, and on road side markers.  I found these fascinating.  As I walked, I thought about the huge and sophisticated city of Angkor built many centuries ago then abandoned, and how nature reclaimed the man-made installations.  The small examples of nature reclaiming the ground that I saw on my walk along the Tarraleah Canal No 1 reminded me of the relentless urge for lifeforms to grow.

Lichen on rock.jpg

20160218_122352.jpg

Lichen 1.jpg

20160218_131359.jpg

20160218_142031.jpg

20160218_142206.jpg

 

 

Yam Daisies

Thanks to information and photographs supplied by blog follower, Ma from Melbourne, I will be more alert for the plant and flower Microseris scapigera or Microseris lanceolata known by indigenous Australians as Yam daisy or Murnong. Ma told me these plants would provide nourishment as I walked.

Yam daisy Microseris-scapigera-2-226x226

The photo above is located on http://www.victoriannativeseed.com.au/?product=yam-daisy . As the flower continues to open, the similarity with our common dandelion becomes obvious, and a number of websites suggest the dandelion head is similar to the seed head of the Yam Daisy.  It seems perfectly understandable that this plant may be referred to as the native dandelion and it explains why, when walking in our bushland affected by the intrusion of exotic plants, the possibility of misidentification exists. From Wikipedia I have learned that ‘the Tasmanian form is markedly smaller than the mainland Australian form’.

According to http://www.anbg.gov.au/gardens/visiting/exploring/aboriginal-trail  ‘This small perennial plant … has a radish-shaped tuber, which is renewed each year. In the spring the plant forms a yellow flower-head like a dandelion, and in the summer the leaves die off and the tuber becomes dormant. The tubers were cooked in baskets in an earth oven, producing a dark sweet juice which was much liked.’

The Yam Daisy has offered a traditional source of food for indigenous Australians. Wikipedia claims the tubers were ‘prepared by roasting or pit baking; the taste is described as “sweet with a flavour of coconut’.  Sounds yummy to me! The website http://www.parksaustralia.gov.au/botanic-gardens/pubs/aboriginal-plantuse.pdf tells us that the ‘Yam Daisy was a most important staple food. Women dug the roots with digging sticks and then roasted them in baskets in an earth oven. Digging for roots turned over the soil and thinned out the root clumps, two ways of encouraging plant production. Aboriginal people didn’t take the lot or there’d be none left for next time! Aboriginal people believed that the roots of ‘murnong’ should not be collected before the plants flowered. This was probably because during the drier winter period before springtime flowering, the roots would not be fully developed.’

Women digging roots of yam daist State LIb of Vic

The drawing above by J.H. Wedge (1835), showing women digging roots of the Yam Daisy, is held in the collection of the State Library of Victoria. You can see a detailed drawing of a digging stick at https://www.anbg.gov.au/aborig.s.e.aust/roots.bulbs.html.

According to https://tasmanica.wordpress.com/tag/yam-daisy/ ‘… the Yam Daisy (Microseris lanceolata) or ‘Murnong’ as it is known by tuber hunting aborigines on the mainland, has a convoluted history. This makes it a subject of ecological and evolutionary interest to biologists. Its closest relatives are found in western North America. Based on morphological and chromosome studies, the Yam Daisy probably came about by the hybridization of two American species followed by long distance dispersal – quite a distance I might add. So it goes that aborigines were eating foods of American origin way back. This marvellous feat of intercontinental dispersal has been confirmed more recently by studies using DNA extracted from the chloroplasts (cpDNA) of American and the Australian/New Zealand species of Microseris (Vijverberg et al. 1999).’

In my walks along the Derwent River, I have seen these Yam Daisy flowers from time to time. Of course, next time I will look at the plants more closely.