Plants of Melbourne's Western Plains:
A Gardener's Guide to the Original Flora, 2nd Edition

Wild Flowers, Low Shrubs and Climbers - Part 2 of 4

Hover over the name of the plant for detailed information.

Plant names are linked to information in Vicflora.

Cullen parvum
(formerly Psoralea parva)

Small Scurf-pea

A prostrate, herbaceous plant (H 15cm, W 50cm) with numerous stems growing from a central rosette.
Clusters of pink pea flowers in late spring to summer. Suitable for a sunny aspect in heavy basalt soils.
A very rare plant that is endangered in Victoria.

Cullen tenax
(formerly Psoralea tenax)

Tough Scurf-pea

A slender, trailing herbaceous plant (H 15cm, W 50cm). Numerous clusters of small purple pea flowers in late spring to summer. Appreciates summer moisture.
Often associated with rocky outcrops. May die back to rootstock in winter. Suitable for a sunny aspect in heavy, basalt soils. A rare and endangered plant in Victoria.

Cynoglossum suaveolens
(synonym Hackelia suaveolens)

Sweet Hound's-Tongue

An upright perennial plant (H 20—60cm, W 50cm) with sweetly scented flowers most of the year, with a flush in spring and summer.
Pollinated by moths and harbours caterpillars that attract insect-eating birds. Prefers a sunny or partly Shady position with reasonable drainage and some summer moisture to extend flowering.

Desmodium varians

Slender Tick-Trefoil

Trailing plant (Prostrate, W 20—50cm) with leaves made up of three leaflets. Sprays of small pink pea flowers turn white with age.
A lovely small plant that is good in a pot with other small plants or trailing in amongst a biodiverse, indigenous garden.
Rarely found in the wild on the plains.

Dianella admixta
(synonym Dianella revoluta var. revoluta)

Maroon-Anther Flax-Lily or
Spreading Flax-Lily

(H 40cm, stems to 1m, W 5cm, spreading) Clusters of blue flowers held on stems above the foliage, followed by blue berries.
Forms a dense tuft of blue- green, strap-like leaves.
Tolerates heavy basalt or sedimentary soils. Suitable for a sunny or semi-shaded aspect.
Plants sucker and can cover a large area over time.

Dianella amoena

Matted Flax-Lily

(H 20—30cm, W 30cm, spreading ) Clusters of blue flowers held on stems above the foliage in late spring and summer, followed by blue berries.
Forms a dense cluster of blue- green, strap-like leaves with tiny ‘teeth’ along the edges.
A rare plant, tolerant of heavy basalt or sedimentary soils. Suitable for a sunny or semi- shaded aspect.

Dianella brevicaulis

Small-Flower Flax-Lily or
Short-stem Flax-Lily

Forms a rounded tussock (H 30cm—1m, W 50cm—2m with long, narrow, dark green, strap- like leaves. Blue flower spikes occur within the foliage.
Locally found mostly in coastal regions with some incursions along the waterways, often associated with rocky outcrops.
Prefers higher moisture levels than other Dianella species. Tolerates full sun and part shade.

Dianella sp. aff. longifolia (Benambra)

Pale Flax-Lily

A tufting perennial lily (H to 1m, W 50cm) with blue-green, strap-like leaves. Attractive pale blue flowers are held on stems above the foliage in late spring or early summer, followed by blue or white berries. Prefers a sunny or lightly shaded position in well-drained soils.

Dichondra repens

Kidney Weed

A creeping perennial groundcover forming a dense mat of light green, kidney-shaped leaves.
Hardy. Suitable lawn substitute for shaded areas with light traffic. Ideal for filling gaps in rockery or garden edges.
Prefers shade or semi-shade and summer moisture.

Einadia nutans

Nodding Saltbush

A perennial groundcover (Prostrate, W spreading) with small silver-green arrow-shaped leaves. It can scramble over other plants and rocks. Very hardy.
Numerous small red or yellow berries in small clusters along stems in late spring and summer, providing food for small birds and reptiles.
Prefers a sunny or lightly shaded aspect with dry, well-drained soil. Self seeds freely in gardens.

Enchylaena tomentosa

Ruby Saltbush

A hardy prostrate shrub (Prostrate, W 1m) with small, succulent, grey-green leaves. Yellow to red berries all year, but especially in summer.
Prefers a sunny position in dry, well-drained soil. Grows well on rocky slopes.

Eryngium ovinum

Blue Devil

A low, open perennial (H 50cm, W 50cm—1m), with stiff, prickly leaves and globular, spiky, steel-blue flowerheads in summer.
Prefers a sunny or semi-shaded position in heavy basalt soils. It dies back to rootstock in autumn.
A very ornamental species, suited to wildflower gardens or containers.

Eutaxia microphylla

Small-leaf Eutaxia

Usually a prostrate plant (Prostrate, W 1m) with small, fine, grey-green foliage. Yellow and red pea flowers in profusion in spring.
A common groundcover species in Grassland, Grey Box and Red Gum Woodlands. A semi-prostrate form with yellow flowers is found on sedimentary soils in Yellow Gum Woodlands.
Prefers well-drained soils in full sun or light shade. A useful groundcover for rockeries, sprawling among other plants, or over logs.

Frankenia pauciflora

Sea Heath

A low-growing shrub (H prostrate—43cm, W 1m) with small leaves. The small, white or pinkish flowers occur mainly in spring but can be present throughout the year.
Prefers well-drained soils and tolerates dry conditions once established. Will grow in salty soils; mostly found near coast.
Excellent rockery or container plant. Light pruning maintains a bushy habit.

Geranium sp. 1

Large-Flowered Crane's-Bill

Attractive plant (H 30cm, W 1m) with large Geranium leaves and large, pale pink or deep pink flowers (often on the same plant) that are double the size of most other native Geranium species.
Flowers from spring to autumn in good conditions. Dies back to a tuber in extreme drought conditions, re-establishing itself following good rains.
Was presumed extinct for nearly 100 years until it was rediscovered early this century. Owing to its extreme rarity and recent rediscovery, this plant was not commercially available at time of going to print but is likely to become available in time as it has great garden potential.

Glycine clandestina

Twining Glycine

Pretty plant (Climber) for containers, rockeries or twining through other plants. The light growth habit with delicate foliage means it remains largely unnoticed until the small mauve pea flowers appear in spring and summer.
Attractive when trailing through grasses, Xerochrysum viscosum, Chrysocephalum semipapposum, or over Lomandra Iongifolia.
Prefers moist, well-drained soil in sheltered, lightly shaded situations but tolerates dry periods when established.

Goodenia geniculata

Bent Goodenia

A low-growing plant (H 10cm, W 50cm) with upright stems and yellow flowers in spring and summer. The flower stalk is bent in the middle, giving the plant its common name.
The flowers can be pale or bright yellow and the long flowering period makes it a useful addition to the garden.
Plant in a sheltered position or rockery with moist soils, or grow in a container.

Goodenia gracilis

Slender Goodenia

One of the more floriferous and attractive of the low Goodenias (H 40cm, W 30cm). Yellow flowers in clusters at the end of upright stems.
Long thin leaves to 15cm long, mostly at the base. Grows well poorly drained soils. Excellent rockery or container plant.

Goodenia pinnatifida

Cut-Leaf Goodenia

A herbaceous plant (H 30cm). Numerous clusters of bright yellow flowers from spring to early summer. May die back to rootstock during dry summers.
in full sun. Suckering habit. Ideal for rockeries and containers.

Hardenbergia violacea

False Sarsaparilla or Purple Coral-Pea

A prostrate plant or climber with very showy purple flowers from midwinter to early spring.
Requires well-drained soils in full sun or light shade. Will tolerate salty winds.
A useful groundcover plant for rockeries and sprawling among other plants, or over logs. Most often seen as a prostrate scrambler in the wild because of a lack of things to climb on. Non- indigenous nursery forms tend to be vigorous climbing forms.

Kennedia prostrata

Running Postman

An attractive trailing groundcover (Prostrate, W 1.5m) with soft, green, clover-like leaves and large, showy, scarlet-red pea flowers in spring.
Prefers dry, well-drained, gravelly soils and full sun or light shade.
The flowers are rich in nectar and attractive to honeyeaters.
Suitable as a trailing groundcover under trees, in containers or hanging baskets. Cascades well over embankments or retaining walls. The fiery red flowers make a spectacular display.

Leiocarpa panaetioides
(formerly Ixiolaena sp.1 )

Woolly Buttons

A small, spreading plant (H 40cm, W 80cm) with soft, fine, grey leaves and a profusion of small, yellow flowerheads on stems held above the foliage. Can flower all year round but mostly in spring and summer.
Requires a sunny position in well-drained soils. Ideal for rockeries, containers or hanging baskets. Prune to rejuvenate older plants.

Leptorhynchos squamatus

Scaly Buttons

A delicate, perennial button daisy (H 15cm, W 30cm) forming a low clump of slightly woolly, deep green leaves. The numerous yellow and button-like flowerheads are held on upright stems.
An ornamental wildflower worthy of cultivation in a sunny position in well- drained basalt soils. Ideal for containers.

Leptorhynchos tenuifolius

Wiry Buttons

A small button daisy (H 30cm, W 20—50cm) with narrow, dark green leaves on wiry, branched stems. The small, yellow flowerheads are held high above the foliage. A very ornamental species, flowering from spring to early autumn.
Tolerates most basalt soils or dry, gravelly sedimentary soils. Full sun or light shade. Very hardy. Best planted in drifts. Ideal for containers.

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