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

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

Hover over the name of the plant for detailed information.

Plant names are linked to information in Vicflora.

Senecio linearifolius var. linearifolius

Fireweed Groundsel

A delightful plant (H 1—1.5m, W 1.5m) with lovely dark green foliage helping to show off clusters of bright yellow, rayed daisies in late spring and summer.
Sprawling or rounded shrub but always interesting. Prefers good shade and a bit of moisture.

Senecio macrocarpus

Large-Headed Groundsel

An erect perennial herb (H 30cm, W 50cm ) with grey, narrow leaves and yellow, rayless flowers in spring and early summer.
Requires well-drained basalt soils and a sunny aspect.
Endangered in Victoria and Australia.

Senecio odoratus

Scented Groundsel

(H 1m, W 1.5m) Among the most attractive of the group of rayless senecios. Large, serrated, blue-green leaves and large clusters of scented, yellow-tipped flowerheads are features.
Variable growth habit that can be upright or sprawling but with a little shade it can grow naturally into a lovely, rounded, bushy shape.

Senecio pinnatifolius

Variable Groundsel

An excellent garden plant (H 50cm, W 50cm) forming a low sprawling shrub with large flowers 2cm across or more.
Grows well in most conditions but especially in a rockery or with some shade.
This plant is now at least very rare on the Keilor-Werribee Plains with no surviving populations currently known.

Stackhousia subterranea
(formerly Stackhousia sp. 1)

Grassland Candles

A showy perennial (H 30cm) with numerous creamy-white, tubular flowers on erect stems in spring. Spreads by underground rhizomes forming loose patches up to 5m wide in the wild.
Prefers an open position in moist, well-drained soils. Inconspicuous when not in flower. Flowers are fragrant at night.

Stellaria pungens

Prickly Starwort

A suckering, prostrate herb (H 20—30cm, W Spreading). Bright green, prickly foliage with numerous white daisy-like flowers in spring.
Prefers a semi-shaded aspect in moist, well-drained, friable soils. Can brown off in summer. Rejuvenate by pruning.

Stylidium graminifolium

Grass Triggerplant

An ornamental, perennial plant (H 30—60cm, W 20—30cm) forming a small tussock of grass-like, grey-green leaves. Numerous small, white or pink flowers on erect stems in spring.
Prefers a sunny or semi- shaded position in friable, well-drained soils. Will not tolerate heavy basalt soils. Suitable for rockeries or containers.
It is locally rare, only occurring on sedimentary soils.

Templetonia stenophylla

Leafy Templetonia

This sub-shrub (H prostrate-60cm, W 60cm) has a few erect or trailing stems with widely spaced leaves. Pea flowers are creamy yellow with a brown centre. Rare on the Keilor-Werribee Plains, occurring naturally around the Melton area. Not well known in cultivation but grows naturally in a variety of situations from dry forest to open areas.

Teucrium racemosum

Grey Germander

An erect, perennial herb (H 40—60cm, W 50cm—1m) with small, grey leaves and numerous white flowers, mostly in summer and autumn.
Prefers an open position in moist, well-drained soils but will adapt to drier situations. Suckers and spreads freely. Tolerates occasional inundation.
Prune in winter to promote new growth. An ornamental species that is well suited to rockeries and containers.

Thysanotus patersonii

Twining Fringe-Lily

This virtually leafless plant (Climber/twiner) twines stealthily through other plants and is only noticed when the small but striking fringed flowers emerge in spring.
Dies back to the underground tuber in summer and regenerates late in autumn.
Requires well-drained soil and something to twine around.

Thysanotus tuberosus

Common Fringe-Lily

(H 30cm—50cm, W 20cm) The delicate fringes on the edges of the mauve flowers make a very attractive display in late spring and early summer.
The flowerheads stand above the thin, grass-like leaves while the root system forms tuber underground.
The plant prefers a sunny or semi-shaded position that is well-drained. It will die down summer before it reshoots in autumn.

Tricoryne elatior

Yellow Rush-Lily

A sprawling plant (H 30 heads 50cm, W 30cm ) with wiry stems. Inconspicuous until numerous yellow flowers appear in late spring and summer.
Prefers a sunny or lightly shaded situation in moist, well-drained soil.
When in flower, it is very ornamental. Very hardy, ideal for rockeries.

Velleia paradoxa
(synonym Goodenia paradoxa)

Spur Velleia

A very showy herbaceous plant (H 30cm) with a basal rosette of leaves and numerous pale yellow flowers in spring, often with a second flush in autumn.
Prefers moist, basalt soils in full sun.

Veronica gracilis

Slender Speedwell

Dainty little plant (H 5—20cm, W Spreading) that often spreads by rhizomes to form colonies to one metre wide or more.
It often goes unnoticed in amongst other plants or lawns until the pretty blue-mauve lowers appear in spring.
Grows well in most situations and is particularly useful in poorly drained soils. Good for rockeries, inter-tussock grassland plantings or in an open understorey. Place carefully to avoid being overgrown by other plants.

Viola hederacea

Native or Ivy-Leaved Violet

A spreading groundcover (Prostrate, W 1—2m) with small, ivy-like leaves, and small mauve and white flowers, mostly in spring.
Spreads by stolons to form patches. An excellent plant for a shady, moist aspect. Ideal for rockeries, planting near logs or in hanging baskets and containers.
N.B. the more vigorous Viola banksii is often sold as Viola hederacea in non- indigenous nurseries.

Vittadinia gracilis

Woolly New-Holland Daisy

This hardy herbaceous plant (H 30cm, W 30cm) has lovely lilac-purple daisy flowers with yellow centres in spring, summer and at odd times during the year. Flowers are followed by large, ornamental, fluffy seedheads. It has fine, upright branches and woolly grey hairs cover the leaves.
Suitable for full sun positions in well-drained soils. Mass plant for best effect.
Similar species: Vittadinia cuneata is not as woolly.

Wahlenbergia communis
(synonym Campanula capillaris)

Tufted Bluebell

A spreading, perennial herb (H 15—50cm, W 15—60cm) with narrow, bright green leaves on erect stems. Bears masses of delightful bright-blue, bell-shaped flowers from spring to autumn. It self seeds readily and also suckers. The petals are edible.
Prefers a sunny position in dry, well-drained soil. Summer moisture encourages denser growth and more prolific flowering. Rejuvenate by pruning severely in winter. Ideal for rock gardens, as a drifting groundcover or in containers. Spectacular in massed plantings, especially when planted with Chrysocephalum apiculatum. Common in grasslands, woodlands and escarpments.

Wahlenbergia luteola

Bronze Bluebell or
Yellow-Backed Bluebell

(H 15—40cm, W 15cm) Similar in all aspects to Wahlenbergia communis, except for the yellow-brown colour on the back of the flower petals.

Wahlenbergia stricta

Tall Bluebell

A delicate, suckering perennial (H 40—50cm, W 10—40cm) with narrow leaves. Numerous large, bright- blue, bell-shaped flowers in spring and summer. Watering will extend flowering into autumn. Erect, open and sometimes straggly growth habit.
Prefers a sunny position, In dry, well- drained soil. Ideal for rockery and containers.

Wurmbea dioica

Early Nancy

A plant (H 30cm) with showy white flowers — either male or female — that have a circular, purple band near the centre of the flower, distinguishing it from Milkmaids, a similar plant.
Best planted in a sunny, well-drained position with little competition from other plants. Will thrive in a container. Dies back to a fleshy tuber in summer and reshoots in autumn.

Xerochrysum viscosum
(formerly Bracteantha viscosa)

Sticky Everlasting

An attractive everlasting daisy (H 60cm, W 30cm) with showy, bright-yellow papery flowers, mostly in spring and summer. Long, narrow, dark green leaves are sticky to touch. Prune hard in autumn to promote a bushy habit and to help extend the life of this otherwise short-lived plant. Prefers an open sunny position and well-drained soil. Tolerates some shade but not poor drainage. Responds to watering during dry periods. Spectacular planted in drifts under Yellow Gum, especially with Wahlenbergia species. Lovely as a cut flower or in dried flower arrangements.

Link to:
top arrow