Pink and white: heather and hakea

Heather and hakea

Both have been flowering well into late winter.

Shows common heath, Edward Hunter Heritage Bush Reserve

Common heath: Epacris impressa

Shows white flowers of hakea decurrens, Edward Hunter Heritage Bush Reserve

Fragrant flowers of hakea decurrens: leaves are rounded.

Shows white flowers of Furze Hakea, Edward Hunter Heritage Bush Reserve

Flowering Furze Hakea – flowers quite densely compared with hakea decurrens

Common Heath

Epacris impressa – the floral emblem of Victoria – is found through out southern Australia. There are white forms and pink forms, as well as deep pink- almost cerise – forms at the Reserve. The pink form is not a hybird of the red and white heaths but a distinct ‘race’.

Honeyeaters feed on the nectar of the heath, and, in so doing, spread the pollen to the next flower. Of note, heaths tend to grow in low nitrogen soil. They have a unique form of root – hair like – and they form symbiotic relationships with ericoid mycorrhizal fungi.

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Hakea – Bushy Needlewood

A pink flowering form of the hakea decurrens has recently flowered – fragrant like the white.

Shows close up pink flowers, hakea decurrens, Edward Hunter Heritage Bush Reserve

Pink flowers, hakea decurrens: showing channel on underside of leaf

Open seed pod of pink flowering form of hakea decurrens, Edward Hunter Heritage Bush Reserve

Open seed pod of pink flowering form of hakea decurrens

Shows pink flowers of hakea decurrens, Bushy Needlewood, Edward Hunter Heritage Bush Reserve

Pink flowering hakea decurrens, Bushy Needlewood

Furze Hakea

Hakea decurrens differs from the Furze Hakea (Hakea Ulicina) – it flowers earlier. Also, the leaves of the Furze are flattened, and twist from the base at 90 degrees. The flowers, whilst showy, are not fragrant. They are very much on display now – around the A Frame carpark , on the eastern side of the reservoir and on the southern edge of the Reserve.

Seed pods of the Furze Hakea (hakea ulicina), Edward Hunter Heritage Bush Reserve

Seed pods of the Furze Hakea (hakea ulicina). Leaves are twisted with a pointy end.

Shows seed pods of hakea ulicina, Edward Hunter Heritage Bush Reserve

Seed pods of the hakea ulicina or Furze Hakea: leaves twisted 90 degrees at base and flat rather than needle like

Shows flowering hakea decurrens, Edward Hunter Heritage Bush Reserve

Hakea ulicina, in flower

Further resources:

Yarra Ranges Shire Council (2009) Hakea ulicina Yarra Ranges Local Plant Directory http://www.yarraranges.vic.gov.au/Residents/Yarra_Ranges_Plant_Directory/Middle_Storey/Shrubs_32-10m/Hakea_ulicina

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