Fire blog 3: Floral wonderland – not weeds!

Flinders Chase is likely to transform into floral wonderland in the springs of 2020 and 2021. In particular many short lived ephemerals will germinate from dormant seed, grow quickly, flower and then disappear in a year or two until the next fire. Some good examples are:

Kangaroo Island cressIrenepharsus phasmatodes Hewson, has small white, but strongly fragrant flowers, it occurs only on Kangaroo Island.

Irenepharsus phasmatodes growing on Kangaroo Island. Photo: SA Seed Conservation Centre.

False tobacco — Apalochlamys spectabilis J.H.Willis, has pungent smelling leaves and large spike of many flowers, it grows in dunes and other sandy soils.

Apalochlamys spectabilis. Photos: SA Seed Conservation Centre & R. Taylor (inset).

Oondooroo — Solanum simile F.Muell, has distinctive lush green foliage and blue flowers, it is often associated with mallee eucalypt woodlands.

Solanum simile at Mount Remarkable National Park. Photo: SA Seed Conservation Centre.

All these three species were growing together along the Snake Lagoon to Rocky River mouth walk in 1993 after a fire, with specimens lodged in the State Herbarium collection.

These species are sometimes mistaken as weeds because of their appearance and life cycle.

Contributed by State Herbarium botanist Martin O’Leary.