Flowers of the forest: Pyrete Range

An early spring walk in the Pyrete range, starting from Antimony Mine Rd north of Bacchus Marsh, heading up the ridgetop and then down the creekbed to the old Antimony Mine.

DSC_0639 As you walk north from the park entrance, the ridgetop understorey of mostly Golden Wattle (Acacia pycnantha) grades into grass trees (Xanthorrea australis I would guess) and Bushy Needlewood (Hakea decurrens; ouch).

DSC_0643Stringybark and ironbark Eucalypts make up most of the trees, but they are small and stunted on the shallow, stony ridgetop soil. Occasionally, Eggs & Bacon (a bush pea) pops up in an explosion of colour among the subdued Silvertop Wallaby-grass (Rytidosperma pallidum).

DSC_0637Something I hadn’t expected was a handful of Cat’s Claw Grevillea (G. alpina) which were growing at a high point on the ridge.

DSC_0647In the gully leading to the site of the old antimony mine, a colony of Silver Banksia (Banksia marginata) has established.

Banksia marginata

The Banksia isn’t so exciting since it’s not currently flowering. Down near the dry creek-bed (a tributary of Coimadai Creek aka Pyrites Creek), Purple Coral-pea (Hardenbergia violacea) pops up, twining around a Dianella leaf in this photo.

DSC_0655And my favourite inflorescence of the walk was this “crucifix” of Hakea decurrens. A good candidate for an antipodean crown of thorns too: approach with caution!

DSC_0654

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