Xanthorrhoea minor

November Wildflowers: Part 1

The last month of Spring seems to be the peak flowering period for Australian native plants that grow around here. In November they were the most spectacular, as well as the most plentiful.  Leading into this month, rainfall had been good, the dam was full, and the ground moist. The late Spring sun shone down on blooms of violet, yellow, pink, blue and white.

So here is part one of November Wildflowers.

I’m a much better photographer now that I was in November, so please forgive the blurry photographs.

Plain Sun-orchid Thelymitra nuda R. Br.

I took this photograph before I realised it was an orchid, otherwise I would have taken several more.  If my memory serves me well, it was a deeper shade of purple than this photo shows. My camera seems to have an aversion to photographing blue and violet flowers clearly. It must be something to do with the light.

Sun Orchid
There are a few different species of Sun Orchid, but I think we have the Plain Sun-orchid Thelymitra nuda R. Br.
Small Grass-tree Xanthorrhoea minor

The back third of our property is littered with Xanthorrhoea minor.  Most of the year, it looks like scrubby grassland, but in November this land turns into an exotic garden, filled with two metre flower spikes and drifts of butterflies.  I can’t wait to see them in bloom again.

Xanthorrhoea minor
The flower spikes on the Xanthorrhoea minor were spectacular – almost two metres in length
Xanthorrhoea minor
The soft, almost velvety flower spikes were rich in nectar, attracting multitudes of butterflies for months.
Xanthorrhoea minor
The height of these flower spikes meant it was possible to see where the plants were growing – even when we could not see the plant itself.
Xanthorrhoea minor
Butterflies feeding on the nectar.
Chocolate Lily Arthropodium strictum

Unfortunately I did not manage to take a photo of this flower while it was still in the ground.  It was growing in a location which was being slashed to prepare for the fire season.  At the last-minute, I rescued this one, simply so I could photograph it.  My recollection is that Chocolate Lilies were fairly common in November.  Hopefully they will grow again this November so I can capture the full flower.

There are a few different types of Chocolate Lily and my photograph is not clear enough to distinguish which particular one it may be.

Looking at the sad state of the lily in these photos makes me feel sad that we couldn’t leave it where it was growing.

Chocolate Lily
Another name for the Chocolate Lily is the Grass Lily. As you can see from the buds, it had many blooms to emerge.
Chocolate Lily
The structure of the flower can partly be seen here. Three large frilly petals and in between these, three long narrow petals, with deep purple stamens.

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