Flowers of Middle Head
Flowers of Bradley Head

Ever Wondered What Native Flower is That?

As a lover of all things in nature and big and small in Sydney Harbour National Park, I have developed a passion for sharing my love for all the native plants that are found on Middle Head.

Here are some of my favourite floral displays I love to show visitors on my tours. So I wonder if you too feel the same. Let’s find out.

Lilac Lily

The Lilac Lily (Schelhammera undulata) is a solitary flowering herb with pink to violet petals grow out from a stalk. This little beauty is found growing in moist sandy soil in shady places within the Sydney Harbour National Park. The Lilac Lily is in bloom July to September but you have to know where to look to find it.

Hops Bush

The Hops Bush (Dodonaea triquetra) has unusual green, 3 cornered membranous with rounded edges that resemble the fruit of the beer brewing hops species. It has slender but large leaves that are dark green with pointed tips and visible veins.

Coastal Rosemary

The Coastal Rosemary (Westringia fruticosa) is a dense along exposed coastal heat, it can withstand shrub with dark green narrow pointed leaves with margins the curve downwards to channel water droplets towards the base of the plant to be soaked up by the roots. Found in shallow soilsd strong winds. Noticeable by the irregular shaped white, pink or blue flowers at the top of a well-leafed stem.

Heathy Parrot Pea

The Heathy Parrot Pea our Eggs and Bacon (Dillynia retorta) is a endemic plant to Sydney Harbour National Park. It is a dense and spreading twiggy shrub that grows to a height of upto 2m it thrives in heath shrub land on sandy soil. Vibrant yellow ear-like flowers bloom in clusters during the months of July to November that have a scarlet centre.

Prickly Moses

The Prickly Moses (Acacia ulicifolia) is a wattle that grows in open forest, woodlands and heath on sandy soils with low fertility. Flowers are pale cream sphere-like heads on long stems beyond the reach of the prickly needle-like leaves that defies the touch.

Sunshine Wattle

Sunshine Wattle (Acacia terminalis) is endangered due to habit loss and competing invasive plant species. However, there are still individual plants still situated throughout the park and with ongoing conservation efforts from local community groups and such as Mosman High School Enviro Group in partnership with NSW Parks and Taronga Zoo, the number of individual plants are increasing. A unique wattle that is a the forefront of conservationist’s minds.

Sydney Golden Wattle

The Sydney Golden Wattle (Acacia longifolia) has yellow flowers resembling balls are grouped together along the stalk that gives a cylindrical appearance. The  long leathery leaves are not leaves, rather, phyllodes with longitudinal veins that run through them. Phyllodes do not have stomata or pores as true leaves do. This is so moisture is not lost through transpiration during dry conditions. 

Wallum Heath

The Wallum Heath (Epacris pulchella) is a native plant found throughout sandstone heath that has a sticky appearance with gorgeous white to deep pink flowers along its stem. A pleasant display of flowers among the heath landscape of Sydney Harbour National Park bushland.

Common Aotus

The Common Aotus (Aotus ericoides) is found all along the Eastern Suburbs Banksia Scrub (ESBS) landscapes within Sydney Harbour National Park. This flowering shrub loves shallow sandy soil usually along sandstone gullies with an abundance of sunlight.

Love Creeper

The Love Creeper (Glycine clandestina) is a climber with a very slim stalk that has 3 leaflets growing out from a short stalk. The flowers are petite with shades of purple to mauve that vary in shape and size. Similar to other pea flowers.

Happy Wanderer

The Happy Wanderer (Hardenbergia violacea) is a climbing vine with small bright purple flowers that are pea shaped with alternating leathery leaves that are dark green and oval shaped.

Flannel Flower

The Flannel Flower (Actinotus helanthi) is endemic to Sydney Harbour National Park and blooms between September to April. It gets its name from the woolly-like hairs and fluffy tuffs that appear all over the plant and the creamy white flower blooms on top.

Although I have selected these plant species to showcase to visitors, there are so many other unique and gorgeous flowering plants located in Sydney Harbour National Park.

For further information, I recommend Australian Plant Society NSW.

About Author

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Alan Toner
Founder of Sydney Harbour EcoWalks Tours.

Comments

Danielle
06/09/2020
I was blown away with the flowers that where in bloom back in March. To see all of those would be spectacular. I remember you mentioning the Sunshine Wattle durning our walk, it’s gorgeous and great to see local groups coming together to assist with the declining numbers. Last note, you have an eye for nature photography.

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