Spring has come early....

There are lots of plants coming into flower at the moment, as well as a few autumn flowers still hanging on! Here are a few shots from round our garden at the moment...

The Allocasuarina nana, a Dwarf She-oak, is looking spectacular. The male flowers are making the whole plant appear reddish-brown. We don't have a female plant in the garden here, but the flowers would be a brighter red and appear along the stems. 

This dwarf she-oak, Allocasuarina nana, has brightly coloured male flowers. Image by Emma Rooksby.

Hairpin Banksia (Banksia spinulosa), late flowering. Image by Emma Rooksby. 

One of the special plants that grow round here is Bolwarra (Eupomatia laurina), which looks rather prehistoric with its large glossy leaves and bulging fruits. They grow well indoors, and in part or full shade. This plant has been in the ground for around 2 years and seems perfectly content. It had a lot of fruit last year, but we didn't get to try any as the birds ate them all first...
Bolwarra (Eupomatia laurina) growing densely in part shade. Image by Emma Rooksby.
It looks like it's going to be a good year for some of the orchids. This Sydney Rock Orchid (Dendrobium speciosum, also known as Thelychiton speciosus) is quite small but has developed two handsome sprays of buds. The flowers will be here in a few weeks.
Sydney Rock Orchid doing well in the shade of an Illawarra Flame Tree. Image by Emma Rooksby.
Many of the plants in our garden grow naturally in the portion of Illawarra where there is Hawkesbury sandstone. This is one of the less commonly cultivated plants from that area: Privet-leafed Mallee (Eucalyptus ligustrina). The young leaves do look a bit like privet, but have a beautiful reddish tinge that privet can't beat!
The rather unusual Privet-Leafed Mallee. Image by Emma Rooksby.
And almost obligatory at this time of year, a couple of shots of Twining Guinea Flower (Hibbertia dentata) which is growing up and around many of our other plants, and flowering very well at the moment, more or less in season.

And last but not least, here's a shot of some Pennyworts (Hydrocotyle peduncularis and Hydrocotyle tripartita) spreading happily among our other groundcovers. Pennyworts prefer damp soil but can cope with a fair bit of sun  and competition from other species. They are an excellent addition to mixed native meadows where they can ramble among other species. 
Hydrocotyle peduncularis has broad leaves, while H. tripartita has smaller leaves with three distinct lobes, a bit like some Clover (Oxalis) species. I originally mistook the H. tripartita for Clover and spent some time trying to remove it! Image by Emma Rooksby.

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