(Photos: E. Cousins, shrub in April, flowers in October; Cape Jervis)
We have been eyeing off this dainty acacia at Cape Jervis for a while now, and were pleased to have it identified recently by Martin O’Leary at the State Herbarium. The name is very descriptive, in that ‘nemato’ means thread-like, and ‘phyllon’ means leaf in Greek. The leaves are really phyllodes, about 2-4cm long, and REALLY narrow, at no more than 1.5mm. They are also hairless, grey-green, and fairly straight with a slightly hook at the tip. At about 11cm, the leathery brown seed pods are a lot longer than these short, thin leaves. Another identifier is the flower: the flower ball is always single, attached to the stem by a short little branch. Although the peak flower season is summer, this acacia does flower for most of the year. The specimens we have seen are only knee high yet, but it can grow to 2.5m. A nice small shrub for your garden??
UPRIGHT YELLOW FLAX
(Photos: C. Schultz; weed growing with other plants; a stem; close-up of top flower head)
There are heaps of differences between the weedy Upright Yellow Flax and the Native Flax (Linum marginale). One is size: the weed is a good bit smaller, growing to shin high. Also, the Upright Yellow Flax is single stemmed, whereas the native flax branches out. As you can see in the photos above, the ‘yellow’ relates to the 5-petalled flowers clustered around the upper part of the stem, and bunched at the top. These are pollinated by insects. The flowers are less than 1cm across, so you can see this means from the middle photo that the leaves are spaced about half a centimeter apart, spaced alternately around the stem. You can also see it means the leaves are a lot longer than they are wide (up to 25mm long by no more than 5mm wide)! One thing you can’t see in the photo is that the leaves have minute teeth along their edges. You can though see a well-defined central vein. The leaves feel rough to the touch, while the whole plant is quite stiff and erect.