Plant of the Month-June 2018


(Exocarpos aphyllus)

(Photos: C. Schultz, Cape Jervis)

We were pretty impressed with ourselves in April, 2017, when we found this specimen of the leafless cherry at Cape Jervis. It is a local plant listed as ‘vulnerable’ and so it was good to see about 10 plants in the vicinity looking quite healthy. Part of the sandalwood family (of which the quandong is a member), this is a semi-parasitic shrub to 3.5m, needing the roots of a host tree. As you can see, it is much-branched, with no leaves. The grey-green branches are rigid, and often come from the stems almost at right angles (‘divaricate’). Any flowers are likely to appear from July on; these are very small, and appear in clusters or spikes, just 2-4mm long. The fruits look like little domed ‘hats’, 7-8mm in diameter.