Plant of the Month – October 2015


(Caesia calliantha)

(Photos: J. Reid, E. Cousins; plant, flowering stalk, single flower; Cape Jervis )

What a stand-out blue in those petals! It certainly makes the flowers easily spotted in the region. And the colour doesn’t stop with the six petals…look at those lovely bands of white, purpley-blue and yellow on the stamens. Even the strappy green leaves are a rich colour. You will find this shin-high plant in grasslands, and the grassy understorey of bush, particularly if there is damp sandy or clay soil. The flowers appear in clusters of 1-3, along a stem that grows to 50cm high. The blue spiral shape you see in the last photo is actually a dying flower, not a brand new one unfurling. Look out for the flower stalks in spring and summer; after that, you might find the fruit capsules instead.