Plant of the Month: Ouch, Spiky!

Flora, Plant of the Month

Plant of the Month: Ouch, Spiky!

One of my favourite groups of plants are the Epacrids (recently lumped in with the Ericaceae), small shrubby plants with small spiky leaves, parallel venation and tubular flowers with five petals, these can be roughly divided into dry fruit and fleshy fruit with the fleshy fruited ones usually being pretty tasty.

Epacrids are generally found on low pH sandy or granitic soils and are a common feature of heathlands with Port Stephens having some great examples. 

Bearded Heath Leucopogon spp

The Leucopogons are a short shrub to about 1 metre in height with short spiky leaves to about 15mm long, they are well known for their small, white flowers with hairy corolla (Leucos- white, pogon – beard) and produce small sweet fruits about 4-5mm diameter.