What’s Underfoot? It is now at least 10 years since stock (sheep and cattle) were removed from Yallaroo. In that time both trees and shrubs have regenerated in large numbers. There is also another group of plants that have appreciated the reduction in grazing animals. These are the native herbaceous plants (those without woody stems). These often colourful plants have appeared in great numbers. Many of these plants have horticultural potential but are virtually unknown in cultivation. Most could be cultivated in native cottage gardens.
These are just some of the “underfoot” or “ankle-high” plants, which bring colour and interest to many areas of Yallaroo. A fuller description and image of most of these plants has appeared or will appear in our plants section. Bulbine bulbosa, the Bulbine Lily, appear in large numbers in late winter and by spring produce carpets of golden flowers. Calotis lappulacea, the Yellow Burr Daisy, is now common and each plant carries many yellow flower heads. Another yellow-flowering daisy is Chrysocephalum (was Helichrysum) apiculatum, Yellow Buttons. This numerous plant has wooly, aromatic leaves and yellow flower heads. Ajuga australis is known as the Australian Bugle and has a rosette of purple leaves surmounted by whorls of blue flowers.
Ground orchids are now relatively common. Diuris, Pterostylis (Greenhoods) and Caladenia are some genera making a comeback. The Hyacinth Orchid, Dipodium punctatum now appears in many areas in December and January.
Many of these plants disappear from areas that are heavily grazed or pasture “improved” with exotic grasses such as Phalaris. Native grasslands with their “underfoot” plants are just as precious as any other Australian eco-system.