Victor Harbor Spring Flowers August –September 2023

on 2nd March 2024

This post features a select few endemic and feral flowering plants that I encountered while visiting Victor Harbor. I utilised the iNaturalist app and internet searches to help put a name to the plants and stand corrected by people who are more well-versed than me in plant taxonomy. Only areas which I could reach easily on foot were visited and my hope is that this photo gallery can document the spring flowers that emerge in late winter and early spring within the small area that I accessed.

The photos are arranged in alphabetical order of the scientific name instead of the chronological time that the photos were taken. Some specimens were photographed over a few days as the buds took some time to bloom fully. Other specimens were photographed a few metres away as the blooms were at their best. The photos are from my iNaturalist app and personal photos from Wong Kais’ collection.

  1. Acacia longifolia (Longleaf wattle)
Image 1a: 15 August 2023 Family: Fabaceae (bean family) Plant habit and inflorescences.
Image 1b: 15 August 2023 Family: Fabaceae (bean family) Dense flower clusters on inflorescences.

2. Acacia paradoxa (Kangaroo thorn)

Image 2a: 16 August 2023 Family: Fabaceae (bean family) Flower clusters in shape of pom-poms.
Image 2b: Inflorescences at different stages of opening.
Image 2c: Vicious thorns grow at the base of the phyllodes ( leaf stalk modified into leaf). The thorns deter browsing by animals.

3. Acacia pycnantha (Golden wattle)

Image 3a: 15 August 2023 Family: Fabaceae (bean family)
Image 3b: Eliptical-shaped leaves.
Image 3c: Globose inflorescence.

Wattles provide many traditional people with bush food. The sap, wood and seeds are much sought after. These plants are also food plants of caterpillar and adult moths and butterflies.

4. Aeonium (Tree Houseleek)

Image 4a: This is a flowering inflorescence of Aeonium sp. Photo attribute Wong Kais. 20 August 2023 Family: Crassulaceae . Also known as Tree Houseleeks. This family of succulents are also known as stone-crops. They are hardy plants which store water in the leaves and stems. The plants utilise Crassulacean acid metabolism (CAM). These plants photosynthesize in the day but the stomata exchange carbon dioxide and oxygen in the night, versus photosynthesis and gaseous exchange in the day in non-CAM plants.
Image 4b: The plant habit and inflorescences are evident from this perspective. Photo attribute Wong Kais. 20 August 2023
Image 4c: The clump was growing on the side walk of Bridge Terrace. Photo attribute Wong Kais. 20 August 2023

5. Arctotheca calendula (Capeweed)

Image 5a: 14 September 2023 Family: Asteraceae (daisy family). Originated from South Africa but naturalised in many countries including Australia. Considered a weed in Australia. Flowers of the Asteraceae are generally referred to as daisies.
Image 5b: Plants are squat rosettes which spread on the ground through stolons (stems which grow horizontally).

6. Atriplex cinerea (Grey saltbush)

Image 6a: 26 August 2023. Family: Amaranthaceae. Planted in coastal areas to hold soil together, aiding sand dune stability. The stem is angular.
Image 6b: The leaves are silvery grey-green and covered with hairs. The silvery appearance allow the plants to reflect excessive light falling on the leaves, reducing temperature rise. The hairs on the leaf surface trap water moisture around the leaves, reducing water loss.
Image 6c: Young male inflorescences which are yet to bloom. I did not look for the female flowers which are nestled in the leaf axils.

7. Banksia repens (Creeping banksia)

Image 7a: Photo attribute Wong Kais. 30 August 2023. Family: Proteaceae.
Image 7b: An inflorescence with flowers maturing but not bloom (anthesis) yet.
Image 7c: Flowers occur in pairs. Pink coloured perianths (sepals and petals) can be observed here. The styles have not emerged yet. Banksia flowers are popular with honeyeater birds and insects.
Image 7d: Photo attribute Wong Kais. 30 August 2023. This species has a creeping habit. Flower inflorescences at different stages of growth.

8. Carpobrotus rossii (Australian Pig Face)

Image 8a: Photo attribute Wong Kais. 14 August 2023 (9 September 2023) Family: Aizoaceae. Creeping succulent with large, attractive daisy-like flowers. The succulent leaves are tinted red and may be an indication that the leaves have been around for some time.
Image 8b: Carpobrotus rossii, introduced species. Wong Kais. 14 August 2023
Image 8c: Carpobrotus edulis, yellow-flowered variety. There are approximately 400 stamens in the centre of the flower. The salty tasting fruits of Carpobrotus edulis, known as cape fig/Hottentot fig/pigface/sour fig and leaves are relished as healthy bush foods. Wong Kais 27 August 2023

9. Eucalyptus sp.

Image 9a: Photo attribute Wong Kais. Low hanging branch covered in scarlet flowers. 5 September 2023 Family: Myrtaceae (myrtle family)
Image 9b: Photo attribute Wong Kais. Flowers at different stages of opening. 5 September 2023 Family: Myrtaceae (myrtle family)
Image 9c: Photo attribute Wong Kais. Some flowers have wilted, leaving the capsules to complete their development. 5 September 2023 Family: Myrtaceae (myrtle family)

10. Euphorbia sp. (Spurges)

Image 10a: Euphorbia paralias(?) Wong Kais 20 August 2023
Image 10b: 23 August 2023 Family: Euphorbiaceae (spurges). The members of this family produce white milky sap that can irritate eyes and skin. The Christmas poinsettias (Euphorbia pulcherrima) and para rubber trees (Hevea brasiliensis) are members of this family.
Image 10c: The coloured bracts supercede the actual flowers in attractiveness. Wong Kais 20 August 2023

11. Fumaria sp. (Fumitories)

Image 11a: 14 September 2023 Family: Papaveraceae (poppy family). Some Fumaria sp. are utilised in traditional medicine for their purported analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties. Papaver rhoeas, the poppy flower that is used to remember fallen soldiers during World War 1 is a member of this family.
Image 11b: The tips of the flower petals are tinted a dark purple.
Image 11c: Leaves are pinnatisect (leaves are cut deeply in lobes, reaching the midrib).
Image 11d: Close-up of flowers.
Image 11e: Flower clusters near tip of growing points. Photo attribute Wong Kais. 1 September 2023

12. Freesia leichtlinii (Dune Kammetjie)

Image 12a: 30 August 2023. Family: Iridaceae (Iris family) Subfamily: Crocoideae (Crocus) Grow from corms
Image 12b: 30 August 2023. A native of South Africa but now naturalised in many coastal areas of Australia. The flowers were short-lived and I did not spot any more flowers after a week.

13. Gazania x splendens (Garden Treasure Flower)

Image 13a: 14 September 2023 Family: Asteraceae ( commonly known as compositae/daisy/aster/sunflower family)

Image 13b: 14 September 2023. Native to South Africa but now popular as garden plants. Blooms come in different colours and colour combinations.

14. Lagurus ovatus (Hare’s Tail Grass)

Image 14a: 14 September 2023 Family: Poaceae (grass family). A very large group of grasses that include bamboos and cereals. Lemon grass (Cymbopogon citratus), a popular ingredient in South-East Asian cooking; and citronella grass Cymbopogon nardus, formerly Lagurus nardus, which yields citronella oil that is used as insect repellent are members of this family too. Imperata cylindrica, formerly Lagurus cylindricus, (lallang in Malay) is utilised as an ingredient in herbal concoctions by Chinese.
Image 14b: A clump of hare’s tail. The dyed flower spikes are popular in dried flower arrangements in Singapore.
Image 14c: Close-up of a grass spike. The versatile anthers shake in the wind, liberating wind-borne pollen grains. Wong Kais 1 September 2023

15. Melaleuca lanceolata (Moonah)

Image 15a: 16 August 2023 Family: Myrtaceae (myrtle) Common name black paperbark and Western black tea tree. A beautiful large bush/small tree growing on Granite Island.
Image 15b: 16 August 2023 Flowering branches
Image 15c: 16 August 2023 Woody fruit capsules

16. Oxalis pes-caprae (Bermuda buttercup/sour sob)

Image 16a: Photo attribute to Wong Kais. 31 August 2023 Family: Oxalidaceae The plants flowered profusely and grew to about 60 cm in height. In contrast, the same species grow to about 50 cm in height, with minute flowers in Singapore. The leaves and flowers can be eaten, oxalic acid imbue a sour taste. The star-fruit (Averrhoa carambola) and the sour belimbing (Averrhoa bilimbi) used in South-East Asian cooking are other edible members of this family.
Image 16b: Attractive bright yellow flowers presenting their best to the camera. Wong Kais. 31 August 2023
Image 16c: The yellow anthers and nectar guide lines (guide insects to the nectar glands while getting the insects to pollinate the flowers) are visible.
Image 16d: The flowers close at night and they have not opened for the day. Wong Kais . 31 August 2023.

17. Oxalis purpurea (Purple woodsorrel)

Image 17a: 14 September 2023 Family: Oxalidaceae These plants were seen at Kent Reserve. They were inconspicuous and were photographed when I walked into their growth patch.
Image 17b: The plant is ground-hugging and the solitarily growing flowers push up from the grass patch. Wong Kais. 2 September 2023
Image 17c: Leaves comprise three leaflets each. Native to South Africa and popular as ornamental. Wong Kais 2 September 2023

18. Plantago coronopus (Buck’s-horn plantain)

Image 18a: 14 September 2023 Family: Plantaginaceae. Native to Eurasia and introduced to Australia. Leaves can be eaten raw or blanched.
Image 18b: Multiple inflorescences arise from the rosette plants.
Image 18c: The narrow hairy leaves are lance-like in appearance.

19. Prunus (plums, cherries, allies)

Image 19a: 22 August 2023 Family: Rosaceae This Prunus x blireiana, an ornamental tree, grows in front of South Coast Realty Victor along Crozier Road. The pink cherry blossoms emerged before winter was over. Red-purple leaves emerged after the flowers bloomed and gradually became the attractive feature of the plant.
Image 19b: Baby-pink blossoms.
Image 19c: The tips of the darker coloured anthers enhanced the beauty of the flowers.
Image 19d: 3 September 2023 These white coloured blooms were seen along Torrens Street. They bloomed 2 weeks later than the pink blireianas. The leaves that emerged later were green.
Image 19e: 3 September 2023 The buds and white blooms were as attractive as the pink ones along Crozier Road.
Image 19f: One newly bloomed flower displays reddish anthers. Wong Kais 3 September 2023

20. Reichardia tingitana (False sow-thistle)

Image 20a: 14 September 2023 Family: Asteraceae This species of daisy grow in saline soil and arid deserts. Introduced from Middle East into Australia. Leaves used in traditional medicine in Middle East.
Image 20b: Leaves are serrated along the margins. Flowers are an attractive golden yellow in colour.
Image 20c: As is typical of asters, the dried flowers release achenes (single-seeded fruits) topped by pappus (tuff of hair for wind dispersal).

21. Scabiosa atropurpurea (formerly Sixalis atropurpurea) (Sweet scabious)

Image 21a: 14 September 2023 Family: Caprifoliaceae (Honeysuckle family) Native of Southern Europe. Also known as pincushion flower/mournful widow/mourning bride!
Image 21b: Good as cut flower. Often treated as a weed in South Australia. A head of slightly tubular flowers at varying stages of opening.
Image 21c: The underside of the head of flowers shows a calyx formed by bracts.

22. Sparaxis bulbifera (Butter silklily)

Image 22a: 14 September 2023 Family: Iridaceae (Iris family) Subfamily: Crocoideae (Crocus) Also known harlequin flower. Native of South Africa. Bulb-forming.
Image 22b: Iridaceae members are monocotyledonous plants. This flower demonstrates the multiples of three (2×3=6) perianth parts (petals and sepals which look alike) of monocots.
Image 22c: Wong Kais 1 September 2023 This flower is creamy white with a yellow centre.
Image 22d: Wong Kais 1 September 2023 Wilted flowers.

23. Vicia sativa (Common vetch)

Image 23a: 14 September 2023 Family: Fabaceae Plants are planted to provide green manure, to enrich soils with help of nitrogen-fixing bacteria housed in the roots and forage for farm animals.
Image 23b: Flowers are described as butterfly-like. In older plant classification, this plant was classified as a Papillionaceae
Image 23c: Scrambler which produces edible bean pods.


  1. A guide to Flowers & Plants of Tasmania by Launceston Field Naturalists Club Third Edition ©1981 Edited by Mary Cameron
  2. Common Wildflowers of Western Australia
  3. Cronin’s Key Guide: Australian Wildlife by Leonard Cronin © 2007
  4. Kojonup Western Australia Self Drive Wildflower Tours
  5. Name that Flower: The Identification of Flowering Plants by Ian Clarke and Helen Lee ©1987
  6. Where birds sing and wildflowers dance: A companion for exploring South Australia’s National Parks by Jason Tyndall ©2021

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