Sunday, 20 April 2008

A confusing variety

Kathie Strickland, in her book Foothills to Foreshore, states that the Cranberry Heath Astroloma humifusum is very variable. And I agree. This one we found today in the Brisbane Ranges was shrubby, upright, blue-green. Its flowers were on the outside of the foliage. So different to the ones I'm used to seeing in our bush at Homerton. There the Cranberry Heath hugs the ground, and is green rather then blue-green. The edges of the leaves aren't as hairy. I have to push the foliage aside to find the flowers.

Astroloma means 'star with a fringe' and refers to the tufts of hair inside the corolla tube.

When we were children we used to lift the leaves off the ground to hunt for the tiny green fruits underneath and eat them. The name Cranberry Heath seems appropriate.

Cranberry Heath

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