Monthly Archives: July 2013

Wild fennel -Foeniculum vulgare

Latin Name: Foeniculum vulgare

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Description: A green leafy perennial herb, it can be 2 m high and 45 cm wide. The leaves are very fine , have a feathery appearance and when crushed they smell like aniseed. The stems are ribbed and at the bottom of the stalks there is a broad green section.  The flower at the top is a group of small yellow flowers. The seeds are oval and ribbed and about 5 mm long. Ripe fruit are wingless which distinguishes it from dill. There are several named cultivated varieties.

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White Clover -Trifolium repens

Latin Name: Trifolium repens

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Description: A creeping or erect herb. It keeps growing from year to year. It grows 20 cm high. The stems are creeping and hairless and root at the nodes. The leaves have 3 leaflets. The leaflets can be oval or heart shaped. They have a dent in at the ends. They are hairless. They are on long stalks and usually have a white band. The flowers are white and in a round head. It is on a stalk that is longer than the leaves. The pods are narrowly oblong. They are 4-5 mm long. There are 2-5 seeds.

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Warrigal greens -Tetragonia tetragonoides

Latin Name: Tetragonia tetragonoides

Description: A perennial branched herb. It starts growing erect but after this lies over. It then grows along the ground up to 12 cm high. The stems can spread out to 1 m along the ground. The leaves are small and thick on round fleshy stems, triangle shaped, 4-6 cm long. They have distinct veins underneath. The flowers are yellow and 8 mm across and are hidden at the base of the leaves. The fruit is up to 1 cm long and with 4 or 5 horns on top.

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Turkey Rhubarb -Acetosa sagittata

Latin Name: Acetosa sagittata

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Description: A creeper, keeps growing from year to year up to 2 m high. The leaves are smooth and arrow-shaped. They are 3-7 cm long. They are pale green and soft. The flowers develop clusters of papery capsules about 1 cm wide changing from pale green to reddish-brown when mature.

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Trad -Tradescantia fluminensis

Latin Name: Tradescantia fluminensis

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Description: A perennial ground cover that spreads along the ground with soft, hairless stems and leaves. The fleshy stems root at any node that is on the surface. The plant has oval, dark-green leaves with pointed tips that are shiny, smooth and slightly fleshy about 1.25 – 2.5 inches long. The flowers are white with three petals and approx. 0.5 – 1-inch in diameter. They are produced in small clusters in summer but do not produce seeds.

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Sowthistle -Sonchus spp

Latin Name: Sonchus spp

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Description: An erect annual hairy herb with a milky sap. It is 40 to 60 cm high, bluish-green, the leaves are alternate, do not have stalks and half clasp the stem. Leaves are 10 to 20 cm long and very coarsely lobed. Flower heads are about 1 cm long and yellow. The fruit is dry and 3 ribbed, it opens to a round white ball. The seeds blow in the wind.

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Shepherd purse -Capsella bursa-pastoris

Latin Name: Capsella bursa-pastoris

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Description: A cabbage family herb. It is an annual plant or it can take 2 years to complete its life cycle. The stem is erect. It grows to 60 cm high. It has a rosette of leaves near the base. The leaves vary in shape and are toothed along the edge. The upper leaves are smaller, sword shaped and without stalks. The flowers are white. They are in clusters at the ends of branches. The fruit is a flat, triangular, pod.

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Scurvy weed -Commelina cyanea

Latin Name: Commelina cyanea

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Description: A weak straggling herb. It is an evergreen plant, grows to 30 cm high and spreads to 2 m across. The stems are weak and fleshy, and lie along the ground forming roots at the nodes. The leaves are green or blue, and sword shaped, 3-7 cm long, by 2 cm across. They form a sheath at the base. The flowers are bright blue, with 3 petals, 1.5 cm across. The flowers are carried on a branched flower stalk and open in the morning to then collapse by afternoon.

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Salsify -Tragopogon porrifolius

Latin Name: Tragopogon porrifolius

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Description: A herb which keeps growing from year to year. It can be up to 1.5 m high and spreads to 1 m wide. It has a white thickened root. It can grow for one or two years. It has a clump of long leaves a little like an onion. They are bluish-green and grass-like. They clasp the stem and are keeled along the back surface. It produces long stalked purplish flower heads. The flowers are 3-6 cm across. The cut leaves produce milky sap.

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Sagittaria (Sagittaria platyphylla)

Latin Name: Sagittaria platyphylla

Origin: Native from USA to Panama

Habitat: Shallow water and muddy or sandy shores. Streams, lakes, and tidal areas from sea level to 700 metres.

Source: Australian Plant Image Index  Image by: Fagg, M.

Source: Australian Plant Image Index
Image by: Fagg, M.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Description: Perennial aquatic to about 1.2 m high with tubers commonly formed. Submerged leaves translucent, strap-like, to 50 cm long. Emergent leaves lanceolate to linear-lanceolate, blade to 28 cm long and to 10 cm wide on a long stalk. Fruit a cluster (head) 0.5–1.5 cm across, consisting of 1-seeded segments, each segment flattened, winged, 1.5–3 mm long…. source: Weeds Australia

Emergent rhizomatous aquatic perennial; root tubers commonly formed, to 4 cm long and 1.5 cm wide. source: Plant NET Flora Online

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Sagittaria (Sagittaria platyphylla) is an emergent aquatic perennial to 1.2 m tall, rooted in the swamp floor and reproducing by seeds, rhizomes (underground stems) and tubers. The stems are triangular in cross-section. The submerged leaves are translucent and strap-like, to 50 cm long. The emergent leaves (those rising out of the water) are lance-shaped to 28 cm long and 10 cm wide, on a long stalk. … source: Weeds in Australia

Physical Characteristics: Perennial aquatic to about 1.2 m high with tubers commonly formed. Submerged leaves translucent, strap-like, to 50 cm long. Emergent leaves lanceolate to linear-lanceolate, blade to 28 cm long and to 10 cm wide on a long stalk. Fruit a cluster (head) 0.5–1.5 cm across, consisting of 1-seeded segments, each segment flattened, winged, 1.5–3 mm long.
Flowers: Inflorescence on a leafless stalk, always below leaf height, with 2–12 whorls of fls. Flowers with 3 white petals and 3 sepals, male flowers c. 3 cm wide and with reflexed sepals. Flowers mainly spring to autumn, depending on latitude.
The flowers are monoecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but both sexes can be found on the same plant) and are pollinated by Insects.

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Notes: Now widespread and common in N Victoria, SW NSW and around Sydney, Newcastle and SE Qld. Becoming increasingly common in irrigation supply channels, drains, shallow creeks and wetlands. Shade tolerant. Forms dense patches, obstructing water flow and producing luxuriant growth in enriched conditions. Competes vigorously with native waterplants.

Edibility Rating out of 5: 1

Medicinal Rating out of 5: 0

Edible Uses: Root – cooked. Contains 4 – 7% protein. Young shoots – cooked.

Resources: 

Wikispiecies