Water Buttons are a native of South Africa, but naturalised in all Australian states and New Zealand.
These hairless, low-growing, perennial herbs flower in Winter and Spring and grow on a range of soils from sandy loam to clay, but are restricted to wet soils that are periodically flooded according to Mr Google.
They generally exist in moderately saline, waterlogged soils and may form large mats over shallow water, but the images in this post were made in Melbourne’s Royal Botanic Gardens.
Not sure that the patch of plants was in water-logged soil in the RBG, but they were flowering profusely all the same.
I could have chosen to photograph just one flower, but then you wouldn’t get a sense of how gorgeous they are en masse. Their button-like flowers tend to turn throughout the day and follow the sunlight as you can see in my images.
I’ve seen them in the soggy field around the pond in the nearby Newells Paddock Conservation and Nature Reserve about 2 miles from my current home.
I tried to get down low to photograph them in Newells Paddock when I first visited this amazing restored area a couple of years ago, but I wobbled too much as I was trying not to get wet socks through a hole in my old walking shoes. The ground was covered in low-lying water under the succulents and grass floor beneath my feet, so the images below just really give you a sense of the surroundings in that paddock (field). Hope to get back there soon to photograph more of the bird life. You can get a sense of the bird life here
Or, you can keep following my nature blog waiting for me to photograph them. Not sure I can get around all the ponds and fields as the water is hidden underfoot for the most part, and I don’t have any gumboots (rubber boots). I tend to stick to gravel or asphalt paths for walking these days as I’m a bit accident-prone (as you will know if you’ve followed my blog for a long time 😀 )
WATER BUTTONS MIXED IN WITH THIS CLUMP of GRASS in the main pond. Too wet to kneel down and get a close-up.
NEWELLS PADDOCK CONSERVATION AND NATURE RESERVE main pond. Melbourne city in the far right background.
NEWELLS PADDOCK CONSERVATION AND NATURE RESERVE IN AUTUMN
It’s been raining solidly for a couple of hours this morning and is blissfully cool, so I definitely won’t have to water my balcony garden this evening.
I glanced at the coming week’s weather forecast on the internet this morning, (as I do every morning), and it looks like cooler weather next week.
Dare I hope for a walk outdoors soon?
Is the stretch of heat waves Melbourne’s endured through January, finally finished?
Will there be enough rain to put the bushfires out?