Grey Hare's Ear
Flower Head Stalks, profile
Grey Hare's Ear
Flower Open (centre)
|Class:||Plants (Plantae) - Other Small Plants|
|Species:||Grey Hare's Ear (Bupleurum semicompositum)|
|This Photo:||Flower Head throwing a Branch|
Thank you Darren Schmitke for identifying this species for us
General Species Information:
Found on Ellura (in the Murray Mallee, SA) and elsewhere
A simple thank you just isn't enough. We didn't even know where to start with this species and Darren spent many evenings investigating it. After we had given up, and Darren almost had, he found it. We were elated and disappointed at the same time. Elated the puzzle was solved, but disappointed that after all that work it turned out to be an introduced species. Here's hoping that by being on this web site it helps others know they can remove it; and Darren's work will be put to good use.
It occurs primarily in disturbed locations on Ellura and may be useful to reduce erosion while natives reclaim their ground. It's heaviest where we've removed heavy investations of onion weed, but doesn't have anywhere near the destructive properties of onion weed. As such, it's weak and natives are stronger. It is classed as "Naturalised" (a term we despise) and an "Environmental Weed" (ie it doesn't impact farmers crops).
The flowers are tiny; and go against the rule of thumb of small flowers being native. They are petalless (petals 0). The apparant petals are actually 5 sepals which start green and turn red with age. The flower has 5 stamen. The 5 bracts (leaf like structures) are toothed and form a cup holding up to about 8 flowers.
The flower heads are on varying length stalks (0 to ~10mm). A flower head can throw 5 stalks with more flower heads; in fact it'll even throw another "branch".
The plant is almost grass like, with the base of each leaf curving round the stem at least at each branch. The branches are hexegon.
The structure tends to create a ceme of flowers (ie one branch is a flower head, the other goes higher until another fork or terminates in a flowerhead).
The flowers are on top of the fruit, which splits in 2 when it dries; and goes a pale lilac colour.
While trying to describe this plant one realises why there are so many botanical terms to describe the huge array of features a plant can exhibit; in a succinct way, unlike this novel