Flower Petals, profile
|Class:||Plants (Plantae) - Other Small Plants iNaturalist Observation|
|Species:||Silver Goodenia (Goodenia willisiana)|
|This Photo:||Flower, above|
|Other names:||Mallee Goodenia or Sand Goodenia|
General Species Information:
Found on Ellura (in the Murray Mallee, SA) and elsewhere
Would never have guessed this was a Goodenia until we finally saw it flower.
They are perennial (live longer than 2 years) but ours get eaten &/or dry up, leaving only the root stock in the ground over summer. This makes them seem like annuals.
Plants are up to about 60mm in diameter and very variable; from silver to pale green.
The flowers are short lived, but typical Goodenia flowers, yellow with 5 petals. They last about a week (hence missed them last spring, and still don't have many bud photos!) and are small, not at all obvious like Velleia, etc.
But the leaves are so different, we thought it was some sort of Nightshade (Solanaceae).
With our specimens, the pale green leaves are basal (only come from the ground / root) with a fine woolly texture that makes them look silver; which varies with age. There is a bit more wool on the back than the face of the leaves. They also look as though they have thorns on the leaf edges, but in fact they are entire (plain, smooth edged); the woolly hairs tuft up looking like spines. Apprantly they can be toothed.
Leaves start out rolled & linear and then open out; some even become spatulate (like a spoon / spatula)
Our flowering specimens are in a sparse patch of about 20 on the south west side of a mallee tree. We lost our other patch which was in the open and seemed greener (the new camera has GPS, so that'll never happen again)
Similar Species: Silverleaf Nightshade (Solanum elaeagnifolium)