Short-leaf Early Nancy
Female Flower Stem
Short-leaf Early Nancy
Female Flower
Short-leaf Early Nancy (Wurmbea dioica ssp brevifolia)Class: Plants (Plantae) - Land Plants (Charophyta) - Land Plants (Equisetopsida)
Order: Lilies (Liliales)
Family: Spikelily and Allies (Colchicaceae)     iNaturalist Observation
Species: Short-leaf Early Nancy (Wurmbea dioica ssp brevifolia)
This Photo:     Female Bud
Synonym: Anguillaria dioica
Other names: Harbinger of Spring or Pink-edged Star-lily

Thank you Ralph Foster & Tony and Jenny Dominelli for confirming the id of this species for us

General Species Information:
Found on Ellura (in the Murray Mallee, SA) and elsewhere
What a happy little flowering plant this is.
It's like it's got a target painted on it saying "Look at me, spring is here!"

Very bold, 6 petaled (actually 3 petals + 3 sepals), white flowers rimmed with deep maroon/purple.
With up to 5 or more flowers on one little stem.
It has 3 leaves, one basal, two wrapped from the stem (one in the mid section, the other under the flowers). The higher leaf looks like a hand holding the flower stem.
It's been 10 years since we've seen one of these flowers and were so pleased to find them on Ellura.
The top leaf being truncated at the point of narrowing is diagnostic. However, you need to ensure it hasn't been eaten!
In the photo "Patch of Fruiting Females" you can see all the short upper leaves (hence ssp brevifolia), which are starting to dry & yellow.

Copyright © 2013-2024 Brett & Marie Smith. All Rights Reserved. Photographed 14-Aug-2013
This species is classed as LC (Least Concern) in the Murray Mallee, SA, by DENR (Regional Species Status Assessments, July 2010)