Geophytes and other tuberous plants in woodland of Eucalyptus wandoo in southwestern Australia

The southwestern region of Western Australia, with its mediterranean-type climate, is generally flat, and nutrient-poor.

The land surface is ancient, with the most extensive laterite (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laterite and https://bsssjournals.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1365-2389.1960.tb01080.x and https://www.researchgate.net/publication/229564960_Laterites_and_lateritic_soils_in_South-West_Australia) of any land on Earth at temperate latitudes.

However, there is a minor 'scarp' east of Perth, called the Darling Range (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Darling_Scarp), in association with which some of the slopes are steep enough for the lateritic profile to have been partly eroded (https://www.foxeslair.org/why-are-wa-plants-and-soils-unique.html).

This has slightly rejuvenated the otherwise senile substrates, allowing a limited occurrence of small, herbaceous plants otherwise unable to compete with the sclerophyllous shrubs typical of the exceptionally phosphorus-poor laterite and siliceous sand (https://www.academia.edu/7565234/Ecology_of_Australia_the_effects_of_nutrient_poor_soils_and_intense_fires).

On the slightly nutrient-rejuvenated substrates, the vegetation includes woodland of Eucalyptus wandoo (https://heartlandjourneys.com.au/about-us/ancient-wonderland/wandoo/ and https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/145451-Eucalyptus-wandoo and https://exploreparks.dbca.wa.gov.au/park/wandoo-national-park). The substrate is typically sandy loam over kaolinitic clay.

In this Post, I have compiled a list of the geoohytes in one study area of wandoo woodland, based on a report written for Worsley Alumina Pty Ltd. Perth (1985) Worsley Alumina Project, Flora and fauna studies, phase two. 348 pp.

I took trouble to distinguish between

  • true geophytes,
  • members of the same genera that do not qualify as geophytes, and
  • tuberous plants, of different genera, that do not qualify as geophytes.

GEOPHYTES:

Colchicaceae:

Burchardia multiflora https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/773427-Burchardia-multiflora
in gulley

Wurmbea dioica https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/504086-Wurmbea-dioica
in gully

Wurmbea tenella https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/925387-Wurmbea-tenella
on ridge

Asphodelaceae:

Caesia parviflora https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/323895-Caesia-parviflora

Chamaescilla corymbosa https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/194766-Chamaescilla-corymbosa and http://esperancewildflowers.blogspot.com/2010/06/chamaescilla-corymbosa-var-corymbosa.html
in gully

Tricoryne humilis https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/574684-Tricoryne-humilis

Asparagaceae:

Dichopogon capillipes https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/511227-Dichopogon-capillipes
on ridge

Sowerbaea laxiflora https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/205058-Sowerbaea-laxiflora
in gully

Thysanotus patersonii https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/323937-Thysanotus-patersonii

Hypoxidaceae:

Pauridia occidentalis https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/1062098-Pauridia-occidentalis
in gully

Orchidaceae (partial list):

Caladenia sericea

Cyrtostylis reniformis https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/323904-Cyrtostylis-reniformis
in gulley

Pterostylis vittata

Amaranthaceae:

Ptilotus manglesii https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/202127-Ptilotus-manglesii
tuberous taproot

Apiaceae:

Eryngium pinnatifidum https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/511205-Eryngium-pinnatifidum
tuberous taproot
in gulley

Stylidiaceae:

Stylidium petiolare https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/1071381-Stylidium-petiolare
ovoid corm, 0.15 cm diam.

Asteraceae:

Lagenophora huegelii https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/511242-Lagenophora-huegelii
numerous root-tubers

Trichocline spathulata https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/896463-Trichocline-spathulata
adventitious root-tubers

TUBEROUS but apparently not geophytic:

Thysanotus tenellus https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/862769-Thysanotus-tenellus
root-tuberous

Thysanotus thyrsoideus https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/859182-Thysanotus-thyrsoideus and https://florabase.dpaw.wa.gov.au/browse/profile/1357

Droseraceae:

Drosera gigantea https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/739940-Drosera-gigantea
in gully, where seasonally wet
tubers of diam. up to 3.8 cm, as deep as 1 m

Drosera menziesii https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/148225-Drosera-menziesii
seasonally moist and swamp margins

Drosera pallida https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/511323-Drosera-pallida

NOT GEOPHYTIC/TUBEROUS, despite belonging to the genera/families containing geophytes:

Haemodorum laxum https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/1143491-Haemodorum-laxum

Platysace juncea https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/1004702-Platysace-juncea
(tuberous taproot, but hemicryptophyte instead of geophyte)

Drosera leucoblasta https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/929602-Drosera-leucoblasta

Stylidium amoenum https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/145399-Stylidium-amoenum
Stylidium affine https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/145501-Stylidium-affine
Stylidium caricifolium (not usually geophytic although possessing numerous root-tubers)
Stylidium dichotomum https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/145686-Stylidium-dichotomum
Stylidium diversifolium https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/145694-Stylidium-diversifolium
Stylidium junceum https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/565082-Stylidium-junceum
Stylidium piliferum https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/567801-Stylidium-piliferum
Stylidium schoenoides https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/145502-Stylidium-schoenoides
Stylidium uniflorum https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/554214-Stylidium-uniflorum

Craspedia uniflora https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/401147-Craspedia-uniflora
(adventitious root-tubers, in gully)

Pelargonium littorale https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/735460-Pelargonium-littorale
(not tuberous)

Oxalis corniculata https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/53168-Oxalis-corniculata
(not tuberous)

Clematis pubescens https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/145426-Clematis-pubescens
root-tuberous, but foliage perennial

Tuberous with no possibility of geophytic affinity:

Macrozamia riedlei https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/135854-Macrozamia-riedlei

Posted by milewski milewski, December 01, 2022 10:54 PM

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FLORA OF THIS STUDY AREA, part 1

The following plants occur in this study area:

Fabaceae (18 spp. in 10 genera in Faboideae alone):

Acacia alata
Acacia celastrifolia
Acacia dentifera
Acacia drummondii
Acacia extensa
Acacia nervosa
Acacia preissiana
Acacia pulchella
Acacia willdenowiana
Labichea punctata
Bossiaea eriocarpa
Bossiaea ornata
Chorizema aciculare
Daviesia cordata
Daviesia juncea
Daviesia decurrens
Daviesia preissii
Daviesia rhombifolia
Gompholobium marginatum
Gompholobium polymorphum
Gompholobium preissii
Hovea chorizemifolia
Isotropis cuneifolia
Kennedia coccinea
Kennedia prostata
Jacksonia alata
Sphaerolobium vimineum
Templetonia drummondii

Posted by milewski 2 months ago (Flag)

Part 2
Allocasuarina humilis
Cryptandra 2 spp.
Trymalium floribundum
Trymalium floribundum
Andersonia sp.
'Astroloma ciliatum', Styphelia tenuiflora, and 4 other spp.
Leucopogon capitellatus
Leucopogon oxycedrus
Leucopogon propinquus and 3 other spp.
Isotoma hypocrateriformis
Lobelia spp.
Leptomeria cunninghamii
Cassytha glabella
Acaena echinata

Posted by milewski 2 months ago (Flag)

Dashorst G R M and Jessop J P (1990) Plants of the Adelaide plains and hills. Kangaroo Press, Kenthurst, NSW. 224 spp.

In the Adelaide area of South Australia, there occurs woodland similar to that of E. wandoo, although dominated by different spp. of eucalypts.

The following geophytes occur.

Dichopogon fimbriatum
Dichopogon strictus
Bulbine bulbosa (has a cluster of root-tubers)
Caesia calliantha
Chamaescilla corymbosa
Thysanotus patersonii
Wurmbea dioica
Calostemma purpureum (plant 14-50 cm high)
Hypoxis 2 spp.
Microseris lanceolata
Lagenophora huegelii
Lagenophora stipitata

Possibly not geophytic:

Ophioglossum lusitanicum has tubers
Isoetes drummondii has a 'rootstock'

Drosera macrantha is a small liane
Oxalis perennans is not geophytic
Craspedia glauca occurs here, but is an annual, not a geophyte

Ranunculus spp. are present, but probably not geophytic

Plantago gaudichaudii and Plantago varia are indigenous, with a meagre taproot

Posted by milewski 2 months ago (Flag)
Posted by milewski 2 months ago (Flag)

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