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Friends of Lane Cove National Park Inc.

What's flowering in the park

Wahlenbergia

Native Bluebell

Family: Campanulaceae

Wahlenbergia is a graceful slender herb up to 40cm tall with sky-blue flowers. It may be erect or sprawling. It is found in sunny places in open forest, but not on sandstone.

The narrow leaves are often serrated and can be alternate or opposite.

The five-petalled flowers are single at the end of each stem or branch. To increase cross-pollination, the style (part of the female reproductive parts) has large glands at its tip which secrete a sticky fluid. The anthers (male parts) are caught in this before the flower opens and projected out of the flower where the pollen can be brushed by insects.

There are three species of Wahlenbergia in Lane Cove National Park. Wahlenbergia stricta var. stricta has the largest flower, 25-30 mm wide.

Wahlenbergia communis has smaller flowers, 10-25mm across and is distinguished by three swollen lobes at the tip of the stigma.

Wahlenbergia gracilis is similar to Wahlenbergia communis, but the flowers are only 5-6mm across. It has many fine stems.

All three species flower in Spring and Summer.

Wahlenbergia

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Wahlenbergia communis

Wahlenbergia stricta

Wahlenbergia gracilisWahlenbergia gracilis

Wahlenbergia gracilis

 

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