Hairy Pink-Bells

Tetratheca pilosa

''Tetratheca pilosa'' is a flowering plant in the family Elaeocarpaceae, endemic to Australia. It is a small shrub found in dry sclerophyll forests, open heathlands and woodlands of Australia. It was first recorded in 1805 by French botanist Jacques Labillardière.
Hairy Pink - Bells - Tetratheca pilosa  Australia,Geotagged,Hairy Pink-Bells,Tetratheca pilosa,Winter

Appearance

Characterized by pink to mauve drooping, auxiliary, solitary flowers, which are radially symmetrical, consisting of 4 sepals and 4 petals, 6 mm long.

Stamens usually 8, opening by an apical pore and form a dark center to the flower above a superior ovary. Stamen tube widest between the base and the apex and are often hidden by the petals, hence the common name black eyed susan.

Stems are erect, unbranched or branched from the base. Leaves are green, narrow, distinctly alternate and slightly revolute or with recurved margins. Leaves can be hairless or have non-glandular hairs. Up to 15 mm in length. ''Tetratheca'' fruit have locules that dehisce as the fruit desiccates, releasing 1 to 5 seeds.
Hairy pink - bells - Tetratheca pilosa Identification derived from www.forestrysa.com.au Australia,Eamw flora,Geotagged,Spring,Tetratheca pilosa

Distribution

''Tetratheca pilosa'' is one of a few ''Tetratheca'' species that occurs in multiple states across Australia. It is found in Tasmania, Victoria, the south east corner of South Australia and in a few localised patches in New South Wales.
Hairy Pink- Bells - Tetratheca pilosa  Australia,Geotagged,Hairy Pink-Bells,Spring,Tetratheca pilosa

Habitat

The species exists in open woodland, heathland and dry sclerophyll forests. The vegetation structure generally consists of a sparse understorey and an open canopy of ''Eucalyptus''. Depending on substrate the canopy trees may be dominated by ''E. amygdalina'', ''E. delegatensis'' or ''E. obliqua.''

A sparse understorey of ''Banksia marginata'' and ''Exocarpus cupressiformis'' is common. ''T. pilosa'' grows sparsely amongst other woody shrub species such as ''Epacris impressa'', ''Pultenaea juniperina'', ''Davisea latifolia.'' Ground cover usually consists of a sparse layer of ''Gonocarpus teucroides'' and a high coverage of fine litter and rocks.

''T. pilosa'' does poorly when competing with other plants, but has a strong advantage in sandy, gravely, hydrophobic, acidic and nutrient poor soils. It persists on sandstone, Permian mudstone and siltstone and soils of granitic origins.
Hairy pink -bells  ( white form) Tetratheca pilosa I found only one of the colour variant. Australia,Eamw flora,Geotagged,Spring,Tetratheca pilosa

Reproduction

The black centre creates a target for native bees which are capable of buzz pollination. Buzz pollination requires the bee to use their flight mascles to vibrate the pollen loose, a skill which European bees do not have. Only 9% of the world plants use this form of pollination.

''Tetratheca'' seeds are a food source for ants which collect, disperse and take the seed underground. This has multiple advantages for the plant, creating a soil seed store, protected from fire and dispersed further than wind may be able to carry the seed.

References:

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Taxonomy
KingdomPlantae
DivisionAngiosperms
ClassEudicots
OrderOxalidales
FamilyElaeocarpaceae
GenusTetratheca
SpeciesT. pilosa
Photographed in
Australia