Plant of the Month — March 2008
Tricoryne elatior R.Br. — Yellow Autumn Lily
This small, rhizomatous perennial herb is a plant that gives us the benefit of its yellow blooms in the bushland all year round. It is widespread and common on sand throughout the Coastal Plain, and found less commonly in the Darling Range on laterite. Its range extends from Kalbarri to Cape Arid, in heathand, open forest and woodland and sometimes near granite rocks or in swamps.
Tricoryne elatior is an erect herb with very few leaves. The stems branch into two at each junction where up to eleven yellow flowers can be produced; as they age the flowers become spirally twisted. The fruit usually has a rounded terminal projection. The genus name comes from the Greek, tries three + coryne club, referring to the fruit that is divided into three club-shaped nutlets. The species name elatior taller, indicates that it is taller than the other species of the genus, growing to 0.6 m.
Tricoryne was described by Robert Brown, noted explorer and botanist, in his Prodromus Florae Novae Hollandiae et Insulae Van-Diemen of 1810. Brown’s Prodromus has a two-fold importance in the history of systematic botany. Primarily it is a record Australian plants of collected by Robert Brown between 1801–1805 and by Joseph Banks and Daniel Solander on Cook’s first voyage (1768–71). With the Flore Française of A.P. de Candolle, published 1803–1815, it is also one of the first major floristic works based on the natural system of classification developed by Antoine Laurent de Jussieu in his Genera Plantarum.
Photo: E. Wajon
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