While Hotham is best known for its winters, the green season is a wonderful time to discover what the slopes are really like when they aren’t covered in snow. At Hotham there are about 106 floral species of state significance, according to the Victorian Biodiversity Atlas. These grasses and wildflowers turn the slopes into fields of green and delightful colour outside of winter. To help those flora enthusiasts explore successfully we’ve compiled a list of species you’re likely to come across at Hotham.
Alpine Celery / Aciphylla glacialis (December to Febraury)
A native clumping herb with a celery-like smell. Can grow to 60cm in height and is most prominent on the Summit areas of Mt Hotham and Mt Feathertop. It’s dark green prickly-pointed leaves are in dense fan-shaped clusters. Flowers are small and white-green in colour at the ends of brown stems.
Alpine Rusty Pods / Hovea montana (October to December)
One of the earliest flowers to be seen after snow melts this native shrub grows up to 50cm high. It is found in open alpine and subalpine heathland and grassy slopes at altitude above 1200m. It normally has mauve to purple flowers but, on a rare occasion, pure white.
Grass Trigger Plan / Stylidium armeria (October through February).
This species is an erect perennial herb with 5cm–40cm long narrow, grass-like leaves that appear from a basal rosette. A 15cm–90 cm long scape features butterfly shaped flowers, four petals in two pairs, that are pale or bright pink.
Leafy Bossiaea / Bossiaea foliosa (November to January)
A native shrub that grows to 1.5m high with small rounded glossy green leaves which are about 3mm long. Has yellow flowers that are followed by hairy, more or less circular pods of about 10mm in width.
Purple Eyebright / Euphrasia collina (December to February)
A variable native herb easiest to find in summer. The species grow from 5cm-60cm and has leaves with one to six teeth per side. The flowers may be white, blue, pink or purple, and occurs in a wide variety of habitats including woodland, heath and grassland.
Showy Violet / Viola betonicifolia (December to January)
This species is distinguished by green slender arrow-shaped leaves that grow from the base of the plant with a v-shaped sinus at the base. Its striking bright purple flowers are small at 1cm-1.5cm in diameter and are followed by small pale brown pods with tiny blackish seeds.
Snow Daisy / Brachyscome nivalis (November to March)
A native clumping herb that grows as big as 30cm. It has white flower heads up to 45mm in diameter. A prominent feature is deeply segmented leaves to almost the main midrib that are compacted around the base. It is found mainly around damp rocky sites.
Victorian Buttercup / Ranuculus victoriensis (November to February)
A native small herb with flower stalks up to 30cm. Its foliage and stems are minutely hairy, and its leaves are mostly around the base. This species resides in grasslands and open heaths mainly on the Bogong High Plains.
To learn about other flora species at Hotham pick up a copy of our Mt Hotham Flora Guide.