yellow dogwood (Pomaderris elliptica)
This glossy-green-leaved dense shrub, with profuse yellow flowers, should be grown more in gardens. Its flowers (produced from September to November) are distinctive, and have been described as 'frothy'! It's a good description for the massed yellow bunches produced at the ends of the branches - a bouquet unto themselves.
The species name 'elliptica' describes the shape of the leaves, while the common name 'yellow' describes the pale yellow flowers. As for the name 'dogwood' ... there are quite a few suggestions in "Tasmanian Plant Names Unravelled" (Wapstra, Wapstra and Wapstra, 2010), with one being that the timber produces an offensive smell when burnt.
Yellow dogwood grows in Taroona's wet gullies and also occurs on our rocky coastal cliffs. Taroona also has another dogwood species, which grows in our wet gullies: Pomaderris apetala (common dogwood). To tell them apart, look at the leaf shape. Pomaderris elliptica has glossy, dark green leaves, while Pomaderris apetala has paler green, pointier leaves, with a rougher texture.
Insects, including butterflies, are attracted to the flowers, while insect-eating birds are attracted to the insects.
(Photos: Fiona Rice)