A fuzzy photo taken by a colleague today with a point-and-shoot camera of a flowering male Pimelea spinescens plant at Mount Cottrell, with what appears to be a pollinator in action. In another image the insect has its head inside the flower. Pollinators for Critically Endangered Spiny Rice-flower are not yet known, so we'd love to know what this creature is, at least to family if possible.
Commonly called "Tassel Rope-rush", this plant was growing in a clump and would have been about a foot tall stretched out. The clumps formed mats of wiry branclets that were thick and striated (pic 2). At the nodes were what looked like brown leafy bracts. The attractive branched inflorescence looked like clumps of bracts that were coppery, plump and ovoid.
There were no sign of "normal" leaves. Several plants growing together gave the appearance of a tangled mat.
These plants are Dioecious and this one had male flowers.
Spotted in a sclerophyll bush - part of the Cranbourne Botanical Gardens. Soil might have been a little sandy.