Plant Study Group in the Wolgan Valley Plant Study Group in the Wolgan Valley  (Meredith Brownhill)
Plant Study Group - 2017

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Yearly programs (with reports from outings where available):
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8 January 2017
Mt Wilson Cathedral of Ferns - leader Susan Jalaluddin - 8 present
To-day turned out to be a day of quality not quantity, of details not generalities. We looked at the detailed differences and development of flowers and fruits of Ceratopetalum, discovered the beautiful Geranium neglectum, really sorted the differences between Cyathea and Dicksonia and between Microsorum postulatum subsp. postulatum and M. scandens.

We also enjoyed finding other species in the cool of the Cathedral of Ferns on what was otherwise a rather hot day.

12 February
Horseshoe Falls - leader Susan Jalaluddin
Cancelled due to extreme heat.
26 February 2017
Glen Davis in Capertee Valley - leader Meredith Brownhill - 16 present
Capertee Capertee  (Meredith Brownhil)
An eventful day unfolded for 16 of us on our first bus trip to study flora in the Western Blue Mountains. After heavy rain all night Plan B was put into place and Capertee Valley was chosen for its dry weather conditions. We found Glen Davis to be exceedingly dry.

The valley supports a differing flora, often with limited distribution confined to this valley. Acacias are a dominant species in the dry conditions here e.g., Acacia uncinata. Other restricted flora are Eucalyptus dawsonii and Prostanthera cryptandroides ssp cryptandroides. We saw Amyema cambagei, a Mistletoe that grows in Casuarina cunninghamii on the banks of the Capertee River. In Glen Davis Amyema miquelii was dropping lots of long tubular flowers on the ground and Eremophila debilis was eye catching with bright pink fruits as it spread on dusty ground. It was an interesting and happy day studying plants.

12 March 2017
North Lawson Swamp - leader Meredith Brownhill - 8 present
We assessed a swamp in North Lawson to assist a Council Bushcare Officer. Both native flora species and weeds were identified to update existing records of the local Bushcare Care Group. A weed plume of privet was identified and its area measured to assist BMCC weed officers in planning restoration of the swamp. We felt it was a worthwhile morning's pleasurable volunteer work and the Council Bushcare Officer was very appreciative. It was rewarding to apply Plant Group skills, experience and knowledge in the practical task of environmental management.
9 April 2017
Lalor Drive fire trail, Springwood - led by Helen Yoxall - 9 present
A warm sunny day for an autumn inspection of this trail on the southern side of Springwood which we visited last Spring.  We saw early-flowering wattles (Acacia hispidula, A. terminalis and A. ulicifolia), the green tubular flowers of Chloanthes stoechadis and a lovely patch of the Parsons Bands orchid Eriochilus culcullatus complex. Two white-flowered plants from the Myrtaceae family had us a little perplexed, so out with our floras and lenses to do some formal keying as a group and establish that they were Baeckea brevifolia and Harmogia densifolia. A short off-track diversion took us to an unusual rock formation, weathered to resemble a ring of mushrooms.  And we had an unexpected treat at the end of the walk when a local resident offered us fruit from her overladen Acmena to try our hand at making lilly-pilly jam.
11 June 2017
Wild Valley Art Park - led by Frances Scarano - 8 present
An interesting visit to this self- sufficient art centre. The old sand quarry has much regeneration, some of the flora difficult to identify and possibly planted. The swamp looked wonderful and the overall outlook from the view point splendid. Today we looked more at the different plant communities and had some identification challenges with several plants. An interesting look at a regenerating site.
9 July 2017
Horseshoe Falls, Hazelbrook - led by Susan Jalaluddin - 5 present
This outing focussed on the methods of collecting specimens. Since little was in flower we concentrated on ferns and spent the morning identifying 3 specimens carefully, collecting the appropriate parts and discussing the data necessary to accompany the collected specimens. The specimens were pressed and sent to the Herbarium at the Royal Botanic Gardens in Sydney.
13 August 2017
Wambool Nature Reserve - leader Meredith Brownhill - 10 present
Plant group members set out on a group bus trip to Wambool Nature Reserve which is on the western slopes of the Great Divide and only 20ks east of Bathurst.

We had a different experience being in open Woodlands with Eucalyptus mannifera, E. melliodora and E. goniocalyx, which was in flower. We ate lunch sitting amongst lovely white tree trunks, all widely spaced, so it was a pleasant half-hour.
The reserve is dominated by grasses and low sparse shrubs, which is a perfect environment for orchids. We saw orchid leaves of Cryptostylis sp., Eriochilus cucullatus complex, and one flowering orchid - Pterostylis stenosepala. The bus trip home beside the Fish River and via Tarana rounded off an interesting day.

10 September 2017
West Glenbrook Nature Reserve. Leader Ros King - 8 present
Due to a large fire hazard reduction, our scheduled walk along the Link Track from Red Hands Cave Carpark was changed to a walk at West Glenbrook .

Making use of the plant list compiled by Margaret Baker last year, we explored along the Station Street firetrail. There were many species of the Fabaceae family, some in flower. Dillwynia rudis and Daviesia ulicifolia ssp. stenophylla were identified after much discussion and reference to keys. Gompholobium inconspicuum lived up to its name when someone found they were nearly sitting on it during morning tea.

After the walk some of the group went to visit the Annual Spring Show at Glenbrook Native Plants Reserve.

8 October 2017
Lawson View Parade, North Wentworth Falls, Leader Lesley Gersen - 8 present
This was mostly on fire trail through tall closed forest of Angophora costata, Eucalyptus piperta amongst established bush with no sign of recent bushfires. It is a delightful area with a wide variety of plants and another visit should be scheduled.
29 October 2017
Kanangra-Boyd National Park - Meredith Brownhill - 15 present
Members of Plant Group and Nursery Volunteers had a fabulous bus trip to Kanangra Walls. From moving bus windows we were able to identify the Eucalyptus mannifera Woodlands and we did stop and collect a specimen of Olearia phlogopappa flowering on the roadsides. At the Walls, a good diversity of shrubs in flower were seen, with Isopogon anethifolius and I. anemonifolius being quite spectacular. Our other delight was seeing Grevillea imberbis in flower - a small plant with very limited distribution on the tablelands.
12 November 2017
Leura Park, Leura - Leader Peter Ardill - 7 plant study group and 10 bushcare group members
This was a joint activity involving the Plant Study Group and Leura Park Bushcare Group. Focusing on a section of Leura Falls Creek upstream of Cliff Drive, participants examined and recorded the vegetation of three BMCC listed plant communities present on the site Blue Mountains Swamp, Eucalyptus oreades and Eucalyptus sieberi - piperita. Comprehensive plant lists for these three communities are being prepared for the bushcare group.
10 December 2017
Old Ford Reserve, Megalong Valley - 8 present
This was our final outing for the year and it concluded with a delicious lunch to celebrate. It was a gloriously fine day and thoroughly enjoyed by all. We met with some challenges with the plants but the highlights were Podocarpus spinulosus, Rubus parvifolius, Lomatia myricoides and a Wahlenbergia which needs further identification.

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