The BMCS Plant Study Group (PSG) generally meets on the second Sunday of each month and travels to different locations in the Blue Mountains. Before attending for the first time please contact Meredith by email at email@example.com. Changes to the program appear in red.
|Date (2023)||Location||Leader||More info|
|8 Jan||Ikara Ridge||Sue||Report of outing|
|*5 Feb||Mt Victoria Cemetery||Lyndal||Detailed survey|
|**16 Feb||Mt Annan Botanic Gardens & Herbarium||Meredith||Report of outing|
|12 Mar||Coachwood Glen||Sue||Report of outing|
|*2 Apr||Murphy's Glen track||Jelena||Report of outing|
|14 May||Castlereagh woodlands||Alison||Report of outing|
|11 Jun||South Hazelbrook||Jo||Report of outing|
|9 Jul||Dharawal National Park||Meredith||Report of outing|
|13 Aug||Glenbrook area||Helen||Report of outing|
|10 Sep||Linden||Sue||Report of outing|
|8 Oct||Rigby Hill||Sue||Report of outing|
|12 Nov||Dobbs Drift||Alison||Report of outing|
|10 Dec||Jackson Park, Faulconbridge||TBA||Christmas walk|
Our November Plant Study Group outing saw us foray into the edge of beautiful southern pagoda country.
We stopped en route at Clarence to see the rare Acacia meiantha growing under the powerlines amongst colourful flowering Grevillea laurifolia and Dampiera stricta, with Mirbelia platylobioides in fruit.
A second roadside stop to see Acacia dorothea amongst Boronia microphylla and Daviesia latifolia in fruit.
Morning tea at Dobbs Drift saw us sit beside Philotheca obovalis (pictured).
The Thelionema caespitosum was striking and we pondered for a time to identify Harmogia densifolia and Phyllota squarrosa.
A final stop on our way back saw Comesperma ericinum, Gompholobium huegelii and Astrotricha ledifolia in flower.
Leader, Report: Alison Hewitt
Seven members gathered at Mt Victoria station for the drive round to Rigby Hill.
The track down the gully to the car park passed many Waratahs in flower. Before setting out up the hill we had a look at the remains of a 3-4m tall Calomeria amaranthoides (Plume Bush) plant which had flowered last summer.
This whole area was severely burnt in the fires of 2019-20 so up on the open hillside all the vegetation was regrowth from then.
We were amazed that even though some plants were tiny they were still in full flower, eg Boronia floribunda, less than 10cm tall but covered in pink blooms.
A signature plant for this area is Leptospermum macrocarpum which was looking stunning in flower.
Leader, Report, Photo: Sue Nicol
We had beautiful weather for our September walk along part of the old Cox's Road. Ten members attended and four were new to the group.
Typical flowering plants at this site were Epacris rigida, which likes a rocky site with shallow soils, Boronia floribunda and Zieria laevigata. Dampiera stricta and Tetratheca rupicola were colourful in sunny spots and Darwinia fascicularis was abundant.
The morning tea and lunch spot gave us expansive views towards Mt Banks. Everyone enjoyed relaxing in the spring sunshine.
Leader, Report, Photo: Sue Nicol
Five hardy members of the Group decided to ignore the day’s threatening rain and explore the beginning of the Euroka Walking Track at Glenbrook, an area of dry Sclerophyll Woodland on sandstone.
Even though spring is still ahead, we were greeted by displays of the remarkable green and purple flowers of Grevillea mucronulata and the mauve pea flower of Hovea linearis.
Wattles were abundant, including the pale-flowered lower mountains variant of Acacia terminalis and the vivid yellow of Acacia brownii.
We had lunch on a small creek under a fine-foliaged Angophora bakeri.
Later in the afternoon we drove on to Portal Lookout, stopping off to look at areas where there is more clay influence in the soils. There were fields of Acacia elongata amongst the ironbarks (Eucalyptus crebra and E. fibrosa). Other plants were Lissanthe strigosa, Olearia microphylla and Daviesia squarrosa.
A curiosity seen on a eucalypt sapling here was a Four-horned Gumtree Gall (Apiomorpha munita) caused by a scale insect.
Leader, Report, Photos: Helen Yoxall
Plant group members and other BMCS members enjoyed a bus trip to Dharawal National Park.
We made a new record and walked 4.5ks! This is a long walk for us, as often we only walk 1/2km!
There was a lovely diversity of plants and the Banksias were magnificent.
Leader and report: Meredith Brownhill
Twelve group members attended an easy walk to Adam’s Lookout in South Hazelbrook in glorious sunshine.
A good variety of Proteaceae plants were seen that have new growth following the wet seasons. This photo of Bossiaea heterophylla – a pea flower, is flowering late and is in its common small form – up to 30cms.
Leader: Jo Newman, Report: PSG team
Sunday 14th May was a sunny morning for our Plant Study Group outing to the Castlereagh Woodlands. The area was only a few months since fire, and we had the fun challenge of identifying species re-establishing in the ash with the help of some plant lists compiled prior to the fire.
The scribbly gums had lost their scribbly bark and the rushes and grasses were springing back. Flowers were few, but some early dainties were Comesperma sphaerocarpum, Orianthera pusilla, Goodenia paniculata and Hypericum gramineum.
We were able to relocate nine or ten Allocasuarina glareicola which were reshooting from their bases at a location where they had previously been logged as fruiting adults. This species is rare and restricted to the Castlereagh area.
Leader (and report): Alison Hewitt
It was a damp and rainy start as seven plant enthusiasts explored around exposed rocky platforms beside the road to Murphy’s Glen. The heath was dense and there was profuse growth of Cordifex fastigatus after wet seasons. Both low growing woody shrubs Baeckea brevifolia, and Leucopogon microphylla were covered in white flowers.
Following the 2019/2020 wildfires the Eucalypt woodlands were recovering with an understory of Fabaceae plants. We found a community of vigorous pea plants with orange and reddish flowers. After discussion and checking field guides we identified them as Bossiaea heterophylla which typically have sparse foliage and are straggly in appearance. It is also called Variable Bossiaea. A hot cup of tea at Jelena’s place was very welcome on the way home.
Leader: Jelena Emmerick
Report: Meredith Brownhill
Seven members of the Plant Study Group enjoyed a lovely morning in the rainforest. After a dry couple of weeks, fungi were not abundant but we found some Dead Man's Fingers (Xylaria), large bracket fungi and tiny Cyptotrama aspratum on fallen branches. We got to grips with a feast of ferns, some identified for the first time by some members eg Pellaea falcata (Sickle fern) and Asplenium flabellifolium (Necklace fern). We also found some orchid leaves (Sarchochilus sp) on pieces of fallen bark and hiding in the leaf litter were leaves of Corybas and Chiloglottis.
Leader (and report): Sue Nicol
With excitement in the air 13 bus passengers set out for Mt Annan Botanic Gardens in the Council Community Bus, driven by a capable volunteer driver. Our group was a mix of Nursery Volunteers and Plant Group members, so sharing our interest in native flora and the National Herbarium was rewarding. Herbarium staff took us on a tour of the newly designed building with sealed rooms for drying plants at 30c, freezing at minus 20c to sterilise plant specimens, and then a vault for storing specimens for perpetuity.
The Herbarium has plant samples collected from 1770 by Joseph Banks, and now the entire plant collection of Isobel Bowden, a late member of the Blue Mountains Conservation Society and renowned for her botanical contribution to conservation, is held there. See the photos of two of Isobel's specimens, gratefully given to us by the Herbarium. Also find Isobel's biography here.
We also had a good discussion with the Herbarium staff about protocols for plant collection, noting a license is required to collect native flora.
All this activity was followed by a very enjoyable lunch in the shady Grevillea Gardens, followed by a cool & shady walk through the Evolutionary Garden. The extra thrill of the day was finding a turtle in a creek and seeing a flock of Blue Triangle Butterflies.
Leader (and report): Meredith Brownhill
The first walk for 2023 was on a beautiful, clear, blue day after a week of rain.
Ten plant enthusiasts enjoyed the spectacular landscape and were delighted with the masses of white flannel flowers (Actinotus helianthi) and Platysace lanceolata as well as the vibrant pink tufts of Stylidium lineare growing on almost bare rock surfaces.
Deep blue Thelionema ceaspitosum was a new plant for some. We also saw a tally of 5 different orchids, notably Cryptostylis subulata (large tongue orchid).
Leader: Sue Nicol