Plant of the Month

Plant of the Month: Ribbon Gum

Twenty third of March is National Eucalypt Day so with that in mind it’s time for another gum PotM. This month’s PotM is the Ribbon Gum (Eucalyptus viminalis), there’s a couple of them growing near the bridge at Bunnan on the Scone-Merriwa Road, I’ve looked at these... read more

Plant of the Month: What’s in a name? Hard Quandong

(Elaeocarpus obovatus) Also known as Blueberry Ash, Whitewood, Grey Carabeen, Freckled Oliveberry and Grey Carrobeen, despite the plethora of names it is not related to the other Quandongs (Santalum spp.), Ashes (Mountain Ash, Red Ash, Claret Ash, Himalayan Ash) or... read more

Plant of the Month: Melaleuca styphelioides, Prickly leaved Paperbark

Flowering now at a Hunter location near you! The Prickly leaved paperbark produces masses of creamy pale yellow flowers attracting birds, bees and butterflies.  The prickly foliage provides nesting sites for small native birds.   It is a medium tree to a maximum... read more

Plant of the month: Antarctic Beech, Nothofagus moorei

Every now and then I get the opportunity to wander through the cool, dark, damp Antarctic Beech forests of the high country up in the Barrington Tops. The Antarctic Beech rainforests are a Gondawanan relic showing little similarity to the surrounding Snow Gum and... read more

Plant of the Month: Mountain Grevillea (Grevillea johnsonii)

Grevillea johnsonii is another Hunter endemic Grevillea species, despite it’s common and botanical name I have generally found them on the footslopes rather than in the mountains.

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Plant of the Month: Johnson’s Grevillea (Grevillea johnsonii).

Apart from my Landcare work I get a few other projects in from time to time, at the end of last week I was out in the Goulburn River National Park trying to track down a lost population of Fairy Bells (Homoranthus darwinioides)*, we didn’t manage to find that... read more

Plant of the Month: Magenta Lilly Pilly

(Syzygium paniculatum). Katuba (Kattang), Daguba (Cadigal). March is a great time for fans of bushfood, Kurrajongs, Sandpaper Fig and the Magenta Lilly Pilly all ripening. This year was a good season for the Lilly Pilly here in the Upper Hunter and while I didn’t get... read more

Plant of the Month: Greenhood Orchid (Pterostylis nutans)

During winter and spring, these low green orchids, endemic to Eastern Australia, emerge from the ground in great numbers in moist, protected forest environments. The flowers “nod” or lean forwards strongly and occur singly on a stem arising from a rosette... read more

Plant of the Month: Forest Red Gum

Plant of the Month: Forest Red Gum (Eucalyptus tereticornis) Munumba (Worimi) Buringoa (D’harawal) A magnificent tall tree to 50 metres, the Forest Red Gum is found along the east coast of Australia from Gippsland in Victoria to Papua New Guinea. In the Hunter... read more

Plant of the month: Tall Oat Grass (Themeda avenacea)

From only four known populations in the Merriwa area in the early 2000’s Tall Oat Grass has been steadily expanding it’s range from Bunnan to Scone and is now growing on Halcomb Hill near Aberdeen. A grazing sensitive species destocking during recent droughts has... read more

Spotted Gum (Corymbia maculata)

Spotted gum is one of the best known of all of the eucalypts on the East Coast of Australia because of its stately, tall growth habit and distinctive trunk which is blotched with patches of old bark contrasting with the smooth, cream bark beneath. It is provides... read more

Christmas Bells

Christmas Bells (Blandfordia grandiflora) are reasonably common in coastal heathlands with most flowering around Christmas time up to about 4 years after fires or other clearing.

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Standing under the Mistletoe

An interesting group of plants are the Mistletoes, parasitising their host trees for water and nutrients they are an extremely important part of the ecosystem.

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Blue Grass, Music to my ears.

One of the earliest summer grasses to pop up, and one of the quickest to respond to a bit of rain is one of my favourites, Blue Grass or Dichanthium sericium.

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Weed or native?

Going by the rather unglamorous common name of Scurvy Weed this little forest groundcover is quite common in moist areas and, unfortunately, is often mistaken for a weed species (the common name doesn’t help). Commelina cyanea, or Scurvy Weed is a common understory... read more

Swamp Mahogany

Original illustration of Eucalyptus robusta by James Sowerby (from Wikepedia) Eucalyptus robusta A firm favourite of the Koala, the Swamp Mahogany loves wet feet as it’s common name indicates. Common in coastal swamps and wet forests the Swamp Mahogany has a natural... read more

Sticky Hops

Dodonaea viscosa Rather inaccurately described in “A Little Book of Latin for Gardeners” (see this month’s book review) as a “rather dull genus of evergreen shrubs” the Dodonaea genus was named after Rembert Dodoens a Flemish physician and botanist, author of the... read more

Blackthorn/ sweet bursaria

Blackthorn is not especially popular in cultivation because of its prickly habit. Bursaria will often colonise cleared land and can be mistaken for an invasive weed.

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Gumnuts of the Upper Hunter

Bark types and gumnuts (or “fruit”) are a handy way of determining which group a Eucalypt belongs to.

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Eucalypt Bark Types

Just as their fruits (gumnuts) can help us figure out which Eucalypt is which so can their bark, these are some commonly seen in the Upper Hunter.  

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Forest / Mountain Oak

The Forest or Mountain Oak can be identified by it’s brown corky bark, round fruit (cones) and four or five teeth on the article needles.

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