Plant of the Month

Plant of the Month: The Tale of White Beard

Common in heathlands and sandstone areas the Bearded Heaths (Leucopogon spp) look fairly unremarkable till coming into flower and fruit. The Bearded Heath gets it’s botanical Genus Leucopogon from the  Greek “Leuco-” meaning white and “pogon” meaning beard, for once... read more

Plant of the Month: Big Bad Banksia Men

Big Bad Banksia Men Australian author May Gibbs cast the “Big Bad Banksia Men” as the villains of many of her stories, looking at the cones of the Old Man Banksia (Banksia serrata) it is quite easy to imagine them as heads of some creature (though I think casting them... read more

Plant of the Month: The Call of the Lotus

Odysseus removing his men from the company of the lotus-eaters (source: Wikipedia) They started at once, and went about among the Lotus-eaters, who did them no hurt, but gave them to eat of the lotus, which was so delicious that those who ate of it left off caring... read more

Plant of the Month: Eucalyptus nortonii

Life would be so much easier….. Y’know, life would be so much easier if plants could read books, they’d know important things like where they should grow, when they should flower and what they should look like. It would save me a lot of confusion. I’ll often find... read more

Ludwig woz ’ere!

F.W.L (Ludwig) Leichhardt 1813-1848(?) Over the Xmas break I found myself with a free day and went for a ride to Bylong, not having been into the Widden Valley for a while I dropped in for a look. I could see a greyish leaved tree at the edges of the valley but as... read more

Plant of the Month: Learning new ‘trix

Here’s an interesting one for you (well, they’re all interesting to me at least), I was out in the field a few weeks back doing a follow up on the Fairy Bells work I’ve been doing the past couple of years (see: insert link). One of our monitoring sites is in the... read more

Plant of the Month: Staying Muddy

Last month we were in the mud looking at mangroves, this month we’ll go slightly closer shoreward and take a look at what grows in the hypersaline environment of the Salt Marshes. Salt Marshes occur around the high tide zone, often in shallow depressions which fill on... read more

Plant of the Month: Mangroves – Getting Muddy

There’s a concept in evolutionary biology called convergent evolution, it’s where distantly related organisms evolve the same or similar strategies for dealing with the environment in which they find themselves. One example many will be aware of are the Thylacines... read more

Plant of the Month: Please don’t pull this one out

Another couple of plants which commonly get mistaken for weeds (and pulled out) is  Flannel Leaf (Astrotricha floccosa). With a home range between Newcastle and Sydney it’s found in Dry Sclerophyll Forest on sandstone, unfortunately the leaves can have a strong... read more

Plant of the Month – Of Serpents and Spinifex

Botanically the Hunter Region compares well with other regions of the world for diversity. Given our geographic location with the New England Fold Belt to the North and East and the largely sedimentary Sydney Basin to the South and West (with the Hunter-Mooki Thrust... read more

Plant of the Month: Not a Weed Either!

Following on from last month’s look at a couple of “weedy looking” natives is another native which looks like a weed and unfortunately has a weedy look alike. Bleeding Heart or Homolanthus populifolius (sometimes listed as Omolanthus populifolius) is a rainforest... read more

Plants of the Month: That’s gotta be a weed?

Plant(s) of the Month: That’s gotta be a weed, doesn’t it? Well….. You know how it goes, you go wandering through the bush and see a plant which just doesn’t fit in, which just by the general look of it you just know it’s gotta be a weed. So you reach down and…. NO!... read more

Plant of the Month: Blackbutt

Plant of the Month: Blackbutt (Burrooma – Worimi) Eucalyptus pilularis A common tree in the Lower Hunter the Blackbutt is a magnificent tree to 70 metres tall with a natural range along the coast from around Hervey Bay in Queensland to the Victorian border. A... read more

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