Plant of the Month

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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River Red Gum

An Australian icon and most widespread of the Eucalypts, the River Red Gum is found near waterways over much of inland Australia and found (naturally) as far east as Hinton in the Hunter Valley.

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Feelin’ Seedy at Martindale

On Sunday 25th November around two dozen people got together at Martindale to talk about seedy stuff. Organised as part of Hunter Councils Nine Valleys Project, the day was to discuss and demonstrate the use of direct seeding in revegetation works.

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Tricks to propagating wattles and members of the pea family (Fabaceae)

Wattle seeds require pre-treatment before germination will commence. 

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