Flora

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

What’s the difference between native, indigenous and endemic plants? And why is it important?

These terms confuse a lot of people, so let’s just take a minute to clear things up. ‘Native’ is a general term for plants that occur naturally in a country but not necessarily across the whole of that country.  ‘Indigenous’  – Indigenous species are categorised as a... 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

Vines gone mad?

Do you have a native vine gone mad with the La Niña conditions we are experiencing? Native vines are an important part of our natural forests.  Photos by Dennis Mayo A tangle of native vines can provide food, shelter and nesting sites for many different species of... 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

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

Cactus Causing Prickly Problem

Loading... Taking too long? Reload document | Open in new tab View, Print and Download [659.68 KB] A new state-wide campaign is urging residents to be on the lookout for the prohibited sale or trade of prickly pear cacti. Image of Blind cactus,  courtesy of Queensland... read more

Helping Scientists Control Lantana – Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain

Do you have Lantana camara in your backyard or on your property? Our scientists are documenting patterns in Lantana’s genetic diversity across Australia and need your help. “Lantana camara is a widespread shrub with colourful flowers. It’s poisonous to people... 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

Ask a Plant Nerd: From Little Things

Ask a Plant Nerd: From little things.  This month’s “Ask a Plant Nerd” question comes from HRLN committee member Les Pearson who asks “What’s a forb and why are they important?” The first bit is easy, a forb is a herbaceous flowering non graminoid (grass like) plant,... 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

Watch Your Step

When most people think of rare plants they think of large and exotic and hidden in the middle of nowhere. Oftentimes the rare ones can be found right under our feet, or in this case from London, just over our heads. “A rare species of orchid believed to have... 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: Australian Toadflax

(Thesium australe) When most people think of endangered species they think of something like the Wollemi Pine, tall, majestic and hidden away in a remote valley in the wilderness but in truth most of our endangered plant species are small, nondescript and in places... 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

Weed of the Month: Khaki Weed (Alternanthera pungens)

I hate Khaki Weed, I really do, so much so that at one stage I had it almost eliminated from the footpaths of the small village I live in and despite my slackness over the past couple of years numbers are still low and just the other week had to spray the footpath... 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

Weed of the Month: Coolatai grass Hyparrhenia hirta

Regional Priority Weed Objective – ASSET PROTECTION An invasive drought, fire and herbicide tolerant tussock forming perennial grass.   It is found in all Australian states and territories. The main infestations on the East coast were south-eastern Queensland,... read more