The Plant Study Group met for the first time on 17th April 2005 at the Conservation Hut.
Members of the Plant Group are all enthusiastic plant lovers with a desire for more knowledge about Blue Mountains native plants.
We endlessly delight in the beauty, mysteries and complexity of plants.
We work as a group in the field and share our discoveries, so we learn together and there is not any formal teaching.
Our aim is to learn plants, so we study the botanical structures of flowers, leaves and fruits, noting their habitat needs, plant community and fire effects etc.
Our botanical studies have brought our eye in, to sharply observe many small things, such as tiny spiders inside orchids.
We meet once a month and travel to different locations in the mountains, enabling us to see a diversity of species and plant communities.
If you are interested in joining us, to get started, it is necessary to have a familiarity with local plants in Native Plants of the Blue Mountains, by M. Baker & R. Corringham. Beginners are welcome.
The Plant Study Group is open to members of the Society - but numbers are limited due to its educational/study nature.
Bathurst Copper ButterflyOne of our yearly joys is to visit the Bathurst Copper Butterfly and its specialized ecosystem.
The Copper Butterfly, Paralucia spinifera, likes the plant Bursaria spinosa ssp. lasiophylla as habitat and has a mutually agreeable relationship with an ant called Anonychomyra itineras.
This is a species specific relationship and just any ant or any Bursaria, is just not good enough!
Agnes Banks WoodlandIn 2014 the Plant Study Group made a submission to NSW Scientific Committee commending and supporting the Preliminary Determination of the Committee to list Agnes Banks Woodlands as a Critically Endangered Ecological Community. The Group visited Agnes Banks Woodland Reserve on three occasions and concluded the Extinction of the Woodland is a distinct possibility and that listing of Agnes Banks Woodland as a Critically Endangered Ecological Community is justified.
Here's our submission.
Impacts of Fire on an Endangered SpeciesAn exciting research project developed from our discovery of a small population of Leucopogon fletcheri ssp fletcheri in Winmalee.
L. fletcheri had just been burnt in a hazard reduction fire in 2009 and as the plant is endangered, we set up an annual survey to study the impacts of fire on the species, which we hope will assist NPWS, Council and the RFS with fire management.
Here's our Survey Report.
Overcliff TrackAnother of our projects was a flora survey of a Hanging Swamp on Overcliff Walking Track at Wentworth Falls.
Hanging Swamps are a listed endangered ecological community under the EP&BC Act 1999 and degradation of this swamp on a popular walking track is a threat to the ecological function of this unique community.
The survey report in 2014 was submitted to National Parks & Wildlife Service to support their application for funding to install a boardwalk through the swamp.Here are: