The Plant Study Group (PSG) members are all enthusiastic plant lovers who delight in the beauty and complexity of plants and who wish to deepen their knowledge of our Blue Mountains flora.
In the field we learn together as a group, observing and sharing our discoveries. There is no formal teaching. We study the morphology of the plants' flowers, leaves and fruits, and note their habitat needs, plant community, fire response, variability, etc. Inevitably our observations include appreciation of the wider ecosystem, in particular the interaction of birds and insects with plants.
We meet on the second Sunday of each month and travel to different locations in the Mountains, enabling us to see a diversity of plant species and communities. Our walks are leisurely strolls, usually a half day or a little longer. Bus trips are also organised to take us further afield (eg. Central Tablelands or Cumberland Plain). See our trip reports from the year index above.
The Plant Study Group is open to all members of the Society. As well as the relevant annual Society membership you will need to also pay the annual $20 bushwalkers insurance fee.
Beginners are welcome. A recommended book to get you started is Native Plants of the Blue Mountains by Margaret Baker and Robin Corringham. 2nd edition, Winmalee, NSW, Bower Bird Books, 2004. We’ll let you know about other printed and digital resources we commonly use in the field.
Here are our group guidelines and our current year program is linked above.
Please contact the PSG co-ordinator, Helen on 0400 192 856 for further information.
Interesting fact: The Plant Study Group met for the first time on 17th April 2005 at the Conservation Hut.
The Bathurst 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!
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.
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.
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.