Plant Study Group in the Wolgan Valley Plant Study Group in the Wolgan Valley  (Meredith Brownhill)
Plant Study Group - 2023

About us & Projects

Yearly programs (with reports from outings where available):

Note: Participants need to comply with any relevant NSW Government COVID-19 rules

The BMCS Plant Study Group (PSG) generally meets on the second Sunday of each month and travels to different locations in the Blue Mountains. Before attending for the first time please contact Meredith by email at Changes to the program appear in red.

Plant Study Group 2023 Program

Notes:*Outing is a week earlier than usual.**Additional outing.
 Date (2023)  Location Leader More info
 8 Jan  Ikara Ridge Sue  Report of outing 
 *5 Feb  Mt Victoria Cemetery Lyndal Detailed survey
 **16 Feb  Mt Annan Botanic Gardens & Herbarium Meredith  Report of outing 
 12 Mar  Coachwood Glen Sue  Report of outing 
 *2 Apr  Murphy's Glen track Jelena  Report of outing 
 14 May  Castlereagh woodlands Alison  Report of outing 
 11 Jun  North Lawson Jo -
 9 Jul  Dharawal National Park Meredith Bus trip
 13 Aug  Glenbrook area Helen -
 10 Sep  Introductory walk Peter For new and prospective members
 8 Oct  Rigby Hill Sue -
 12 Nov  Dobbs Drift Alison -
 10 Dec  TBA TBA Christmas walk

2023 Reports

14 May - Castlereagh Woodlands

Allocasuarina glareicolaAllocasuarina glareicola cladodes with five teeth per node resprouting from the base (Alison Hewitt)

Sunday 14th May was a sunny morning for our Plant Study Group outing to the Castlereagh Woodlands. The area was only a few months since fire, and we had the fun challenge of identifying species re-establishing in the ash with the help of some plant lists compiled prior to the fire.

The scribbly gums had lost their scribbly bark and the rushes and grasses were springing back. Flowers were few, but some early dainties were Comesperma sphaerocarpum, Orianthera pusilla, Goodenia paniculata and Hypericum gramineum.

We were able to relocate nine or ten Allocasuarina glareicola which were reshooting from their bases at a location where they had previously been logged as fruiting adults. This species is rare and restricted to the Castlereagh area.

Leader (and report): Alison Hewitt

2 April - Woodford

It was a damp and rainy start as seven plant enthusiasts explored around exposed rocky platforms beside the road to Murphy’s Glen. The heath was dense and there was profuse growth of Cordifex fastigatus after wet seasons. Both low growing woody shrubs Baeckea brevifolia, and Leucopogon microphylla were covered in white flowers.

Bossiaea heterophyllaBossiaea heterophylla (Helen Yoxall)
Bossiaea heterophylla close upBossiaea heterophylla close up (Helen Yoxall)

Following the 2019/2020 wildfires the Eucalypt woodlands were recovering with an understory of Fabaceae plants. We found a community of vigorous pea plants with orange and reddish flowers. After discussion and checking field guides we identified them as Bossiaea heterophylla which typically have sparse foliage and are straggly in appearance. It is also called Variable Bossiaea. A hot cup of tea at Jelena’s place was very welcome on the way home.

Leader: Jelena Emmerick
Report: Meredith Brownhill

Group members by Jelena EmmerickGroup members (Jelena Emmerick)

12 March - Coachwood Glen

Cyptotrama aspratum fungusCyptotrama aspratum fungus (Sue Nicol)
Coachwood GlenCoachwood Glen (Sue Nicol)

Seven members of the Plant Study Group enjoyed a lovely morning in the rainforest. After a dry couple of weeks, fungi were not abundant but we found some Dead Man's Fingers (Xylaria), large bracket fungi and tiny Cyptotrama aspratum on fallen branches. We got to grips with a feast of ferns, some identified for the first time by some members eg Pellaea falcata (Sickle fern) and Asplenium flabellifolium (Necklace fern). We also found some orchid leaves (Sarchochilus sp) on pieces of fallen bark and hiding in the leaf litter were leaves of Corybas and Chiloglottis.

Leader (and report): Sue Nicol

16 February - Mt Annan Botanic Gardens and Herbarium

PSG Mt Annan Bus TripMt Annan trip (Lyn Farthing)
Mt Annan Herbarium VaultMt Annan Herbarium Vault (Sue Nicol)

With excitement in the air 13 bus passengers set out for Mt Annan Botanic Gardens in the Council Community Bus, driven by a capable volunteer driver. Our group was a mix of Nursery Volunteers and Plant Group members, so sharing our interest in native flora and the National Herbarium was rewarding. Herbarium staff took us on a tour of the newly designed building with sealed rooms for drying plants at 30c, freezing at minus 20c to sterilise plant specimens, and then a vault for storing specimens for perpetuity.

The Herbarium has plant samples collected from 1770 by Joseph Banks, and now the entire plant collection of Isobel Bowden, a late member of the Blue Mountains Conservation Society and renowned for her botanical contribution to conservation, is held there. See the photos of two of Isobel's specimens, gratefully given to us by the Herbarium. Also find Isobel's biography here.

Isobel Bowden collection - Epacris obtusifolia.jpgIsobel Bowden collection Epacris obtusifolia (National Herbarium of NSW)
Isobel Bowden collection - Sprengelia incana.jpgIsobel Bowden collection Sprengelia incana (National Herbarium of NSW)

We also had a good discussion with the Herbarium staff about protocols for plant collection, noting a license is required to collect native flora.

All this activity was followed by a very enjoyable lunch in the shady Grevillea Gardens, followed by a cool & shady walk through the Evolutionary Garden. The extra thrill of the day was finding a turtle in a creek and seeing a flock of Blue Triangle Butterflies.

Leader (and report): Meredith Brownhill

Long-necked TurtleLong-necked Turtle (Rod Provis)

8 January - Ikara Ridge, Mount Victoria

Stylidium lineareStylidium lineare

The first walk for 2023 was on a beautiful, clear, blue day after a week of rain.

Ten plant enthusiasts enjoyed the spectacular landscape and were delighted with the masses of white flannel flowers (Actinotus helianthi) and Platysace lanceolata as well as the vibrant pink tufts of Stylidium lineare growing on almost bare rock surfaces.

Deep blue Thelionema ceaspitosum was a new plant for some. We also saw a tally of 5 different orchids, notably Cryptostylis subulata (large tongue orchid).

Leader: Sue Nicol

Contact us   © 2023  Blue Mountains Conservation Society Inc.
We acknowledge the traditional custodians of this land
– the Darug and Gundungurra people –
and pay respect to their Elders past, present and emerging.