How many people would expect to find enough plants on a roadside verge to be able to record a plant list of 30 species? ( ANGAIR members excepted of course.)
A group of eight of us went on the Nature Ramble in March and stopped along Forest Road to look at and identify the plants in a stretch of about 100 metres.
Scattered through the grass were two species of orchids. Although past their best, there were numbers of the Fringed Midge Orchid Corunastylis ciliata.
Fringed Midge Orchid
At their peak were the Bearded Midge Orchids Corunastylis morrisii.
Bearded Midge Orchid
A great find and so colourful was the Tall Lobelia, Lobelia gibbosa.
Hiding in the foliage was the Slender Platysace, Platysace heterophylla var. heterophylla, a very fine, lacy plant and really difficult to see.
An insect which caught our eye was sitting on the low foliage.
We then moved on to an area along Forest Road which had been burnt in 2018.
Just coming out and hard to see were several Parson’s Bands Orchids, Eriochilus cucullatus. Only up to 15 cm high, they need to be looked at closely, with a hand lens if possible, to see their structure and beauty.
Parson’s Bands Orchid
The excitement of the day, however, was to see the Heath Daisy-bush, Olearia floriibunda.
These plants had only been (re)discovered and identified two days previously. They had been documented in 1980, but had not been seen since and were not on our plant list. We do not know if this is the area in which they were originally seen, but delighted that they were flowering at this time.
We all went home feeling happy to have seen what was a new plant for all of us.
Photos. by Rob Shepherd