Oct 29, 2010

Excitement in the Scrub

We felt a great sense of achievement at the last working bee, when we discovered a plant we hadn’t seen before.
Fawcett’s Clematis
Clematis fawcettii

This little plant is listed both nationally and in Queensland as “vulnerable”.

It grows in dry rainforest environments like Franke scrub, usually on stream banks, and has become very difficult to find, in the district. Threats to the plant, nationally, are destruction of the habitat by clearing, fire, and grazing.
We all appreciated the importance of saving Franke Scrub because it is a threatened environment type. While it contains some other species which are uncommon in the district, it was the whole environment which we knew needed to be saved from destruction, simply because preserved patches like this often turn out to be the home of rarer species than we knew. And so it has turned out to be!
We found a number of small plants growing in a group. There must have been seeds surviving in the soil all through the long drought, as all but one of the plants are very small. None were flowering. It will be interesting to see, when flowers do appear, whether we have both male and female plants. We can hope for it, as both are needed for seed production.

Oct 12, 2010

More rain

What a wet season we are having. We decided not to churn up the road in September and had a bit of a chat at the intersection of Franke Road instead. It will be interesting to see the growth in the scrub after all this rain.
Hopefully we have got all the big asparagus ferns in the canopy and there will be limited flowering and seed set this year.
We will however be busy dealing with the young plants before they climb into the canopy.
The nice thing about this work, apart from the sounds of birds and the company over smoko, is that we see all the small plants that are now growing since we have cleared up the scrub.