Indigenous plantlife

Flora in the Edward Hunter Heritage Bush Reserve is diverse and typical of ‘lowland forest’ and ‘fern swamp’ descriptors. It also includes many exotic or non-indigenous plants.

Variability in the type of flora occurs throughout the Reserve depending on factors such as topography, moisture and soil type. For example, whilst the overstorey and canopy consists of  a healthy diversity of Eucalypt species including E. cephalocarpa (Silver Stringybark), Yertchuk, Messmate and Narrow-leaf Peppermint, the canopy in drier areas tends to be lower and has a greater density of younger trees.

Common and dominant tree and shrub species of the middle storey include Exocarpos cupressiformis (Cherry Ballart), Banksia spinulosa (Hairpin Banksia), Banksia marginata (Silver Banksia), Cassinia aculeata (Common Cassinia), Acacia melanoxylon (Blackwood) and Daviesia latifolia (Hop Bitterpea). Drier north-facing slopes tend towards a less dense middle storey with a sparse cover of species such as Acacia myrtifolia (Myrtle Wattle) and a more comprehensive ground storey of grasses and forbs. Moister flats and gullies include a predominance of species such as Olearia lirata (Snowy Daisy Bush), Polyscias sambucifolius (Elderberry Panax) and Leptospermum continentale (Prickly Tea-tree) and a lack of ground storey species. Ferns include Gleichenia microphylla (Scrambling coral fern.)

The ground storey is vastly diverse on north facing slopes, for example, with a comparatively large assortment of species including Wiry Spear-Grass, Tetrarrhena juncea (Forest Wire-grass), Xanthorrhoea minor ssp. lutea (Small Grass-tree), Wattle Mat-Rush, and Acrotriche serrulata (Honey-pots). Among the larger species, the ground storey is littered with an array of herbs, some of which include Opercularia varia (Variable Stinkweed), Goodenia elongata (Lanky Goodenia), Gonocarpus tetragynus (Common Raspwort) and Drosera whittakeri (Scented Sundew).

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Managing exotic and weed species is an important activity in the Reserve. Examples include woody species such as Pittosporum undulatum (Sweet Pittosporum), Genista monspessulana (Montpellier Broom), Cotoneaster glaucophyllus (Cotoneaster) and Acacia longifolia (Sallow Wattle). Climbers such as Hedera helix (English Ivy), although spread thinly across the site, are extremely dominant where present.

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