Journal of the Australian Native Plants Society Canberra region (Inc)

Back to Articles List

Black Mountain Reserve: Promising a great Spring Show

By Jean Egan

Dec 2023

On a crisp but sunny morning 19 people joined an approximately 5km walk from the Caswell Drive entrance to Black Mountain. With perfect walking weather, the Mountain showed off to its best, and proved what far-sighted planning it was over 50 years ago to make it into a public park for conservation. The progress was very slow with a wealth of plants to photograph/discuss. It was interesting to see how the plants changed in abundance and to different genera. On the lower slopes the Acacia buxifolia was the dominant Acacia, often with Hardenbergia violacea twining through it, with a sprinkling of A. genistifolia, and an occasional A. dealbata. Higher up there were a few A. gunnii.

Phyllanthus hirtellus, Photo: Jean Egan
Brachyloma daphnoides, Photo: Jean Egan
Cyrtostylis reniformis, Photo: Rob Gibbon

It was the same with the Eucalyptus. Lower down the Stringy Barks (E. macrorhyncha) and Brittle Gum (E.mannifera) were very much in evidence, up on the ridge above ‘Tonys Gully’ there were many of the Red Box (E. polyanthemus). The other changes were the Lomandra sp and Dianella revoluta, that were abundant on the lower slopes and only a few further up. Here the Stypandra glauca took over and was just beginning to flower with Grevillea alpina and Hakea decurrens flowering profusely along with many Caladenia caerulea and C. fuscata. Two Leucopogons had some attention when it was discovered it was very easy to tell the difference between the prickly L. attenuatus and L. virgatus.

Caladenia caerulea, Photo: Rob Gibbon
Corysanthes incurva, Photo: Rob Gibbon
Phyllanthus sp., Photo: Rob Gibbon
Pomaderris intermedia, Photo Jean Egan
Olearia microphylla, Photo: Jean Egan

Among other plants recorded were Stackhoushousia monogyna, Brachyloma daphnoides, Pimelea linifolia, Phyllanthus hirtellus, Dillwynia phylicoides and D. sericea to name just a few. Of course the orchid enthusiasts were busy with not only the Caladenias but also the Pterostylis nutans and Cyrtostylis reniformis were flowering and advanced buds of many Thelymitra spp, Calochilus platychilus and Lyperanthus suaveolens promising a good Spring showing. On the final leg of the journey there was a special reward of two plants not previously recorded by the Wed Walkers. A beautiful Pomaderris intermedia and an abundance of Olearia microphylla stretching down the slope.

Back to Articles List