Despite the lack of rain for the last 7 weeks, the Wax Garden is looking beautiful.
A walk with members from Avon Plains Banyena Landcare Group on Sunday 13th October
started with disappointment at the front gate where the vegetation could only be described as Macbeth's "blasted heath"!
Taking the Mallee Track though, we were soon amazed and thrilled at the diversity of the flowering shrubs and herbs.
Blue Dampiera (D.dysantha)
was threading its way everwhere through the flowering Goldfields Grevilleas ( G. dryophylla),
Silky Tea-tree(Leptospermum mysrsinoides),
soon-to flower Daphne Heath (Brachyloma daphnoides),
Common Fringe-myrtle(Calytrix tetragona)
and fading Rosy Baeckea,
Many other plants were flowering-
Twining Fringe-lilies (Thysanotus patersonii)
various peas and daisies and then we came to the patches of the yellow Sun-orchids- Rabbit's Ears.
Like rabbits too they were everywhere and flourishing.
Round the corner and heading for the outside track we found, flowering, several plants of the Fairy or Bendigo Waxflower (Philotheca verrucosus), regenerating now since the new fence was installed 2years ago
Other plants present in good numbers were
Yam Daisy (Microseris lanceolata) attracting early hoverflies
Twiggy Guinea -flower(Hibbertia exutiaces) with its outstanding honey scent
the tall stately spires of the Cypress Daisy-bush (Olearia teretifolia)
emerging spikes of the Tall Chocolate Lily(Arthropodium strictum)
the shy, low growing herb White Marianth (Rytidospermum procumbens) re-emerging since the fence went up
and the hot magenta flowers of Pink Bells(Tetratheca ciliata)
Each section of the 3 tracks has something different to offer and flowering plants and shrubs are seen from August through to the show of Tall Lobelias, Trigger-plants and native grasses in December.
The patch supports the Box-Ironbark eucalypt species Red Box, Yellow Gum, Grey Box, Red Ironbark and Red Stringybark as well as the mallee species Blue Mallee. The rich and diverse understorey represents the best of both ecological vegetation types.
The new grazing control fence has proved its worth and will offer protection to this unusual 6.84 ha patch of bush into the future.