Since December the scene in the park has changed very dramatically as a response to the floods, sun and rain of 2010/11. There has been regeneration of many native herbs but the one most dominant species has been Persicaria lapathifolia (Pale Knotweed). This has spread from a few previous sites to densely cover much of the park, including several tracks which thankfully have now been reopened by the brush-cutting of Bush Regenerator, Andrew Snowdon.
Young Melaleucas (Rough-barked Honey-myrtles), Acacias (Wattles) and Melicytus (Tree Violets) died after being under water for long periods. We are finding tiny Tree Violet seedlings, a few Wattles but no Melaleucas as yet. Several other native species which were flooded or washed away have not yet regenerated.
However, recently we were delighted to see flowers and seed on “our daisy”, Senecio longicollaris. And we are seeing strong young Red Gum seedlings. Callistemon sieberi (River Bottlebrush) is one species which has survived flooding and is doing very well in many parts of the park.
As was recorded in previous Newsletters a large number of Red Gums and Wattles fell following the heavy rains. This has left the hazard of much fallen timber to deal with while weeding and wood stacking.
The weeds have gone quite berserk – for example, two Conyza sumatrensis (Tall Fleabanes) were measured at 2.5 meters. That is half a meter taller than the height recorded by the National Herbarium of Victoria, and much taller than Peter!