Christmas Bells

Christmas Bells
Christmas Bells - Blandfordia nobilis

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Threatened Persoonia species

Readers of this blog may remember that I mentioned that Persoonia glaucescens is growing, as bold as brass, along Tourist Road, just near one of the "test" bore sites.

The grey-green leaves of the small shrub at the base of this large Eucalypt (left) are a give-away. The specific name of this Persoonia refers to its "glaucous" or grey-green colour.

By contrast the neighbouring plant of Persoonia lanceolata (below) reveals how much more yellow its leaves are than P. glaucescens.

Persoonia glaucescens is on the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Threatened Species list, classed as "Endangered".

The website (linked above) states: "recent surveys have indicated that the species no longer extends to Fitzroy Falls or Kangaloon and that the present southern limit is near Berrima."

At last, I have been able to take some photos of my own to demonstrate that the plant does still exist in Kangaloon (upper photo). Unfortunately, this particular plant is more than "endangered", it is threatened, because of the proximity of the test bore.

That bore is one which the Sydney Catchment Authority was testing around Christmas time, by pumping water from this bore, via a pipe, into the Upper Nepean River, about 300 metres away. This site is one of the proposed pumping stations for the proposal to drain the Kangaloon Aquifer.

The close-up photo (below, right) reveals the classic small yellow flowers of the Persoonia, although at a distance the shrub could easily be mistaken, by its leaf colour, for a small Eucalypt, or else, a Hakea dactyloides, which also grows there. But it is clearly a Persoonia (from the flowers).

Finally, I have attempted a "cut and paste" image of the foliage of these two related species, to show the difference in their leaf and stem colouration.

I had some camera problems today, and I hope to take better leaf comparison photos tomorrow, to get the scale of the leaves more closely comparable.

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