Christmas Bells

Christmas Bells
Christmas Bells - Blandfordia nobilis

Saturday, May 04, 2013

Plants of Bells Hill, near Robertson.

There is an interesting patch of Cool Temperate Rainforest on Bells Hill, just south from Robertson. It is accessible by foot, from Yeola Road, but that's via private property, so permission would be required. But there is a road which goes up towards Bells Hill, from Fountaindale Road. It ends up as a "private road" but the first part, Maugers Road, is a public road. There are some great patches of rainforest just beside the road. No trespassing. My kind of road, for exploring along.

The interesting stuff is not always very obvious, as the forest patches are quite thick. and these plants are not necessarily Picture Post-card stuff. But they are interesting, if you check them out in detail.

Pimelea ligustrina
This plant grows to a large shrub,
and has creamy-white heads of flowers
followed shortly afterwards by seeds which readily disperse.
It has a reputation as being a bit "weedy" in places.
It is however, relatively uncommon in Robertson.
I would rate this plants as marginal on the Red Basalt soil.
It is more common in the forest below the basalt,
and half-way down Macquarie Pass.

Ripe fruits of Pittosporum undulatum
Under side of leaves of Pittosporum undulatum
There are a number of seedlings of a very large rainforest tree Stenocarpus salignus growing along this road. Presumably they are successful regenerations from trees which have been cleared from the original rainforest on Bells Hill. In any case, it is interesting to see them here, as seedlings.
Stenocarpus salignusThis is a tiny seedling,
less than 20 cm high.

The fresh leaf tips are reddish brown.

This is the upper side of a mature leaf of
Stenocarpus salignus
There is a prominent mid-vein and
Two other significant veins
which are roughly half-way between

the mid vein and the leaf margin.
Small veins run off
the mid-vein at an acute angle.

That leaf venation detail is shown quite well in the PlantNET botanical illustration.
Botanical illustration of
leaf and flowers of Stenocarpus salignus

Under side of the same leaves
(as above) of Stenocarpus salignusOnly the mid vein is prominently seen,
from below, in this example.

These leaves of Stenocarpus salignus
are really fresh
and light green,
with the characteristic reddish tips.
Old leaves go dull and leathery.

Stenocarpus salignusThis young plant is growing strongly now.Note how the leaf shape and colour make it stand out
from other vegetation in the background.
I have many more photos to show, but I will save them for another day.

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