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Griffith Mates (l-r) Laura, Lothar, Vikram, Sienna and Herman

By: Michael Fox

The Griffith Mates team helped us reach an important milestone last week. The final stage of a five year project was reached as the last patch of Fishbone Fern Nephrolepis cordifolia has been cleared at our Fox Gully Bushcare site Zone 13.

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Fishbone jungle - 11 May 2013

Lost in Fishbone jungle

A team from FWR Group started the daunting task of clearing the Fishbone jungle from the gully.

In its natural environment, Fishbone Fern is usually found growing in rocky areas, on rainforest margins, or as an epiphyte on palm trees in the wetter parts of tropical and sub-tropical Australia. (Weeds of Australia)

CVA team Fox Gully - 22 May 2013 2

Conservation Volunteers (CVA) team

In urban areas where Fishbone Fern has been cultivated as a garden plant it has escaped into remaining patches of bushland crowding out indigenous species. Six species of native fern are indigenous to the Fox Gully habitat. Removal of the weed is allowing natural regeneration of indigenous grasses, ferns and vines.

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Removing Fishbone Fern is a time consuming job so the support of a team from Conservation Volunteers Australia (CVA) was a major boost for the project.

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White-banded Plane -25 Apr 2015

Common or Varied Eggfly Hypolimnas bolina

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It is a particular pleasure to welcome Griffith Mates back as they always have a great interest in our local wildlife. They even insisted on walking through the forest from Mt Gravatt Campus.

So it was good to be able to show this perfect specimen of Common Aeroplane Phaedyma shepherdi butterfly posing on a Spotted Gum Corymbia citriodora.

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Squirrel Glider - 25 Apr 2015

Squirrel Glider Petaurus norfolcensis

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We finished the morning by checking the nest-boxes introducing our visitors to some of our cutest wildlife.

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Magnified Native Cherry

“That is a tiny flower.” Photo: Herman Kai

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And Australia’s smallest flower on Native Cherry Exocarpos cupressiformis. Looking for flowering bushfood trees is difficult when you need to carry a magnifying glass.

Exocarpos cupressiformis - flower - 28 April 2015 - Alan Moore - low res

Native Cherry Exocarpos cupressiformis beside pin head

By: Michael Fox

Want to know about macro-photography learn from Alan Moore at our 2015 Photography Workshop.

Exocarpos cupressiformis - fruit - 25 April 2015 - Alan Moore - low res

Native Cherry fruit

Alan helps with our research of local flora and fauna, however, I think this has been the most challenging assignment yet.

Just finding suitable flowers to photograph on the Native Cherry Exocarpos cupressiformis required the use of a magnifying glass.

Smaller than a pin head this surely has to be Australia’s smallest flower. Now the challenge is the find how these tiny flowers are pollinated so they create tasty bushfood  fruit.

Exocarpos cupressiformis - close - 22 Nov 2014

Bushfood – Native Cherry Exocarpos cupressiformis

By: Michael Fox

Australia is famous for its loud brightly coloured parrots … read Tim Low’s “Where song began” or visit any park when the eucalyptus are flowering.

Our flowers however, with some notable exceptions, have a reputation for being understated or inconspicuous.

Native Cherry Exocarpos cupressiformis is an excellent example of inconspicuous. The orange or red fruit are quite noticeable but the flowers are the tiny buds smaller than the stems they grow on.

Native Cherry - flower - 13 Apr 2015

Tiny flower of Native Cherry

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The flowers are so tiny I had to use an olloclip macro attachment on my iPhone 6 to get close.

 

Exocarpos cupressiformis - 22 Nov 2014By: Michael Fox

Identification of Native Cherry Exocarpos cupressiformis brings to two hundred and seventy-four plant species identified within Mt Gravatt Conservation Reserve.

 Mt Gravatt Then and Now, Mt Gravatt Historical Society, records that in July 1883 our local Mt Gravatt community convinced the state government to protect the Reserve which had previously been logged as railway timber reserve.

In 2014 it is our turn to protect this unique high diversity habitat. The 274 native plant species our 66 hectare Reserve is equal to 11% of of all species in Great Britain which is 22.6 million hectares.

Protecting and restoring this habitat is a whole of community effort with Griffith Mates joining our Bushcare teams, Mt Gravatt Kindy protecting their part of the habitat and installing nest boxes  so the next generation learns, Mt Gravatt State High School and Fox Gully neighbours supporting efforts to build Pollinator Link wildlife corridors linking the Reserve to other habitats.

Koalas breeding successfully is one measure of our progress.