Getting to know plants of Maldon and surrounds
Posted on 12 October, 2017 by Asha
Intern Sarah Edwards has recently commenced her placement with Connecting Country and attended the ‘Get to know your local plants’ workshop in Maldon on Saturday the 7th of October 2017. This is her account of the afternoon:
Out of the 1100 plant species found in beautiful central Victoria, 60% of these are native species. These native plants are separated by their characteristics (flowers, fruit, seeds, leaves, bark) and are crucial for the survival of the birds, bugs, marsupials and other native animals that are found here.
This was an invaluable workshop. When attempting to correctly identify plants using reference books, there is often a limited amount of information and pictures able to be displayed, making detailed identification a challenge. The last thing I would want to do is accidentally pull out a native plant that I thought was a weed. One of the values of this workshop was being able to use live plant samples to practise on and have experts (Bonnie Humphreys and Frances Cincotta) on hand to help.
We all undertook a series of activities, the aim of which was to use the brief descriptions and other clues provided to identify what a given plant specimen was called. Each table had different types of plants (eucalypts, wattles, pea flowers, prickly shrubs etc.) that share similar characteristics.
Working in small groups, we touched, inspected, smelt and viewed juveniles and adult plant samples and worked as a team to correctly name them. It was like trying to work out a puzzle. Some species were more difficult to identify than others and at times it was quite tricky (and prickly!) but collaborating with others made this activity very enjoyable.
There are two more plant identification workshops coming up that are focusing on local weeds in Newstead and Chewton. See https://connectingcountry.org.au/get-to-know-your-local-plants-weed-and-native-plant-workshops/ for the details.