The Great Confusion: Australian Plants

It has been over a year now that I made the big move to Terra Australis Incognita. Unfortunately, I feel no wiser since, in particular with respect to many of the native plants.

Having learnt to weed out Tradescantia and Ehrharta in bushcare sessions at the local reserve, the staggering wealth of native plants (apparently more in the Sydney region alone and in the UK altogether (source: info plate in Botanical Garden Sydney) still remains rather concealed to me. Confused by all the gum trees, wattles and grasses, my knowledge of the greenery around me is pitiable.

Fortunately, there’s an app course for it. Provided by the Lane Cove Council (for example, sure other councils would offer similar ones) it comes in form of a 4-hour workshop. Lead by experienced bushcarers and accompanied by excellent course material, both common native plants and notorious weeds, probably even more common in the end, are covered in botanical detail.

It is by no means a gardening workshop, even though a few tips and tricks on how to grow natives (or kill the weeds) are included.

From theory and singular plant specimen to practice and the bush. Meaning not just one plant exhibiting identification characteristics beautifully, but all of them – good and bad, or easily confused ones – at once.

That’s where it got tough again. And where successfully identifying a Commelina cyanea from a Tradescantia fluminensis feels like an achievement.

Commelina cyanea (image by MargaretsFamily on flickr)
Commelina cyanea (image by MargaretsFamily on flickr)
Tradescantia fluminensis (image by Mollivan Jon on flickr)
Tradescantia fluminensis (image by Mollivan Jon on flickr)

The native plant and week identification course is a great start or refresher and provides a lot of help (workbooks and brochures) and encouragement to go out again and open one’s eyes to the beautiful Australian flora.

For upcoming workshops, check the Lane Cove Council website or the North Sydney Council Bushcare Calendar.


One thought on “The Great Confusion: Australian Plants

  1. margaretrdonald

    Thanks for the attribution. (And one of the nice things about linking to the original Flickr photo is that you may well have the opportunity to see the photo in the original resolution…)

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