Native plants in Innes National Park
I had the pleasure of visiting Innes National Park a few years ago in September when the flora is at its flowering best. I describe it as visiting one big botanical garden.
For the past couple of years I have been involved with the planning of revegetation projects within the park. For the propagation of the seedlings, the seed and the cutting material have been collected from the indigenous flora. In addition to planting over 3,000 seedlings we had a considerable amount of seed left over. Most of it had been collected by volunteers of the park and some of it was 10 years old or more so I was unsure of the viability of the seed. Nevertheless we elected to do 350 scrapes with rake hoes, which were hand direct seeded with a pinch of mixed seed and some moist vermiculite. To my surprise there was some seedlings germinating of Templetonia retusa (cockie’s tongue) some Acacia species and lo and behold some Leucopogon parviflorus (coast beard heath). On occasions the Leucopogon has a reputation of being difficult to germinate.
Some of the other plants that I encountered included Chrysocephalum apiculatum (common everlasting). This is a widespread species throughout Australia and the coastal form is a gem with silver almost white foliage, with its heads of yellow everlasting flowers on spikes up to knee height. It is a small clumping plant growing on the cliffs enduring harsh coastal exposure, a tough plant for any coastal garden and it would be well placed in groups in a rockery in full sun.
Olearia ciliata, fringed daisy bush, flourishes on the coastal sandy soils and was resplendent with its pink daisy flowers. It is a small bushy plant to shin height.
Intermingled in the shrubbery was the distinctive old man’s beard, Clematis microphylla, a scrambling climbing plant with cream flowers followed by silver wispy seed heads that shimmer in the sun. We included this plant in our revegetation projects, planting it directly adjacent to another seedling so that it could do its natural thing of twining in between its neighbours branches and foliage.
I highly recommend a visit to Innes National Park to not only enjoy the spectacular rugged coastal scenery but also the floral display best witnessed in September.