North Shore Group

Walks & Talks
Term 1
Term 2
Term 3
Term 4


Walks & Talks Term 3, 2016

  At the:

"Bushland Education Centre"
The Ku-ring-gai Wildflower Garden
420 Mona Vale Road,
St Ives

Arrive at 9:45 am for a 10:00am start.
Information sheets are provided.
Walks conclude at approx. 12.30 pm.

Please wear suitable footwear, and bring a hat and water.
No prior knowledge required - just an enquiring mind and a love of the bush!

There is a fee of $5 per person per session to cover costs.

Topics and leaders for term 3, 2016

July 18th

Leader: Bill Jones
Topic:' 'Rainforests’

The world is losing Rainforest. There are remnants in the Sandstone gullies of Ku-ring-gai Wildflower Garden. As well, species of the Central Eastern Rainforest Reserves of Australia that are World Heritage Listed have been introduced to our garden areas. Join Bill Jones to see these plants, learn their origins and how to identify them.

July 25th

Leader: John Martyn
Topic: 'Geology’

The flora and soils of an area are a complex product of its geology, climate and climatic history. Dr John Martyn is a retired geologist with 50 years experience in regional geology, mapping and mineral exploration and in recent decades has become well acquainted with the geology of the Sydney Basin and many aspects of its plant communities. In communicating this geological knowledge to people with strong interest in flora, like the Australian Plant Society, it's helpful to go back to fundamentals. So this talk will focus particularly on the fundamentals of the Narrabeen Group, whose deposition began 252 million years ago with the greatest life extinction event in geological history. Its suite of sedimentary rocks is thick, varied and complex and supports an enormous diversity of plant communities over a vast area. Its rocks also create some confusion among botanists and ecologists and hopefully the talk will throw light on aspects of this.

August 1st

Leader: Wendy Grimm
Topic: ‘Grevilleas and Hakeas (Family Proteaceae) ’

Grevillia flower

Both red and grey spider flowers are in abundance in Sydney sandstone bushland in late winter and early spring, and we may spot pink or white spider flowers growing among rocky outcrops. These Grevilleas are easy to learn to recognise and are part of the Proteaceae family of plants. In comparison, the Hakeas have small, light coloured flowers but bear large, woody seed capsules that persist on the shrub for many years. Their fruit aid greatly with their identification. As we walk around the Ku-ring-gai Wildflower Garden after the talk, we will recognise many of these plants and learn more about where they grow and their common characteristics.


August 8th

Robert Failes
‘Acacias (Family Fabaceae, Subfamily Mimosoideae) ’

Acacia flowers

Acacias - or wattles as they are commonly known - are one of Australia's most important and best-loved plant groups. Their common names such as Sunshine Wattle conjure-up cheery visions of green and gold. The Golden Wattle, Acacia pycnantha is Australia's national flower. Acacias are used by Aboriginal peoples for food, weapons, tools and ornaments. They are easy to grow and grow rapidly. We'll look at the many local species and some planted Acacias as we walk around the Ku-ring-gai Wildflower Garden after the talk.

August 15th

Leader: Wendy Grimm
Topic: 'Boronias and other Family Rutaceae'

Eriostemon flowers

Have you ever wondered about the pink flowered plants that make such a show in the bush from late winter through to spring? Come and enjoy seeing the local species of Boronias and the elegant pink wax flower, Eriostemon australasius. Many species in the Rutaceae family attract birds and an interesting range of insects including solitary bees, flies, moths and ants.

August 22nd

Leader: Bill Jones
Topic: 'Heath plants (Family Ericaceae)’

Sprengelia incarnata flowers
Styphelia tubiflora

Some of our most beautiful native plants occur in the poor soils found in the coastal heaths of Eastern Australia. Styphelia tubiflora (Five Corners)- pictured - is one of these. Others growing in the Sydney region include Epacris longiflora (Native Fuchsia), Woollsia pungens and various members of the Leucopogon genus (the Beard-Heaths). These plants are members of the Ericaceae family. Many heath plants occur in Ku-ring-gai Wildflower Garden and will be seen in flower in this session.

August 29t

Leader: Helen Theile
Topic: 'Pea (Family Fabaceae)'

Pea flowers

This is a very large group of plants occurring widely in the northern and southern hemispheres. Domesticated varieties are major foods: green peas and beans, peanuts, soya beans and grain legumes. Most local species have yellow flowers with a splash of red but some of the climbers come in dark reds and vivid purples. They are also a favourite food of the local wildlife. The talk will be complemented by a walk to see flowering examples within the Ku-ring-gai Wildflower Garden.

September 5th

Leader: Bill Jones
Topic: 'Orchids (Family Orchidaceae)'

Beard Orchid Flower

There are over 35 species at Ku-ring-gai Wildflower Garden! However they are mostly ground orchids and often hard to find because they flower irregularly. Learn about these attractive, fascinating plants and their unusual features and requirements. Join Bill Jones to find out about these interesting plants.

September 12th

Leader: Robert Failes
Topic: 'Other Families: Apiaceae, Asteraceae, Goodeniaceae'

Daisies and Flannel Flowers: their flower heads are not single flowers but clusters of small flowers with intriguing structures.” While six or so plant families dominate the native Australian landscape there are many other significant families. Asteraceae (the daisies) and Apiaceae (including Flannel Flowers) are two of these ‘Other Families’. These families and another ‘Other Family’, Goodeniaceae, will be discussed (and displayed) at the ‘Walks and Talks’ meeting at Ku-ring-gai Wildflower Garden.

September 19th

Leader: Robert Failes
Topic: Western Mueller Track (bring lunch & water) return about 3pm

Whipbird Gulley

We take the opportunity to study the vegetation along the Mueller Track as it roughly follows Ku-ring-gai Creek in the western part of KWG. This track supports a surprising number of plants not found elsewhere in KWG. Please wear suitable footwear. Bring a hat, water and a packed lunch to eat near the top of Phantom Falls.