Western Australian Naturalists Club

Encouraging the study and protection of the natural environment

Byron Lamont – Grandiose Grass trees

"Hew Roberts" Nedlands Lecture Theatre, Clifton St., Nedlands

Grasstrees are an icon of the Australian bush. SW Australia possesses 12 of the 30 species, all but one endemic. You will be introduced to the tallest, widest and heaviest, how they can branch, how fast they grow, how old they get, why they manage to grow throughout the year, how they respond to summer rain, how they survive drought and fire (but not shade), how they are the first to recover after fire, where the nutrients go, the relationship between flowering and fire, how long they have been around, the role of resin, their pollinators and herbivores - home for bardies/witchety grubs, seed production, Noongar use and burning practices, how balgas and kingias differ – the amazing aerial roots of kingias: all in 45 minutes!

Byron produced the definitive review on grasstrees in 2004 following his first article on estimating their growth rate and flowering response to fire in 1979. He received his PhD in 1974 from the University of Western Australia for pioneering work on the root systems of the Banksia family, then a Doctor of Science in 1992 based on 70 papers he had produced on mediterranean floras since his PhD. He was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia for his work as a researcher, educator and author on the Australian flora and retired in 2010 as Distinguished Professor Emeritus at Curtin University. Since retirement he has been a regular contributor to Naturalist Club meetings and excursions. He continues to undertake research, especially on the evolution of plants in relation to fire. This year his work was recognized with a lifetime achievement award from the international Association of Fire Ecology and he will travel to California in December to receive it.

DRB Presents: Belinda McCawley talking about “What is Forest Therapy?”

Kalamunda Community Centre Kalamunda Community Centre, end of Crescent Rd, Off Mundaring Weir Road,, Kalamunda, WA, Australia

This is an interactive talk on the practise of forest therapy, exploring the evidence and how it impacts on mental and physical wellbeing along with the pro conservation benefits.

Lesley Picnic Area Walk

Lesley Picnic Area Brookton Highway, WA, Australia

Meet:              Lesley Picnic Area, Brookton Hwy – 9.2 km past Canning Rd junction,         (entry 50 m. past Ashendon Rd junction, right side, across an unmarked culvert - slow down and indicate before you reach Ashendon Road. (the picnic area is not visible from the road). Details:           An easy walk of about 12 ...

Christmas Island and Cocos Dive Trip

Naragebup Rockingham Environment Centre 49 Safety Bay Road, Peron, WA, Australia

Speaker: Jasmine Lyons Contact: Colin Prickett for further details.

Kitty’s Gorge, Jarrahdale

Kitty's Gorge Kitty’s Gorge Walk Trail, Atkins Rd, Jarrahdale, WA, Australia

Location: Kitty’s Gorge, Jarrahdale. Meet: At the car park near the Jarrahdale Cemetery on Atkins St Details: We will explore the walk trail from the Jarrahdale end. Bring: Binoculars, cameras, drinks, snacks. etc. Contact: Colin Prickett for further details.

Glorious Grasstrees! (Xanthorrhoea) and other Flora at Star Swamp

Henderson Environmental Centre Henderson Environmental Centre End of Groat St, North Beach, Australia

Xanthorrhoea) Grass trees epitomise the Australian bush: they're beautiful, ancient, hardy, thrive in nutrient-poor soils and respond to wildfire by flowering profusely. Grasstrees are iconic plants, recognisable even to budding botanists. All 66 species are only found in Australia.

Distinguished Professor Emeritus Byron Lamont, will be sharing his expert knowledge of these plants as we walk in the Star Swamp, a 96 hectare Class-A reserve It is located 15 km north of Perth and comprises four hectares of semi-permanent freshwater lake with paperbark trees and 92 hectares of Banksia, Tuart, Jarrah and Marri woodlands, and areas of low heath. The Reserve is a declared Bush Forever site that has been set aside for the purposes of conservation, passive recreation and education.  It is a remnant of the once extensive chain of wetland lakes and swamps which filled low-lying areas between ancient sand dunes.

Lake Leschenaultia Walk

Lake Leschenaultia Conservation Park Rosedale Road, Chidlow, WA, Australia

Meet:            car park, Leshenaultia Conservation Park, Rosedale Rd, Chidlow Details:         The walk is about 10 km, mainly flat. Wear clothes appropriate to the weather and suitable footwear.  After the walk there is a group afternoon tea if you’d like to stay. Bring folding chair, food to share and your own ...