Mt. Flora Bushland Reserve¦Golly Walk

Northern Suburbs Branch, 24 April 2024

We joined members of the Northern Suburbs Branch of the WA Wildflower Society for our April Golly Walk, which was around the remnant bushland at Mt Flora, Watermans Bay. That’s right, a mountain in one of our coastal suburbs! Local ecologist David Pike led the walk.

The bushland is described as Limestone Heath and may qualify as a Threatened Ecological Community (TEC) under the recently legislated Honeymyrtle shrubland on limestone ridges of the Swan Coastal Plain Threaten Ecological Community. We saw all the key species – Melaleuca huegelii (Chenille Honey-myrtle), M. systena (Coastal Honey-myrtle), and Banksia sessilis (Parrot Bush) – sometimes all in one location.

Many other native plants that like calcareous soils were also observed, including Acacia rostellifera (Summer-scented Wattle), A. truncata (Angle Leaved Wattle) and Templetonia retusa (Cockies Tongues). The effects of a dry summer and autumn were noticeable on the very brown Hibbertia hypericoides (Yellow Buttercups) and the folded leaves of Spyridium globulosum (Basket Bush).

Only nine bird species were observed, probably reflecting the reserve’s small size and lack of trees. No reptiles were recorded.

After the walk, attendees had the opportunity to visit the City of Stirling’s Mt Flora Regional Museum. The two-story, circular building was once the water reservoir for the surrounding suburbs. It was set to be demolished before a couple of local activists, including Naturalists Club member Marilyn Zakrevsky and her late husband Ken (a Nats Club councilor in the 1980s), fought to have the structure preserved and turned into a museum, like one they had seen in Gympie, Queensland.

Don Poynton