Sunday May 19 8:30 am
A morning stroll with Dave Liddle, this joint field trip with TENPS members will explore the sandsheet heath vegetation on the Howard River floodplain. Sandsheet heath supports an amazing diversity of carnivorous plants with up to a dozen species of bladderworts (Utricularia species) occurring in an area the size of a basketball court; along with a few sundews (Drosera species) to add to the mix. The high species diversity of the Howard River catchment stands out on the international stage and reflects a landscape of sandy soils that vary from seasonally saturated to parched and dry before the arrival of early wet season storms. The low nutrient substrate and extremes of moisture provide a great environment for seasonal carnivorous plants. Seasonal conditions change rapidly on the sandsheets and the prime time for bladderworts is as the wet season turns to dry. The most diverse arrays of plants occur where groundwater seepage discharges from the surrounding slightly elevated lands onto the floodplain. Given this poor wet season, the duration of seepage is uncertain, so while we can be confident there will be fascinating plants to see, we may need some flexibility regards site(s) visited on the day. Come along prepared to walk a few hundred meters across uneven ground to visit the best spots.
Where to meet: At the junction of Girraween Road and Anglesey Road, Girraween.
What to bring: A hat, enclosed footwear, sunscreen and insect repellent. Snacks and a water bottle. If you have one, please bring a hand lens which makes it easier to see the fine detail of the intricate flowers. We will have a few hand lenses to share around.
Endurance Scale: 5 out of 10 with the morning spent in the sun and uneven ground. Plenty of opportunity to crouch down and look at the amazing small plants. Distances to be walked in the order of a few hundred meters over mostly dry floodplain.
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Long: 131.105408 Lat: -12.525724