Friends of Werakata National Park
Banksia Spinulosa

Kurri Sand Swamp Woodland

      This is an endangered habitat only found in the vicinity of Kurri Kurri including parts of Werakata National Park. These are small areas (totalling about 70 hectares), are situated mostly in the Neath secion of the Park although some occur in the northern section near Deadmans Creek. This 70 hectares represents the only example of this habitat under protection. There are some differences to the similar woodlands closer to Kurr Kurri, but not within the Park. The canopy is dominated by Angophora bakeri, Eucalyptus resinifera ssp. resinifera, and Eucalyptus agglomerata (atypical), with Eucalyptus parramattensis ssp. decadens and Corymbia gummifera occassionally present. The dominant plants in the understorey are shrubs typical of sand environments, but also include species such as Melaleuca nodosa which are more typical of clay soils. The Kurri Sand Swamp Woodland occurs on level to slightly undulating Tertiary sand deposits where drainage is relatively free-flowing. Kurri Sand Swamp Woodland in blue

      This woodalnd is distinctly different to all other vegetation within Werakata. There is some overlap with other habitats but the canopy combination of Angophora bakeri, Eucalyptus resinifera ssp. resinifera, and Eucalyptus agglomerata (atypical) does not occur in other communities. Eucalyptus parramattensis ssp. decadens also occurs in Kurri Sand Melaleuca Scrub-Forest, but the very dense shrub layer of Melaleuca nodosa, and the absence of other key species (eg: Angophora bakeri, Lambertia formosa, Leptospermum trinervium, Banksia spinulosa var. collina) separates the two. In places in the Kurri Sand Melaleuca Scrub-Forest, Eucalyptus resinifera ssp. resinifera co-dominates with Eucalyptus agglomerata (atypical), but again the understorey composition separates the two.

Some of the many species found in the Wetland include:

  • Trees
    • Angophora bakeri - Narrow-leaved "apple".
    • Eucalyptus resinifera ssp. resinifera
    • Eucalyptus agglomerata (atypical) - Blue-leaf Stringy bark
    • Eucalyptus parramattensis ssp. decadens - subspecies of Parramatta Red gum. A threatened subspecies only found in this district.
    • Corymbia gummifera
  • Small Trees
    • Melaleuca sieberi
    • Melaleuca decora
  • Shrubs
    • Banksia oblongifolia
    • Banksia spinulosa var. collina - Hairpin Banksia. A bushy shrub growing to 2m in height. It has long narrow leaves with serrated edges. In older plants the serrations may be missing and the edge rolled inwards. Orange coloured flower brushes 20cm long.
    • Dillwynia retorta - Egg and bacon plant. Twiggy erect shrub to 2m. Narrow twisted leaves. Bright yellow pea flowers with red blotch in centre in Spring
    • Leptospermum trinervium
    • Acacia ulicifolia - One of the plants known as "Prickly Moses". Hairy branchlets, crowded phyllodes. Large pale creamy yellow flowerheads. Erect dense bushy shrub to 2 m
    • Leptospermum polygalifolium ssp. cismontanum
    • Leucopogon virgatus - Small heath plant with thin, wiry branches. 50cm hairy branches Deep pink flower heads. Light fragrance.
    • Isopogon anemonifolius - Drumsticks. A small bushy shrub growing to 1 to 1.5m. The flat divided leaves resemble the Anemone plant and hence the scientific name. The flowers have globular heads with bright yellow tubules. The seed pod is like a hard grey wooly drumstick, hence the common name. Grows in phosphate poor soils. It does not flower until it is a number of years old.
    • Bossiaea heterophylla
    • Monotoca scoparia
    • Melaleuca nodosa - Ball Honey myrtle. Dense growth to 3m. Many slender spreading branches. Fine stiff pointed leaves. Abundant globular balls of yellow flowers in Spring to early Summer. Early morning perfume
    • Lambertia formosa - Mountain devil. A stiff, erect spreading shrub growing to 1 to 2 m in height, with stiff, long, pointed leaves and clusters of red flowers through Spring and Summer. The woody, horned fruits were once sold in the Blue Mountains dressed up as little dolls and were sold as "mountain devils", to tourists. The flowers are rich in nectar but also contain histamine so that the consumption may trigger a headache.
    • Melichrus procumbens
    • Hakea dactyloides
    • Melaleuca thymifolia - Thyme-leaved Honey-myrtle. A small shrub 1m x 1m. Purple flowers. Small, narrow, elliptical, aromatic leaves. Claw-shaped mauve-purple flower heads. Can flower all year
    • Exocarpus strictus
    • Hakea sericea
    • Callistemon linearis - Crimson Bottlebrush
    • Styphelia triflora
    • Leptospermum parvifolium
    • Hibbertia acicularis
  • Vines
    • Cassytha glabella forma glabella
    • Mirbelia rubifolia
  • Herbs
    • Platysace ericoides
    • Dampiera stricta - upright little clumping bush to 50 cm high with flowers in brilliant shades of blue in Spring.
    • Drosera auriculata
    • Hibbertia vestita
    • Helicrysum scorpioides
  • Graminoids
    • Lomandra cylindrica
    • Lomandra glauca
    • Anisopogon avenaceus - bearded grass, oat spear grass
    • Entolasia stricta - Wild Panic grass
    • Aristida warburgii
    • Eragrostis brownii
    • Xanthorrhoea glauca ssp. glauca - Grass tree. Wonderful, uniquely-Australian plant. Rich in nectar, attracting many honeyeater birds. The Aborigines obtained starch from the upper trunk; soaked the flowers in water to make a sweet drink; ate the tender young shoots; collected gum for making glue and used the flower stalks for spear handles.
  • Ferns -
  • Sedges
    • Gahnia radula
    • Lepidosperma gunnii
  • Cycads -
  • Orchids
    • Acianthus fornicatus

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