Struggling Peas

There are several peas found in Herb-rich Foothill Forest in this district, but most seem to do better on the roadsides than in the forest. I’m speculating that this distribution pattern could result from the intense herbivore browsing pressure within the forest (mainly Swamp Wallabies), perhaps coupled with the lack of fire/disturbance that assists seed germination.

Boundary Hill and its forest was not burnt in the 1939 fires, although it was seriously threatened. There have been a few small fires, un/controlled burn-offs, around the edges, but no serious bushfire for at least 70 years. Coupled with the history of on-going selective logging, probably since the late 1800’s, this has resulted in very large amounts of fallen timber on the forest floor, that provide high-quality and plentiful fauna habitat.

Daviesia ulicifolia

Gorse Bitter-pea Daviesia ulicifolia: one mature plant and one nearby seedling known from this forest. No known plants on adjacent roadsides.

Daviesia ulicifolia: browsed whenever it pokes through the wire netting.

Daviesia latifolia

Hop Bitter-pea Daviesia latifolia: only known from roadsides, where it has occurred in the same three or four locations for many years.

Daviesia latifolia

Indigofera australis

Austral Indigo Indigofera australis: no known individuals from the forest or adjacent roadside. Two individuals previously known from this forest, but they were so heavily browsed by Swamp Wallabies (wire guards were ultimately ineffective), that no regeneration occurred and the plants were eventually killed.

Platylobium formosum

Handsome Flat-pea Platylobium formosum: this creeping ground cover only really announces itself when flowering. It is also largely restricted to roadsides, with no known plants surviving in the forest.

Platylobium formosum

Pultenaea daphnoides

Large-leaf Bush Pea Pultenaea daphnoides: no indigenous specimens known from the forest, though several have been planted (and suffered heavy browsing pressure). Known from one stretch of adjacent roadside.

Young Pultenaea daphnoides plant.

Purple Coral-pea Hardenbergia violacea: perhaps the best known and most striking local pea. No plants known from ‘inside’ the forest; several plants occur on adjacent roadsides.

Climbing Glycine Glycine clandestina: this small climbing pea is relatively common in parts of the forest.

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One Response to Struggling Peas

  1. gluten free says:

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