Illawarra group update

By Michael Swire

Great news! There has been plenty of interest from APS members in the Illawarra region in re-forming an Illawarra district group. Currently the group is going to be running as a sub-group of the Sutherland group, which will enable them to get going quickly but the group may work towards running stand alone in the future. Michael Swire planned and ran an inaugural walk for the group. Below is their trip report:

Our first walk as the reborn Illawarra APS group went ahead on 8th April, after a postponement due to damaging winds on 1St April the week before. We all knew there was a very high chance it was going to rain.

Telopea speciosissima (Credit: Helen Fletcher)

12 people participated, including myself and a horticulturist friend. We had a very interesting walk, it did rain lightly but like good Scouts we were prepared, with wet weather gear, so it did not distract from the walk.

The combined broad plant knowledge of the group was a real bonus to everyone. Really great to see the Waratahs with seeds, some with early bud.  These were affected by the persistent rain possibly, displaying reddish bottom leaves. 

A lot of the local Banksia are starting to flower and in bud, B. ericafolia and B. spinulosa and B. oblingifolia were all spotted in bloom.

We talked about the pronunciation of some species, how I have read the botanical names in books when we passed (Petrophile pulchella) which I have been mis-saying for years. A bit of a laugh along the walk.

Illawarra group members on the walk (credit: Helen Fletcher)

There were some Ghost fungi, spotted by one of the group. Most of the group had a debrief at the Gelato Emporium, Bulli Tops. Good to get to know some of our new Illawarra  APS members.

We wish the new Illawarra group all the best! Don’t forget that the diverse Illawarra region is the location for the ANPSA 2022 Biennial conference. A video highlighting the beauty of the area is available here.