Won Wron Forest

Won Wron ForestLeader: Ken Smith, assisted by Harley Veitch; Facilitator: Phil Rayment

The group of nine participants met at Yarram and set off north for Won Wron State Forest, which was to prove so rewarding that plans to head also to Mullundung later in the day were dropped.

Napier Road.The first stop on Napier Road was to see Caladenia catenata orchids amongst Messmate and Stringybark gums in a non burnt out area. The orchids ranged from pure white to a variety of pale and deep pinks. The labellum colour also varied from white through yellow to red, some having stripes.

Regrowth Forest.Our second stop demonstrated regrowth after the early 2009 fires. Eucalypts were sprouting with the typical fuzz along the full length of the trunks. Beneath the trees the growth of native plants was remarkable compared to the unburnt section. Sightings included an acacia with yellow-balled flowers and needlelike leaves, Kennedia prostrata, Pimelea humilis, Hibbertia riparia, Exocarpos cupressiformis, Bossiaea cinerea, B. prostrata, masses of Stackhousia viminea, Billardiera scandens, Conospermum quadrifida, Burchardia umbellata, Common Violet, Lomandra longifolia, a Sun Orchid, Honey-pots, Epacris impressa, Tetratheca ciliata, Platylobium obtusangulum, Tall Sundew, Twining and Common Hardenbergia, Dianella revoluta, Olearia sp., Wahlenbergia sp., Tall Button Everlasting, Helichrysum scorpioides, Dillwynia cinerascens, Pomaderris aspera, Xanthorrhoea minor, Wattle Mat-rush and Chocolate Lily.

Dog Trap Road. Our next stop was along Dog Trap Road, a short distance from Napier Rd. Of interest here were a Spider-orchid, Caladenia australis, and Caladenias of a wide variety of colours in a profusion of plants. These included C. clarkiae. Also a veritable field of Diuris orientis in both pure yellow and yellow/reddish-brown forms. Other orchids spotted included a Hare Orchid, a Mosquito Orchid and a Cobra Greenhood, Pterostylis grandiflora.

Old timber railway. At Stop 4, near remnants of an old timber railway, Ken drew our attention to spider-orchids yet to be named.

White Womans Waterhole. Lunch was enjoyed at a picnic area named White Womans Waterhole, itself rewarding for plants.One of the afternoon sites was again notable for the variety of spider-orchids, including the Thick-lip Spider-orchid, C. tessellata. Also of interest were the yellowish and brown forms of Brown-beaks, Lyperanthus suaveolens. Sadly, we were a little too late to find Blue-beard Orchids, Pheladenia deformis, which had been in flower here a few weeks earlier.

All in all, a fascinating and enjoyable day in Won Wron, thanks to Ken Smith’s shared knowledge based on much local fieldwork and to surprisingly amiable weather!

Latrobe Valley FNC. Thanks to Peter Strickland for making notes during the excursion.