History: Nature in the Serra Range

In our last issue we published Audas’s description of a Spring excursion on the flat land near Halls Gap. We continue his story on the next morning as they set out for a 2 day walk. Please note that the botanical names are sometimes hard to decipher. The library who have made this available on the web has used character recognition software to get into a text document and it has not always coped with Latin vocabulary. And of course some plant names have changed as well.

By J. W. AUDAS, F.L.S., F.R.M.S., Assistant, National Herbarium, Melbourne.

Read before the Field Naturalist’s Club of Victoria, 15th Jan., 1919.

Provisioned with food for a couple of days, we made an early start on Sunday morning (3 November) for that portion of the Serra Range lying to the south-west of Hall’s Gap. The first stage of the journey was via the Stony Creek track, past the diggings, during which some fine belts of timber were passed through, comprising Eucalyptus ovata and E. viminalis. Near Venus’s Bath we saw some nice specimens of Leptospermum lanigernm, var. grandifoliiim, the white flowers of which were fully an inch in diameter. This shrub, being quick-growing and of handsome appearance, would make a worthy addition to any garden. Other shrubs seen in flower were Prostanthera rotundifolia, Pomadcrris elachophylla, Pultencea villosa, Indigofera aiistralis, Spyridiwin parviflornm, var. hirsutissimum , Panax samhiicifoliiis, Coprosma hirtella, Dodoncea viscosa, and Viminaria denudat-a. Continuing up the jinker track, a fine view of Mackey’s Peak is obtained, and after passing the “Gulf Stream ” we came upon a fine patch of Utriciilaria dichotoma, known locally as “Rock Pansies,” many of the plants having the unusual number of four, and in some cases five, purple flowers on each stalk. Further on fine specimens of Boronia polygalifolia, var. piihescens, Leucopogon glacialis, Linum viarginale, Psciidanthns ovalifolins, Spyridiitm vexilliferitm, Laxmannia (Bartlingia) sessiliflora. Acacia vomcriformis, and Stypandra glauca, with its bright blue flowers,were collected. Mr. D’Alton has this plant growing well in his garden at Hall’s Gap in three different shades—blue, white, and pink. It is easily grown, and makes a very ornamental plant. Near the entrance to the Grand Canyon we found in flower Stylidium soboliferiim, peculiar to these parts, also the remarkably handsome orchid Thelymitra fusco-hitea. Proceeding along the track, we passed the prettily situated Pansy Fall. At this place the Stony Creek makes its way through a gorge where a number of nice little falls occur. Hereabouts grew Prostanthera debilis and Bauera sessiliflora, both peculiar to the Grampians ; the latter is a very handsome shrub, with spikes of magenta-coloured flowers, sometimes fully three feet in length. Just below the Turret Falls, which are quite close to the jinker track, beneath some overhanging rocks, some fine bushes of Prostanthera hirtella were found. It was too late for blossoms, it having passed that period. Here was seen a fine pair of Black Cockatoos, Calyptorhynchus funereits, which had a nest in the hollow of an adjacent tree. The birds were loath to leave their nest, and allowed us to pass within twenty or thirty yards of them. Along the track some good specimens of Pultencea styphelioides, P. mollis, Pimelea ligustrina, Caiistis pentandra, Phyllanthiis thymoides, Grevillea aquifoliiim, Hakea rostrata, Brachycome midtifida, Stylidium graminifolium, Podolepis acuminata, Brunonia australis, and Viola hetonicifolia were gathered. Arriving at Stony Creek diggings at mid-day, we boiled the billy and enjoyed our sandwiches. After a short rest, and before leaving, we collected Pultenaa suhumbellata, Goodia lotifolia (locally known as Clover-bush), Epacris obtusifolia, Samhucus Gaudichaiidiana, Calytrix tetragona, Daviesia tdicina, Sphcerolohium vimineiim, Pimelea /lava, P. curviflora, Stackhousia flava, and Olearia speciosa, the latter peculiar to these parts. Proceeding on our journey, we travelled in a southerly direction for a couple of miles, gradually working round till we reached the back of Mount Rosea. Having ascended to the top, we were rewarded with a fine view of the Victoria Valley on the one side and Hall’s Gap on the other.