Over the past 4 months I’ve been having a wonderful time getting to know some of the native plants in my area. Scattered throughout my sketchbooks there have been sketches of leaves and gum nuts (fruit/seed pods) which I’ve used to identify trees I’ve walked past. So this article is a collection of all my recent sketches – put together mainly for my own reference… but I hope that you’ll enjoy seeing the incredible variety to be found within the flora of Sydney.
Previously, a number of you mentioned the Picture This app (thanks for letting me know about this!) It’s a great app but 1. it doesn’t include many Australian native plants 2. I actually prefer the adventure of looking up my various reference books and working it out myself! 🙂
Not only are there many different species (especially in the Eucalyptus and Acacias) but the trees can hybridise, meaning that the identification is not clear cut. Also, most gum trees do not have branches at low levels so if I find some leaves/ nuts on the ground they don’t necessarily belong to the nearest tree. Therefore it’s a slow process of collecting samples and looking at the bark and then checking my books. I absolutely love this journey of discovery!
Another special part of this journey is the memories it evokes. My sister (who now lives in Scotland) used to work in the bush (bush = Australian forest) and when we went on bushwalks (hikes) she would tell me lots of interesting things about the trees, plants and animals around us.
This Collection includes the following trees:
- Sydney Blue Gum – Eucalyptus saligna
- Blackbutt – Eucalyptus pilularis
- Sydney Peppermint – Eucalyptus piperita
- Red Mahogany – Eucalyptus resinifera
- White Mahogany – Eucalyptus acmenoides
- Swamp Mahogany – Eucalyptus robusta
- Spotted Gum – Eucalyptus maculata
- Brown Stringybark – Eucalyptus capitellata
- Red Flowering Gum – Corymbia ficifolia
- Red Bloodwood – Corymbia gummifera
- Smooth Bark Apple – Angophora costata
- Turpentine – Syncarpia glomulifera
- Brush Box – Lophostemon confertus
- Swamp She-oak – Casuarina Glauca
- Prickly Leaf Paperbark – Melaleuca styphelioides
- Hakeas (two species)
- Wattles (acacia) – my collection for this year
Sydney Blue Gum – Eucalyptus saligna
I’ve drawn more trunks of this tree than any other in the past few months, but putting this article together has made me realise that I haven’t documented its nuts and leaves properly!
Hakeas are a shrub I specifically remember my sister talking about!
These have the most amazing (weird) seed pods which are only open by fire or when the tree dies. This first one was in a shrub that had been part of a back burn so it was open. The photo is of a waratah – the state flower of NSW.
A few weeks later I realised that it had ‘died’ and opened up so I was able to find the winged seed on my ‘specimen tray’. Not sure what tree the pink leaf belongs to… but I will work it out at some point.
Wattle Collection for this year
Well, I’ve quite a collection of sketches so far, haven’t I? And I’m just beginning!