We were very excited recently to uncover two very rare little wattle plants in the Parklands. The ‘Sunshine Wattle’ or as scientifically named, ‘Acacia terminalis subsp. Terminalis’ has large, fluffy, pale yellow flowers, and is so uncommon, there are thought to be no more than around 1,000 plants in bush regeneration areas across the state!
The plants were discovered during a routine survey of the protected Eastern Suburbs Banksia Scrub areas in Centennial Park. Eastern Surburbs Banksia Scrub (ESBS) is an endangered ecological scrub and heath vegetation community confined to deep, wind formed sand deposits in the coastal suburbs of Sydney.
Essentially, because our bush regeneration volunteers and environmental team members have been taking such good care of the community of native plants that form the Eastern Surburbs Banksia Scrub, vital species like the Sunshine Wattle have been protected and their growth encouraged!
What does Sunshine Wattle look like?
As its pretty name suggests, ‘Sunshine Wattle’ has large, soft, round, very pale yellow flowers which burst into full colour in autumn. The plant grows from one to five metres tall, it has unique branchlets which are angled and feature delicate narrow leaves. Each plant also has seed pods which grow from three to eleven centimetres long.
What else is being done to protect it?
Centennial Parklands will continue to maintain a best practice program for the management of the pockets of Eastern Surbubs Banksia Scrub remnants. This involves lots of quality hard work from horticultural and bush regeneration staff, supported by a dedicated team of bush regeneration volunteers. Occasionally, it also involves fire, or ecological burning which helps with germination and maintains the floristic composition and vegetation structure of the plants.
There are also other, more specific programs in place to protect the Sunshine Wattle Plant. Check out this Saving Our Species program page for more info.
How you can help
Left wondering what you can do to help? Here are a few simple ways:
- Join our happy Bush Regeneration Volunteers and contribute to the maintenance and management of our beautiful native flora in the Parklands (including the Eastern Surburbs Banksia Scrub).
- Leave no trace – take your litter with with you when you visit the Parklands; waste left in picnic areas easily builds up and has a negative big-picture impact on the environment.
- Support the Centennial Parklands Foundation. Did you know this charitable arm of Centennial Parklands contributes to a host of environmental projects, including funding of Eastern Surburbs Banksia Scrub management and the employment of a full-time environmental specialist?
Thursday 7 September 2017 is Threatened Species Day…
Centennial Parklands is not just a community green space, it is an important home for many rare native flora and fauna. There is currently a total of six threatened species and one threatened ecological community recorded across the Parklands. These are:
- Grey-headed Flying-fox, roosting colony at Lachlan Swamp
- Powerful Owls sighted on a regular basis
- White-bellied Sea-Eagle, a rare visitor
- Freckled Duck, a rare visitor
- Eastern bentwing bat, occasional visitor
- Acacia terminalis subsp. terminalis, two plants
- Eastern Suburbs Banksia Scrub, endangered ecological communities (six remnant sites)
There are other ways you can help to look after our threatened species:
- Keep dogs on leash when you are near the ponds or on-leash designated areas;
- Don’t feed birds or animals bread;
- Volunteer to participate in bat and bird surveys.