The flora of the site can be broadly divided into two categories:
A. Disturbed plant communities – “Modified Bushland”. Some of the natural, native (or indigenous) plant communities along the upper reaches of Lawson Creek have been disrupted by weeds or infrastructure development such as pipe and power line construction. In these communities invasive exotic flora species (weeds) such as Privet, Blackberry and Japanese Honeysuckle dominate or intermingle with individual and small stands of mixed native species.
B. Intact (relatively undisturbed by weeds) indigenous plant communities. They are located along the middle and lower reaches of Lawson Creek and extend towards the south of the site and the National Park. There are four indigenous vegetation communities present at the South Lawson Park bushcare site.
(To view the locations of each of these plant communities go to BMCC Interactive Maps: https://emapping.bmcc.nsw.gov.au/connect/analyst/mobile/?mapcfg=Locality#/main?mapcfg=Locality Search: South Lawson Park; Menu: Vegetation community).
1. Woodlands. They consist of medium to tall dominant tree species and associated shrubs. There are two main groups of open-canopy tree community:
A. Eucalyptus piperita (Sydney Peppermint) – Angophora costata (Smooth-barked Apple) and
B. Corymba gummifera (Red Bloodwood) – Eucalyptus sieberi (Black or Silvertop Ash).
These types of woodlands are the most extensive form of vegetation present on the site. The forest trees of these two communities have evolved to grow on sandstone based soils that are of average to low fertility and very well drained.
Woodland species located on the bushcare site:
Acacia terminalis, Sunshine Wattle
Angophora costata, Smooth-barked Apple, tree
Banksia spinulosa, Hairpin Banksia
Banksia serrata, Old Man Banksia
Billardiera scandens, Apple Berry, climber
Cassytha pubescens, Devil’s Twine, climber
Caustis flexuosa, Old Man’s Beard
Corymba gummifera, Red Bloodwood, tree
Dampiera stricta, small shrub
Daviesia corymbosa, Narrow Leaf Bitter Pea, shrub
Dianella caerulea, Blue Flax Lily
Dillwynia retort, shrub
Entolasia sp., Right-angled grass
Eucalyptus piperita, Sydney Peppermint, tree
Eucalyptus sp. likely sclerophylla, Scribbly Gum, tree
Eucalyptus sieberi, Black or Silvertop Ash, tree
Gompholobium sp., shrub
Grevillea sp., shrub
Hakea dactyloides, shrub/small tree
Hakea salicifolia, shrub/small tree
Hakea sericea, Needlebush, tall shrub
Hermarthria uncinata, Matgrass (in disturbed regeneration area), grass
Isopogon anemonifolius, Drumsticks, shrub
Kunzea ambigua, Tick Bush, tall shrub, small tree
Lambertia formosa, Mountain Devil, shrub
Leptospermum polygalifolium, Tea-tree, small tree
Leptospermum trinervium, Flaky-bark Tea-tree, small tree
Leucopogon lanceolatus, shrub
Lycopodium deuterodensum, Club moss
Microlaena stipoides, Weeping Meadow grass
Patersonia sericea,Native Iris
Persoonia levis, Broad-leaved Geebung, shrub
Persoonia mollis; shrub
Petrophile pulchella, shrub
Platysace linearifolia, small shrub
Polyscias sambucifolia, Elderberry Panax, shrub
Pteridium esculentum, Bracken Fern
2. Blue Mountains Riparian Complex. Sections of the Lawson Creek bank have richer than average soils due to a high content of deposited alluviums. They support moisture loving plants such as ferns, gahnias and the tree species Black Wattle, as well as eucalypyts, banksias, hakeas, acacias and tea-trees, sometimes in dense groves.
Some bushcare site species:
Acacia elata, Cedar Wattle, tree
Blechnum nudum, Fishbone Fern
Callicoma serratifolia, Black Wattle, small tree
Cyathea australis, Rough Tree Fern
Gahnia sieberiana, Sword Sedge
Homalanthus populifolius, Bleeding Heart or Native poplar, small tree
Leptospermum polygalifolium, Tea-tree
Pittosporum undulatum, small tree
Todea Barbara, King Fern
3. Blue Mountains Swamps. The sedges, ferns and shrubs of the swamps grow in peaty soils that contain large amounts of vegetative matter and are located in permanently damp situations.
Some bushcare site species:
Baumea rubiginosa? A slender, bright green sedge
Acacia ptychoclada, Wattle, shrub
Blechnum wattsii, fern
Callistemon citrinus, Crimson Bottlebush, tall shrub
Gleichenia dicarpa, fern
Leptospermum polygalifolium, small tree on swamp margins
Polyscias sambucifolia, Elderberry Panax, tall shrub on swamp margins
4. Rainforest. The small patches of valley floor rainforest are dominated by the tall tree Coachwood (Ceratopetalum apetalum), and Sassafras (Doryphora sassafras) is also present. Todea barbara (King fern), is prominent, along with the ferns Blechnum nudum and Calochlaena dubia. The rainforest plant community enjoys the richer soils of the Lawson and Cataract Creek banks.
The Comonwealth listed Vulnerable shrub species Persoonia acerosa (Needle Geebung) and the endemic species Acacia ptychoclada, a wattle, have been recorded on the site.
An excellent reference book for Blue Mountains flora is “Native Plants of the Blue Mountains”, by Margaret Baker and Robyn Corringham, Three Sisters Publications. Available at local bookshops. It’s very reasonably priced and has great illustrations and lots of information about the local natural environment.
A great way to become familiar with the flora and weeds of the Lawson Creek catchment is to view our eight minute film, Bushcare Blue Mountains: South Lawson Park: https://vimeo.com/verahong/south-lawson-bushcare . Many thanks to Vera and Craig at Seconds Minutes Hours Productions for their wonderful cinematography.
Approximately 100 indigenous fauna species have been recorded on the site. The list includes terrestrial species such as birds and marsupials and also stream (Lawson Creek) and groundwater (Lawson Creek Swamp) dwelling species.
This fauna list is comprised of:
- casual observations made in the South Lawson Park area, either at bushcare sessions or by local residents. Confirmation is based on either: use of a field guide; consult WIRES; photograph; clear sighting of familiar species; online research; trained keying; confirmation by numerous residents; successive sightings; authority confirmation.
- two formal fauna surveys (= FS 2018) conducted on November 9 and November 11, 2018. (See: Archives / Fauna survey 2018);
- results from Sydney Water/Australian Museum/BMCC volunteer StreamWatch macroinvertebrate sampling (c2000-present); and
- results from the Stygofauna Monitoring Project 2011-2013 (See: Archives / Stygofauna Monitoring Project 2011).
Note: * = introduced species.
Acanthiza lineata; Striated Thornbill (FS 2018)
Acanthiza pusilla; Brown Thornbill (FS 2018)
Acanthorhynchus tenuirostris; Eastern Spinebill (reported, no date; FS 2018)
Anthochaera carunculata; Red Wattlebird (frequent, east Waratah St 1995-2018; FS 2018)
Anthochaera chrysoptera; Little Wattlebird (FS 2018)
Alisterus scapularis Australian King-parrot (FS 2018)
Cacatua galerita; Sulphur-crested Cockatoo (FS 2018)
Cacatua roseicapilla Galah (17.09.17, detention basin)
Caligasvis chrysop; Yellow-faced Treecreeper (FS 2018)
Callocephalon fimbriatum Gang-gang Cockatoo (24/02/20, flock of 10-14, Cataract Falls, Cataract Creek, Lawson)
Calyptorhynchus banksii; Red-tailed Black Cockatoo (authority sighting Adelina Falls April 2019)
Calyptorhynchus funereus; Yellow-tailed Black-Cockatoo (Cataract Creek July 2018 photo; probable trace east Waratah Street 16.09.18; 4 birds x Lawson oval/Lawson Creek feeding on Hakea sp. 20/10/19)
Chenonetta jubata; Australian Wood Duck ( Ferris Lane 20/10/19)
Corvus coronoides; Australian Raven juv. (reported, no date)
Cracticus tibicen; Australian Magpie (FS 2018)
Cracticus torquatus; Grey Butcherbird (17.09.17, detention basin; FS 2018)
Dacelo novaeguineae; Laughing Kookaburra (frequent 1995-2018; FS 2018)
Dicaeum hirundinaceum; Mistletoe Flowerpecker (reported, no date; FS 2018)
Egretta novaehollandiae; White-faced Heron (17.09.17, detention basin)
Eopsaltria australis; Eastern Yellow Robin (17.06.2018, Waratah St; FS 2018)
Eudynamys orientalis; Eastern Koel (FS 2018)
Grallina cyanoleuca; Magpie-lark; ‘Peewee’ (FS 2018)
Gymnorhina tibicen; Australian Magpie (frequent)
Hirundo neoxena; Welcome Swallow (FS 2018)
Malurus sp.; Fairy-wren sp. (reported, no date)
Malurus cyaneus; Superb Fairy-wren (FS 2018)
Meliphaga lewinii; Lewin’s Honeyeater (FS 2018)
Menura novaehollandiae; Superb Lyrebird (1981; approx 2000; 2015 Waratah St east)
Myiagra rubecula; Leaden Flycatcher juv. (reported, no date)
Ninox novaeseelandiae; Southern Boobook (not seen, heard 1990s Waratah St east)
Ninox strenua; Powerful Owl (Night call heard, mid-September 2019, Honour Ave, recorded/authority confirmation)
Ocyphaps lophotes; Crested Pigeon (18.09.18 Waratah Street east)
Pachycephala pectoralis; Golden Whistler (FS 2018)
Pardalotus punctatus; Spotted Pardalote (FS 2018)
Platycercus elegans; Crimson Rosella (frequent; 2017 & 2018, photo, Waratah St east; FS 2018)
Psophodes olivaceus; Eastern Whipbird (frequent, not seen, heard including 2018 Waratah St east; FS 2018)
Ptilonorhynchus violaceus; Satin Bowerbird (frequent, bower at east Waratah St 1990s; FS 2018 female/imm. male;)
Podargus strigoides; Tawny Frogmouth (2000, pair, Livingstone/Honour ave carpark)
Phylidonyris novaehollandiae; New Holland Honeyeater (reported, no date; FS 2018)
Pycnonotus jocosus*; Red-whiskered Bulbul (frequent 1995-2015; FS 2018)
Rhipidura albiscapa; Grey Fantail (17.06.18, M, Waratah St, photo; FS 2018)
Scythrops novaehollandiae; Channel-billed Cuckoo (FS 2018)
Strepera graculina; Pied Currawong (frequent; FS 2018)
Trichoglossus haematodus; Rainbow Lorikeet (FS 2018)Turdus merula* Eastern Blackbird (FS 2018)
Vanellus miles; Masked Lapwing (FS 2018)
Cormobates leucophaea; White-throated Treecreeper (FS 2018)
Zosterops lateralis; Silvereye (FS 2018)
Carol Probets 20/02/17, Bellevue Park, 9 species:
Candalides hyacinthina; Varied Dusky-blue
Delias sp.; Jezebel sp.
Dispar compacta; Barred Skipper
Grass-dart species probably Ocybadistes walkeri Greenish Grass-dart
Hesperilla idothea; Flame Sedge-skipper
Netrocoryne repanda; Bronze Flat
Tissiphone abeona; Varied Sword-grass Brown
Toxida peron; Dingy Grass-skipper
Vanessa itea; Yellow Admiral
Chauliognathus lugubris; Plague Soldier Beetles (August 2014 photo)
Lawson Creek macroinvertebrates (Insects)
Hemiptera, Bugs (13.10.17 keyed, mid-Lawson Creek)
Emphemeroptera, Mayfly nymphs (13.10.17 keyed, mid-Lawson Creek)
Suborder: Epiprocta, Dragonfly nymphs (13.10.17, keyed, mid-Lawson Creek)
Suborder: Zygoptera, Damselfly nymphs (13.10.17, keyed, mid-Lawson Creek)
Lawson Creek Swamp stygofauna / Fresh groundwater fauna
Stygofauna Monitoring Project 2010 -2011 (See: a. Archives / Stygofauna Monitoring Project Report 2011: Extract; b. Streamwatch)
Ostracods (Crustaceans) 469 qty.
Syncarids (Crustaceans) 53
Oligochaetes (Worms) 373
Cyclopiod copepods (Crustaceans) 134
Harpacticoid copepods (Crustaceans) 14
Nematodes (Roundworms) 646
Euastacus sp.; Crayfish (2016, mid-Lawson Creek, P, photo)
Crinia signifera; Common Eastern Froglet (frequent, heard Lawson mid-swamp, 2009-2018; FS 2018). (North Lawson swamp, 2016, photo).
A green frog probably Litoria phyllochroa; Leaf-green Tree Frog (seen 1988 Waratah St east)
Limnodynastes peronii; Striped Marsh Frog (frequent; heard upper Lawson Creek 16/09/18; FS 2018)
Litoria verreauxii; Verreaux’s Frog (FS 2018)
Uperoleia laevigata; Smooth Toadlet (FS 2018)
Snails, slugs (Molluscs)
Arion ater*; European Black Slug (centre Waratah St 2016)
Limax maximus* Leopard Slug (FS 2018)
Spider 4 x sp. unknown (FS 2018)
Antechinus sp.; Antechinus sp. (traces/specimens Waratah St, August 2018)
Perameles sp.; Probably nasuta Long-nosed Bandicoot (1995 seen, firm; traces 2018, Waratah St east, firm)
Petaurus breviceps; Sugar Glider (trace Waratah Street east, July 2018; seen FS 2018)
Pseudocheirus peregrinus; Common Ringtail Possum (April 2016 photo, Waratah St west; FS 2018)
Trichosurus vulpecula; Common Brushtail Possum (July 2018 Waratah St east; FS 2018)
Wallabia bicolor; Swamp Wallaby (scats detention basin 2017; resident observation, former golf course 2017; scats Waratah St, August 2018)
Mammals: Megabats – Flying Foxes
Pteropus poliocephalus; Grey-headed Flying Fox (seen and heard, Honour Ave 2015)
Mammals: Microbats – True Bats
Microbat sp. x 1 unknown (FS 2018)
Chelodina sp.; likely longicollis Eastern Long-necked Turtle. (Lawson Creek approx 2000 photo)
Lampropholis delicata; Dark-flecked Garden Sunskink (FS 2018)
Lampropholis guichenoti; Common Garden Skink (frequently Waratah St east)
Morelia spilota; Diamond Python (2008 Waratah St east)
Notechis scutatis; Tiger Snake (2008 Waratah St east)
Pseudechis porphyriacus; Red-bellied Black Snake (June 2013 detention basin; frequent 1984-present, Waratah St east)
Pseudonaja textilis; Eastern Brown Snake (1984-2012, Waratah St east)
Tiliqua scincoides; Blue Tongue Lizard (approx 2000 photo, Waratah St east)
The purpose of bushcare is to contribute to the healthy functioning and preservation of the naturally evolved bushlands and ecosystems of a region. For the purposes of bushcare, a weed is considered to be a plant that is growing in or is likely to spread into but is not a naturally evolved species of the local and regional bushland and ecosystems. A weed can be an overseas species, or an Australian native species that has commenced growing in an ecosystem to which it does not naturally belong.
Some, but not all, introduced plants, in the absence of the natural control factors of their original ecosystem, grow and spread so vigorously that they overwhelm and replace many of the locally and regionally evolved plants that constitute the local ecosystem, significantly altering and even destroying the functioning of that ecosystem. This type of weed may be declared a “Priority Weed” or a “Weed of Regional Concern” under the NSW Biosecurity Act 2015. Public authorities and private landowners are required to manage this declared weed in a specified way.
The most prevalent and threatening weeds located on the site are:
Arum lily, swamps;
Broom, shrub or small tree in woodland & modified bushland;
Creeping Buttercup, a spreading herb found in damp situations;
English Ivy, a smothering climber, woodland;
Gorse, a highly invasive shrub (two plants), modified bushland;
Japanese Honeysuckle, a vigorous climber, modified bushland;
Juncus microcephalus, a perennial sedge found in damp situations;
Montbretia, a herb that colonises stream banks and damp areas;
Privet (both small and large leaved varieties), modified bushland & woodland; and
Pussy Willow, damp areas.
Smaller quantities of Cootamundra Wattle, Himalayan Honeysuckle, Butterfly Bush (Buddleia davidii), and Turkey Rhubarb are present and under varying degrees of control.
Weedy grasses are also present and undesirable and are treated when encountered.
See https://weedsbluemountains.org.au for detailed photographs of weeds and how to treat them. “Grow Me Instead” is a nursery industry website that provides safe home garden planting options to replace the weedy plants that you have thrown out: https://www.growmeinstead.com.au/
Best of all, visit one of the two local provenance native nurseries in the Blue Mountains and buy their plants: Wild Plant Rescue, Katoomba, and the Conservation Society Plant Nursery.