A number of interesting collections were made in the reserve, including a specimen of Hibbertia belonging to the H. riparia complex (Dilleniaceae) that may be a new species; two Lepidosperma species that could both be new serpentine endemic species (Cyperaceae); an unusual Arthropodium (Asparagaceae) that does not match any of the concepts in the Flora of New South Wales.
We also obtained good collections of other known serpentine endemics, and for one of our target species, we resolved that Astrotricha sp. ‘Watchimbark’ comprises not one, but two unusual forms. One of these belongs to the A. longifolia complex, and we located and collected good material of this. The other, which we did not see, belongs to the A. latifolia group. Neither did we relocate the Plectranthus aff. argentatus, so both will have to be the focus of another trip.
Bryophytes were collected for the first time in the reserve, all will therefore be new records. They should be interesting given the unusual substrate, and general paucity of bryophytes within the serpentine vegetation.
Unfortunately, the field trip was cut short by an urgent but orderly discretionary evacuation ahead of a fire that kicked off in the eastern part of the reserve, in tall forest beyond the serpentine vegetation.
Support from Sean Thompson, Ranger for Watchimbark Nature Reserve is gratefully acknowledged.