Plants in unexpected places – Triodia near Walker Swamp

About 20 years ago, when I first moved to the region, Barrie Grigg (who was still working for ForestrySA at the time) told me he occasionally came across species in unexpected places. Snow Gums in non-alpine native forests and Triodia down at Dry Creek – relictual reminders of colder or drier times past – and just how much vegetation can shift over time.

Well I thought of Barrie recently when I came across this single Triodia plant, possibly Triodia scariosa, not far from Walker Swamp in the southern Grampians. Trioida species are typical of arid and semiarid regions of Australia and can form large rings or cresents as the centre dies out, and the plant keeps expanding outwards.

A single Triodia plant in the southern Grampians near Walker Swamp  (photo: Mark Bachmann).

It turns out that this species has a very broad national distribution indeed, outside of its heartland in the mallee, including all mainland states and across an incredible range of Australian landscapes and rainfall zones, with lots of outliers. The record in the southern Grampians is a southern outlier, near the edge of the species’ range.

National distribution of Triodia (source: Atlas of Living Australia).

If you have seen something indigenous growing in an unusual place, we’d love to hear from you!

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Mark Bachmann