Rare flora draws a crowd to the Maam Reserve open day

Rare flora draws a crowd to the Maam Reserve open day

Last Saturday the 6th, on what felt like a rainy winter’s day (in December!), more than 20 enthusiastic attendees turned out at Maam Water Reserve, Allansford for a info session and flora ramble looking at rare and threatened native species. Maam Reserve is an NGT project site under a grant from the Victorian Government, focussed on the critically endangered Basalt Leek-orchid (Prasophyllum viretrum).

A tangle of endangered Dianella callicarpa flowers

Flora rambling begins

The morning began in the able hands of Warrnambool Society for Growing Australian Plants’ Kevin Sparrow, who gave a recent history of the site and filled us in on the efforts to protect Maam Reserve over the past few years. This has included organising vital weed control works, botanical surveys and getting the word out about the high value of the reserve as a refuge for threatened flora.

DEPI biodiversity officer David Pitts then gave an insight into some of the rare species at the reserve, and the importance of its flora on a regional and statewide scale.

A flora ramble led by Kevin and David took in the various habitats and endangered species at the reserve, with grassland containing Dianella callicarpa (Swamp Flax-lily), the wetland fringe with plants such as Prasophyllum viretrum (Basalt Leek-orchid) and Eryngium vesiculosum (Prickfoot), and a wide variety of wetland plants including Ranunculus amplus (Feather-leaf Buttercup).

Spider on Prickfoot (Eryngium vesiculosum)

With several past and present landholders from nearby in attendance, plenty of observations were shared – you can’t beat talking to the neighbours for vital information about site history. It was really encouraging to see the enthusiasm for this special spot, and we’ll be looking to invite volunteers to get involved in upcoming surveys and working bees over the next few months. There’s plenty to be done, including orchid surveys, removal of smaller woody weeds and hands-on weed control around high-value species.

Thanks again to Kevin and Dave for their time and enthusiasm, and watch this space for more info on upcoming works and progress at the reserve! If you’d like to get involved at the site, contact Jonathan at or call 0402 6633 63

Jonathan Tuck