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Stories from the Hamilton Highway

4. Wildflowers along the highway.


Before European settlement the western plains was a meadow of wildflowers.

Most of the area has since been sown to productive pasture and crops, and almost all remaining wildflowers are now on roadsides.

The quality of the roadsides varies, and there are beautiful stretches scattered
along the length of B140.

There are very few quality grasslands along the other highways.

The best time to see them is when they are flowering in mid to late October.

There are dozens of species of grasses and herbs and a google image search for
"western basalt plains grasslands community" gives maps and photos of the full
range.

This community is under threat from weeds spreading from the road traffic, and
pasture plants from neighbouring paddocks. Strict regulations reduce the damage
from works on the road reserve.

Much of B140 is burned by the local fire brigades in early summer for the past 60
years to reduce risk of wildfire later in the summer.

   

Yam Daisy
(Microseris scapigera spp. agg.)
The native grasslands have evolved to withstand this relatively cool burn and the burning seems to reduce the invasion of competitors.

It is wise to allow extra time when travelling on December afternoons for traffic control stops during these burning operations.




Author: © Chris Lang 2015

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