Context: A 3.4km2 section of ForestrySA’s Kuitpo Forest consisting of pine, softwood and hardwood plantations, and a small section of native forest, camp grounds and recreation areas.
Second stop on day three of the City Nature Challenge was the Rocky Creek Forest section of Kuitpo Forest. Starting on Razorback Road, where the Heysen Trail crosses, I hiked South-West through several of the plantations, and looped back. The established hardwood plantations have a sparse understory of native shrubs, groundcovers and a few Orchids.
Plantation forests are a good place to collect a few introduced species for any BioBlitz. Many of the farmed species produce seedlings that can be recorded. In this case a Southern Blue Gum (Eucalyptus globulus). They also have a range of associated introduced weed species, including the Sydney Golden Wattle (Acacia longifolia ssp. longifolia).
Along the edge of the track I spotted a small patch of Red-banded Greenhoods (Pterostylis sanguinea). Four in total over a few square metres with one beginning to flower. A little further along another patch of two. For both of these I took note of the number growing, the surrounds, and took pictures of the area around the Orchids, and above, and added the observations to the Wild Orchid Watch Australia iNaturalist project. Further down the track I was surprised to find a single double-headed Parson’s Band Orchid (Eriochilus collinus).
The shade in the plantations are always good for a few Moss species. I added Sparse Fern Moss (Thuidiopsis sparsa) to my CNC species list, and also spotted the common Cypress-leaved Plait-Moss (Hypnum cupressiforme), Juniper Haircap Moss (Polytrichum juniperinum), and Bronze Moss (Sematophyllum homomallum).
Other than Creeping Bossiaea (Bossiaea prostrata) and Myrmecia pyriformis, my third Bull Ant species for the weekend, this location didn’t have much to offer. Given what others have seen here, Springs probably a better time to visit.