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Flora and descriptions for Sportsman Creek Conservation Area

Rotala tripartita (no common name) is a recent discovery in the billabong at Sportsmans Creek Conservation Area. Listed as a Threatened and Endangered Species in N.S.W. this short-lived perennial herb grows up to 40cm high in free-standing water with sedges. Considered Rare in N.S.W. and only recorded from Grafton to Casino.

Discovery, image and identification courtesy of John and Pat Edwards.

Rotala tripartita Beesley : Lythraceae

A new environmental weed has appeared on the Conservation Area after the March 2021 floods. Skyflower is a member of the Verbena family and grows as an upright shrub, originally from South America and Mexico. Leaves and unripened berries are TOXIC and can kill children, dogs and cats although songbirds eat with impunity. Listed in the Top 50 invasive weeds in Northern NSW and Qld. This species has other common names of Golden Dewdrop and Pigeon Berry.

Skyflower Duranta erecta

Toxic berry

A surprise find on Sportsman Creek Conservation Area after the January floods is the native species of Macadadami integrifolia. Listed as Vulnerable under the EPBC Act and (facing a high risk of extinction in the wild in the medium term.)

Classification 3VC under the ROTAP system.

Soft twig rush or Buckie rush

Sportsman Creek Conservation Area is engaged in growing and planting this native twig rush. Commonly called Buckie rush and used extensively by the Indigenous Bundjalung peoples for basket weaving and net string bag making. A compact slender native bog grass, thrives in standing water and around flooded soils, making it the ultimate landscape plant for wet areas in the garden or for landscape re-vegetation.  

Description – Hardy native grass with
slender attractive lime green foliage and reddish-brown flower spikes.

Location – Will grow in up to 25cm of
water, in full sun or part shade. Hardy tolerating frost and low nutrient

Uses – Oxygenates and removes nutrients
from pond water and provides habitat keeping ponds cleaner and healthy. THE

Care – Low maintenance, trim by half every
two to three years and water if the bog begins to dry out. For weaving harvest
by gently pulling out individual stems.

Common Silkpod Vine (Parsonsia straminea) climbing a Jackwood  (Cryptocarya glaucescens) next to the Flooded Gum (Euc. grandis) in the riparian zone beside Sportsman Creek. 
Riparian Zone Sportsman Creek

Also called the Parrot’s Beak Orchid. This terrestrial herb species is common in moist areas of dry sclerophyll forest, wet sclerophyll forest and coastal scrub. Flowering  June to September from a leafless stem usually 15-20cm and sometimes found in dense colonies. A new species for the Conservation Area.

I.D. and reference courtesy of Denis Wilson.

Nodding Greenhood Pterostylis nutans

A short lived native herb growing to 50cm. Found in protected moist areas and likes Wallum woodland. Named after 18th century bishop and vice-president of the Royal Society Dr. Goodenough. A new species for the Conservation Area. 

I.D. courtesy of  John Edwards . ClarenceValley Environment Centre. 

“A species of native Australian flowering plant. Known by common names such as False Sarsaparilla, Happy Wanderer and Waraburra. It often grows as a climbing vine and has typical pea family flowers, usually violet, white or pink. The leaves are dark green hard and leathery with prominent venation.”  Found growing in Open Eucalypt Woodland and a new species for the Conservation Area.

Reference courtesy of Wikipedia. 

A new educational resource providing details of over 300 significant species that can be found growing in the Clarence Valley is now available at the Clarence Environment Centre (CEC) for $7. each. The DVD provides a PDF fact sheet for each species with a photograph or image and provides scientific and common names, family name, protected status, a brief description, localities and range of occurence and threats faced.

Contact – Clarence Environment Centre. 31 Skinner St. South Grafton. N.S.W. 2460.

email –



The Lomandra genus is related to grass tree species with around 50 species found in Australia and New Guinea. They have long strap-like leaves. Many-flowered Mat-rush is a host plant for Skipper Butterflies which frequent the Conservation Area.