Seeding Nodes. Reintroducing Wildflowers to Mt Majura

Xerochrysum viscosum, Sticky Everlasting provides food to native bees

Watch the  Seeding Nodes in the News

Watch this Movie on Seeding Node Soil Preparation

The Friends of Mt Majura (FoMM) newest and exiting project aims to reintroduce native forbs (herbaceous species other than grass) including rare, endangered, and native food species to the grassy woodlands of the Mt Majura Nature Reserve using direct seeding techniques from seeding nodes.

Past management of Mt Majura such as car racing, cattle and sheep grazing, horse cross-country riding and horse holding resulted in compacted soil, clearing of native vegetation, weed infestations and the loss of the great diversity of herbaceous plants that are typical of a healthy Yellow Box – Blakely’s Red Gum Grassy Woodland which once covered the lower slopes of the mountain.

Mt Majura is affected by heavy grazing pressure from kangaroos, so it is difficult to revegetate with standard planting practices. Yet, direct seeding techniques have proven to work in areas that are grazed. Thus, this project objective is to create Seeding Nodes which we hope will repopulate the surrounding areas via natural seed dispersal.

What’s (in) the plot? Four 10m x 20m plots* located on the lower west-slopes of Mt Majura were deep-soil ripped to allow water penetration and root growth and fenced to exclude excessive grazing (some grazing will occur). Half of each plot is planted with local forbs at a high-density rate (4 plants/m2) and recruitment of plants will be monitored in spring over the next couple of years.

Leucocrysum albicans, Hoary Sunray, an endangered species

Seed bank managers of Greening Australia (GA) and the Australian National Botanical Garden have been consulted to determine the appropriate provenance of species to be planted and GA propagated the seedlings. Due to drought conditions over the past years, some species originally planned for the seeding nodes had been not available for propagation; we hope to add those at a later stage.

Once established the seeding nodes will act as a ‘Noah’s Arc’ of species, providing seeds for other parts of the Mt Majura nature reserve.

Project details in brief

Microseris walteri, Murnong or Yam Daisy, a once common aboriginal food plant that became rare due to soil compaction and rabbits eating the underground tubers.

Project management: Molonglo Conservation Group in conjunction with FoMM
Funding: Federal Environment Department grant, FoMM, and Edwina and Ian (private sponsors)
Location: nature reserve east of The Fair, North Watson and east of Rivett Street, Hackett
Seeding node plots: four new, one existing 20m x 10m plots;
Preparation: deep-soil ripping with yeoman plough, fencing, pre-drilling of planting holes;
Plant propagation: Greening Australia
Planting, maintenance and monitoring: FoMM volunteers

List of Species (planted in July and August 2020)

Wahlenbergia capillaris, Native Bluebell,  (Canberra Nature Map)

Bulbine bulbosa, Bulbine Lily
Calocephalus citreus, Lemon Beauty Heads
Glycine tabacina, Glycine Pea
Leucochrysum albicans, Hoary Sunray
Microseris walteri, Murnong or Yam Daisy
Rutidosis leptorhynchoides, Button Wrinklewort
Vittadinia muelleri, Narrow-leaved New Holland Daisy
Wahlenbergia capillaris, Native Bluebell
Wahlenbergia stricta, Tall Bluebell
Xerochrysum viscosum, Sticky Everlasting

Contact:  projects@majura.org

Movie “Soil preparation”: Lisa Jokinen

Photographs on this page: Waltraud Pix or as indicated; photographs of all species are available on Canberra Nature Map (https://canberra.naturemapr.org/).

Fence info poster

Members of the Australian Conservation Foundation busy planting the Majura paddock Seeding node (Meg Holesgrove)

Planting activities:

1. Seeding node at The Fair, 28th July 2020 by FoMM’s Mondays @ The Fair crew.

2. Seeding node at the Majura paddock, 16th August 2020 by a crew of the Australian Conservation Foundation.

3. Seeding node at The Fair, 24th August by a crew of the University of Canberra Environment Science Society and FoMM’s Mondays @ The Fair crew.

Fenced and deep-soil ripped plot at Majura paddock, ready for planting.

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