Territory Stories

Top End Native Plant Society newsletter



Top End Native Plant Society newsletter

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TENPS newsletter


Top End Native Plant Society


Top End Native Plant Society newsletter; Top End Native Plant Society newsletter; E-Journals; PublicationNT




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Top End Native Plant Society; Periodicals; Plant; Darwin Region

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Top End Native Plant Society

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Top End Native Plant Society



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6 The colours in the rocks were beautiful with a multitude of shades of yellow and purple contrasting with patches of white. On one headland a small pegmatite dyke provided an interesting variation with crystals of black tourmaline and opaque quartz. Another interesting feature was the sorted sands on the beaches, graded into size classes by the action of the sea. And of course, as one would expect with the name of the beach, no shortage of glistening mica to catch our eye. While the substrate attracted our attention, we were not completely mesmerised by the geology. A survivor amongst the rocks - photograph by R.W. Liddle. We pulled out a couple of plant keys to practice our skills and provide some names. Good examples of coastal rainforest occur along the low cliffs and it was interesting to see our Top End species starting to go into reproductive mode despite no rain of any consequence for many months. Many of the deciduous or semideciduous plants were reduced to sticks reaching towards the sky, perhaps with a bedraggled leaf or two. Putting a name on coastal rainforest vegetation R.W. Liddle. One such leaf caught our attention and turned out to be Terminalia volucris. While a common species in the Victoria River District, an unusual occurrence near Darwin where it is known from Talc Head and Gunn Point. An intriguing aspect is that inland this species grows on clay soils that are seasonally waterlogged in contrast to these apparently well drained slopes at Mica Beach. Does this tell us something about the extent of seepage in the wet season from these coastal cliffs. To me of equal intrigue are the suite of evergreen species that hold onto their leaves right through-out the dry season. I would expect these species to be under significant water stress by late in the dry season, but perhaps there is more water in the substrate than one would think. Sandy beaches and rocky headlands D.T. Liddle In contrast to our sedate trip across Darwin Harbour in the morning, a brisk afternoon sea breeze made for a rapid return to Darwin.

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