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Wilson Botanic Park Berwick is one of the southern hemisphere's premier fossil flora locations. Significant flora Macrofossils dating back 22 million years were found in the park in 1902 by Australia's foremost Paleobotanist, Henry Deane.
Many of these represent some of the earliest examples of rainforest environments in the drying environment in Southern Australia.
Fast forwarding 22 million years to today at the park we are reintroducing many of these species and their related ancestors back into the park’s ecosystem.
This includes plants such as:
- Wollemi nobilis (Wollemi Pine)
- Gymnostoma australianum (Daintree Pine)
- Agathis species (Kauri Pine)
- Araucaria species
- Podocarpus species
- Many more fossil species.
Secrets to the evolution of Eucalyptus are held at Wilson Botanic Park Berwick. Eucalyptus fossils were discovered in the park in 1902, an active quarry at the time. These are known to be some the oldest Eucalyptus fossils ever discovered, dating back 22 million years.
The Eucalyptus is Australia's second largest genus with around 1000 different species and related genera. No other single genus of plants in Australia evokes more passion, inspiration, culture and sense of place than Eucalyptus.
The Eucalyptus genus is a key component to our collection at Wilson Botanic Park Berwick with nearly 200 species currently in our living collection
The Genus Quercus (Oaks) has strong links to the early European history of Australia and the local area surrounding the park. Many large and significant trees still remain today in the City of Casey which were planted by our earliest pioneers. Wilson Botanic Park Berwick celebrates our local pioneering history with the use of many Oak trees.
In addition to celebrating our local history, Oaks also provide great amenity and aesthetic value to the park. Many of the species have also been selected due to their strong adaptability to climate change.
You can see the following gardens in the park:
- Rose Garden
- Cherry Blossom
- Australian Natives
- Water Saving
- Sensory Garden
- Autumn Displays
Keep a keen eye out for the following species in the park.
- Yellow Tailed Black cockatoos (Zanda funerea)
- Sulphur-Crested cockatoo (Cacatua galerita)
- New Holland Honey-eaters (Phylidonyris novaehollandiae)
- White-plumed Honey-eaters (Lichenostomus penicillatus)
- Wood ducks (Chenonetta jubata)
- Clamorous reed warblers (Acrocephalus stentoreus)
- Black cockatoo (Calyptorhynchus funereus)
- Australian raven (Corvus coronoides)
- Red wattlebird (Anthochaera carunculata)
Hear a sound? It could be one of these mammals.
- Common Brush Tailed Possum (Trichosurus vulpecula)
- Common Ring Tailed Possum (Pseudocheirus peregrinus)
- Antechinus (Antechinus stuartii and Antechinus swainsonii)
- Blue Tongue Lizard (Tiliqua scincoides)
- Eastern Long Necked Turtle (Chelodina longicollois)
- Garden Skink (Lampropholis guichenoti)
- Jack Lizard (Amphiborulus muricatos)
- Weasel Skink (Saproscincus mustelinus)
- Lowland Copper Head Snake (Austrelaps supera)
- Brown Tree Frog (Litoria ewingii)
- Common Eastern Froglet (Crinia signifera)
- Eastern Banjo Frog (Limnodynastes dumerilii)
- Southern Toadlet (Pseudophryne semimarmorata)
- Black Rat (Rattus rattus)
- Cat (Felis catus)
- European Rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus)
- House Mouse (Mus musculus)
- Red Fox (Vulpes vulpes)
Bird attracting area
We’ve been busy working on Wilson Botanic Park’s Bird Attracting Area (also called Basalt Lake) to increase its resilience so everyone, including birds, can enjoy it for many years to come!
Our work includes:
- weed management
- rubbish removal
- pruning and mulching
You can read more below and view the photo gallery.
We’ve been removing woody weed species including
- Pittosporum (Pittosporum undulatum)
- Pine trees (Pinus sp.)
- Blackberry (Rubus sp.)
- Cottoneaster (Cottoneaster sp.)
- Albizia (Paraserianthes lophantha)
- Sweet Briar (Rosa rubiginosa).
Weeds with fruit were prioritised to reduce seed dispersal and the amount of area cleared all at once.
Working in stages prevents issues including erosion, recolonisation of further weeds and displacing native animals that have adapted to use the weeds as their habit.
Some of the other strategies to prevent erosion include: leaving weed roots in the ground to hold soil and laying branches and the stumps to slow down rainwater and stop soil from being washed away.
We undertake weed management to:
- comply with legislative requirements to control noxious weeds
- make space for planted trees,
- reduce the habitat and food sources of other invasive flora and fauna
- reduce the competition with native species
- encourage diverse understory species, and improve the water quality of the lake.
We’ve been excited to discover some indigenous species that have been able to survive amongst the weeds.
- Bidgee Widgee (Acaena novae-zelandiae)
- Kidney Weed (Dichondra repens)
- unidentified fern species
- Weeping Grass (Microlaena stipoides).
We hope our work can help these indigenous species thrive.