Our guide has been prepared with seasonal blooms in Oatley Park. The park protects important examples of the natural environment which occurred throughout the area before the spread of suburbs. Within its boundaries are numerous micro-habitats giving protection to a variety of native plants and to animals which rely on those plants for food, shelter and nesting.
Old Man Banksia –Banksia serrata Small tree. Leaves leathery with saw-tooth margins. Flower spikes grey-green. Trees most commonly have only a few new flowers mixed with many old spikes. Widespread and common in Park.
Coffee Bush – Breynia oblongifolia Spreading shrub. Leaves in 2 rows, alternate, to 30cm long, paler below. Flowers very small, hanging on slender stalks to 10mm long. Orange/brown berry often on plant at same time as some flowers. Common on track from lower entrance gate to Jew Fish Bay
Bonnet Orchid – Cryptostylis erecta Ground orchid with stem to 40cm tall bearing 2 to 10 flowers conspicuous because of their purple erect hood. A colony of more than 50 plants noted early December at the top (northern) end of Headland Track.
Hyacinth Orchid – Dipodium variegatum Leafless saprophytic orchid. Stems to 80 cm tall, greenish. Flowers 2 to 40, with light maroon blotches. Pedicel and ovary with maroon spots. Flowering mid Nov to early Dec. Scattered throughout Park.
Port Jackson Fig – Ficus rubiginosa Small tree, often dwarfed on sheltered rocks. Leaves 10 x 6 cm, glossy green above, rusty below. Figs paired, yellow, turning red, marked with warts. Minute flowers borne within the fig. Figs ripen December to July. Found in shaded rocky escarpment areas.
Honey Flower – Lambertia formosa Untidy large shrub with rigid pointed leaves in whorls of 3. Flowers red, tubular, in erect terminal clusters of 7. Fruit woody with a short beak and a horn on each valve. Common. Scattered throughout the Park.
Native Current – Leptomeria acida Large leafless shrub, semi-parasitic, with minute yellowish flowers in spikes. Fruit is an acidic succulent round green drupe which is edible. Common on plateaus and slopes.
Scented Milk Vine – Marsdenia suaveolens Slender climber with opposite lance-shaped leaves. Flowers white in clusters from the leaf axils. A few plants on sheltered lower slopes beside Headland Track.
Narrow leaf Persoonia – Persoonia linearis Tall shrub with loose flaky bark, red under a dark outer surface. Leaves flat and narrow. Flowers yellow, borne near the ends of the branches. Fruit an ovoid green drupe. Widespread, especially in sheltered sites.
Broad-leaf Platysace – Platysace lanceolata Understorey shrub with lance-shaped leaves which have a characteristic carrot-like smell when crushed. Small white flowers in terminal heads. Widespread. The most common flower in the Park in summer months.
Elderberry Panax – Polyscias sambucifolia Spreading shrub with compound leaves. Flowers small, greenish and borne in branched terminal sprays. Common on sheltered slopes.
False Sarsaparilla – Smilax glyciphylla Slender climbing plant found creeping over shrubs, the ground and rocks. Leaves with 3 prominent veins and having a sweet taste when chewed. Used as a tea substitute by early settlers. Flowers small, in umbels, developing into clusters of black berries. Very common.
Trigger Plant – Stylidium productum Perennial with grass-like leaves in tufts at intervals on lower part of stems. Flowers deep pink on slender stems to 50cm tall. Flowers have a sensitive trigger which is set off by insects. Shaded areas along Headland Track.
Trailing Speedwell – Veronica plebeia Creeping understorey herb with opposite toothed leaves and small 4-petalled mauve-blue flowers. In sheltered wooded sites.
For More information on the Flora of Oatley Park and Sydney Region check out the publications below: