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    Seed Collecting to Save a Species

    RHE Group Seed Collecting 320For their last meeting of 2020 on Wednesday, 9th December, members of Southern New England Landcare's Save the Regent Honeyeater Group met up at Sue and Peter Metcalfe’s place on Dumaresq Dam Road to learn some native seed collection techniques. 

    Peter Metcalfe led the group on a wander through his property where he has successfully grown 40 species of wattle.

    Participants learned about some of the species of wattle and their identifying characteristics, and saw examples of seed in various stages of development. They learned to distinguish wattle seed that was ready for collection.

    An understanding of the opportunistic nature of seed collection was developed when the group harvested seed from a fallen limb of New England Peppermint (Eucalyptus nova-anglica).

    The group collected seed ready for harvesting for themselves and for the Armidale Tree Group Inc. The group wants to collect seed of the species preferred by the Regent Honeyeater, and then gift the seed to local nurseries and others who would like to propagate these species for planting throughout the Southern New England, to encourage the Regent Honeyeater.

    Regent Honeyeaters feed on the blossom of species such as Mugga Ironbark (Eucalyptus sideroxylon), White Box (Eucalyptus albens), Yellow Box (Eucalyptus melliodora), Broad-leaved Ironbark (Eucalyptus fibrosa), Spotted Gum (Corymbia maculata), Swamp Mahogany (Eucalyptus robusta), Needle-leaf Mistletoe (Amyema cambagei), Box Mistletoe (Amyema miquelii) and Long-flowered Mistletoe (Dendrophthoe vitellina).

    The Regent Honeyeater also uses River Sheoak (Casuarina cunninghamiana) for nesting materials and feeds on the Needle-leaf Mistletoe, which grows on River Sheoak and sometimes nests in the Rough-barked Apple (Angophora floribunda).

    Image courtesy of Struan Ferguson.

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