Mature sheoaks on site, mostly drooping sheoak Allocasuarina verticillata, have been flowering over the last few months. Often mistaken for conifers like pines, sheoaks are an ancient group of flowering plants. Like conifers their pollen is spread by wind rather than insects, and many species like A. verticillata are dioecious (separate male and female plants).
Sheoaks were once widespread in southwest Victoria. They were used in many ways by First Nations peoples, including tool and weapon making. Cones were sometimes allowed to soak in water to give it a lemony tang, sucking on leaves/needles could stave off thirst, and water was often found in old hollows.
This month around 200 of these went into the ground. This was a working bee day so there were other activities happening as well, so all in all it was a very productive day.
Already, the sheoaks from last year are at shoulder height showing the height of one of our sheoaks planted just over 12 months ago.
We plant sheoaks on site to help maintain their diversity, for their wonderful visuals and acoustics (sit and listen to the wind sigh through their leaves), and as a long-term solution to weeds in some areas (which is just happening now with some of our mature plantings from about 10 years ago).