Groundcovers critical to bush generation


In the wet summer of 2021-22, native groundcovers have made a huge resurgence in the bushcare sites, parks and gardens of Enoggera catchment. It’s a timely reminder of how important these groundcovers are to native ecosystems and that right now is a perfect time to plant them.

SOWN’s weekend bushcare organiser Janet Mangan says, “I am a big fan of ground covers. I try to keep them available at the SOWN nursery.”

Some of the most common local groundcovers are Graceful Grass Ottochloa gracillima, Creeping Beard Grass Oplismenus aemulus and Love Flower Pseuderanthemum variabile. See links to a few of our local groundcovers below.

Author of The Creek in Our Backyard Robert Whyte said groundcovers include grasses, reeds, rushes, ferns, fungi and scramblers.

“Natural growth is stratified with many trophic levels. Ground level is just as important as the canopy,” he said.

“In restoring a bushcare site you want variety and diversity. This gives resilience at all levels. Groundcovers attract butterflies, insects and pollinators. They protect against erosion,” Robert said.

Rob said it was important to be able to recognise native groundcovers so as not to remove them when weeding or smother them when mulching.

“Healthy groundcover promotes healthy soil which is critical for successful regeneration,” he said.

This approach was backed up by ecologist Dr Carla Catterall speaking at a SOWN seminar in October 2021 who said, “We need to create the right structure to provide habitat for species.”




Scramblers and Vines

 Graceful Grass PHOTO: Anne Jones

 Creeping Beard Grass PHOTO: Anne Jones

Love Flower PHOTO: Dick Harding