PLANTS IN THE GRAMATAN AVENUE

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This quarter hectare Heathland Sanctuary on the north side of Gramatan Avenue, Beaumaris, (Melway 86C6), about 50 metres east of Haydens Road (1-3 Gramatan Avenue), is a Bayside City Council reserve that protects over 50 species of indigenous heathland plant (Silky Heath community). It was established at the instigation of the Beaumaris Conservation Society (then named Beaumaris Tree Preservation Society), which leased it and managed it for its first 30 years as a Sanctuary.
See the History of the Sanctuary below.

It is representative of the extensive areas of such heathland that existed around the reserve shortly before it was established in the 1950s. A list and descriptions of the plants, both indigenous and exotic, are available at the nearby Beaumaris Municipal Library (Corner of Gramatan Avenue and Reserve Road – Melway 86D6).  Many of the plants can be bought at the Bayside Community Plant Nursery.

Examples from Appendix 1 of “The Vegetation and Management of Gramatan Avenue Heathland Sanctuary, City of Sandringham, Victoria” by Mr Geoffrey W.Carr et al. for the former City of Sandringham, March 1991, are:

INDIGENOUS PLANTS IN THE GRAMATAN AVENUE HEATHLAND SANCTUARY, BEAUMARIS, 1990

COMMON
NAME
BOTANICAL
FAMILY
GENUS
& SPECIES
COMMENTS
 DICOTYLEDONS  
KarkallaAizoaceæCarpobrotus rossii 
Twiggy Daisy-bushAsteraceæOlearia ramulosa 
Rough Fire-weedAsteraceæSenecio hispidulus 
Green SheokeCasuarinaceæAllocasuarina
paradoxa
Significant
species in that it is seriously depleted
in the Greater Melbourne Metropolitan
Area
Bundled Guinea-flowerDilleniaceæHibbertia prostrataSignificant
species in that it is seriously depleted
in the Greater Melbourne Metropolitan
Area
Silky Guinea-flowerDilleniaceæHibbertia sericeaBright yellow
flowers
Common HeathEpacridaceæEpacris impressaVictoria’s Floral
Emblem, but with white rather than pink
bell-shaped flowers. Flowers in June and
July.
Coast Beard-heathEpacridaceæLeucopogon
parviflorus
White flowers
and sweet edible berries
Common Beard-heathEpacridaceæLeucopogon virgatusWhite flowers
Prickly Broom-heathEpacridaceæMonotoca scoparia 
Wedding BushEuphorbiaceæRicinocarpus
pinifolius
Significant
species in that it is seriously depleted
in the Greater Melbourne Metropolitan
Area
Broom SpurgeEuphorbiaceæAmperea xiphoclada 
Common AotusFabaceæAotus ericoidesSignificant
species in that it is seriously depleted
in the Greater Melbourne Metropolitan
Area
Showy BossiaeaFabaceæBossiaea cinereaSignificant
species in that it is seriously depleted
in the Greater Melbourne Metropolitan
Area
Smooth Parrot-peaFabaceæDillwynia glaberrimaRed and yellow
flowers
Common Wedge-peaFabaceæGompholobium
huegelii
Significant
species in that it is seriously depleted
in the Greater Melbourne Metropolitan
Area
Common Flat-peaFabaceæPlatylobium
obtusangulum
Red and yellow
flowers
Slender Dodder-laurelLauraceæCassytha glabella 
Downy Dodder-laurelLauraceæCassytha pubescens 
Coast WattleMimosaceæAcacia sophoraeYellow flowers
Prickly Tea-treeMyrtaceæLeptospermum
continentale
White flowers
Coast Tea-treeMyrtaceæLeptospermum
laevigatum
White flowers
Heath Tea-treeMyrtaceæLeptospermum
myrsinoides
White flowers
Love CreeperPolygalaceæComesperma volubile 
Silver BanksiaProteaceæBanksia marginataFlowers form in
large yellow cones
Common CorreaRutaceæCorrea reflexa 
 MONOCOTYLEDONS  
Little Club-sedgeCyperaceæIsolepsis marginata 
Sand-hill Sword-sedgeCyperaceæLepidosperma
concavum
 
Variable Sword-sedgeCyperaceæLepidosperma
laterale
 
Wire Rapier-sedgeCyperaceæLepidosperma
semiteres
 
Short Purple-flagIridaceæPatersonia fragilis 
Toad RushJuncaceæJuncus bufonius 
MilkmaidsLiliaceæBurchardia
umbrellata
 
Pale Grass-lilyLiliaceæCaesia parviflora 
Black-anther Flax-lilyLiliaceæDianella revoluta 
Twining Fringe-lilyLiliaceæThysanotus
patersonii
 
Wallflower OrchidOrchidaceaeDiuris corymbosa 
Slender Onion-orchidOrchidaceæMicrotis parviflora 
Common Onion-orchidOrchidaceæMicrotis unifolia 
Slender Sun-orchidOrchidaceæThelymitra
pauciflora
 
Coast Blown-grassPoaceæAgrostis billardieri 
Bristly Wallaby-grassPoaceæDanthonia setacea 
Reed Bent-grassPoaceaæDeyeuxia quadriseta 
Long-hair Plume-grassPoaceæDichelachne crinita 
Weeping GrassPoaceæMicrolaena stipoides 
Supple Spear-grassPoaceæStipa mollis 
Tassel Rope-rushRestionaceæHypolaena fastigiata 
Small Grass-treeXanthorrhoeaceæXanthorrhoea minorSignificant
species in that it is seriously depleted
in the Greater Melbourne Metropolitan
Area
    
EXOTIC
PLANTS IN THE GRAMATAN AVENUE
HEATHLAND SANCTUARY, BEAUMARIS, 1990
 DICOTYLEDONS  
IvyAraiaceæHedera helix 
Cat’s
Ear
AsteraceæHypochoeris radicata 
Rough
Sow-thistle
AsteraceæSonchus asper 
Milk
Thistle
AsteraceæSonchus oleraceus 
Garden
Dandelion
AsteraceæTaraxacum Sect. Vulgaria 
Japanese HoneysuckleCaprifoliaceæLonicera japonica 
Common
Mouse-ear Chickweed
CaryophyllaceæCerastium glomeratum 
Four-leaved
Allseed
CaryophyllaceæPolycarpon
tetraphyllum
 
ChickweedCaryophyllaceæStellaria media 
Wandering JewCommelinaceæTradescantia
fluminensis
 
Cluster
Clover 
FabaceæTrifolium
glomeratum
 
Creeping
Wood-sorrell
OxilidaceæOxalis corniculata
sensu stricto
 
Pink
Shamrock
OxilidaceæOxalis corymbosa 
Sweet PittosporumPittosporaceæPittosporum
undulatum
 
Buck’s-horn
Plantain
PlantageniceæPlantago coronopus 
New Zealand CreeperPolygalaceæMuehlenbeckia
complexa
 
Sheep
Sorrel
PolygonaceæRumex acetosella spp. agg. 
Fiddle
Dock
PolygonaceæRumex pulcher 
CotoneasterRoseaceæCotoneaster
glaucophyllus
 
CotoneasterRoseaceæCotoneaster pannosus 
AppleRoseaceæMalus
domestica 
(hybrid)
 
Cherry
Plum
RoseaceæPrunus cerasifera 
PlumRoseaceæPrunus sp. 
BlackberryRoseaceæRubus procerus 
Mirror BushRubiaceæCoprosma repens 
Wall
Speedwell
ScrophulariaceæVeronica arvensis 
Pampas Lily-of-the-ValleySolanaceæSalpichroa
origanifolia
 
Black
Nightshade
SolanaceæSolanum nigrum 
Fragrant
Violet
ViolaceæViola odorata 
 MONOCOTYLEDONS  
New Zealand Cabbage TreeAgavaceæCordyline australis 
Drain
Flat-sedge
CyperaceæCyperus eragrostis 
FreesiaIridaceæFreesia leichtlinii 
Smilax Asparagus (Bridal Creeper)LiliaceæMyrsiphyllum
asparagoides
 
AsparagusLiliaceæMyrsiphyllum
scandens
 
Brown
top Bent
PoaceæAgrostis capillarus 
Silvery
Hair-grass
PoaceæAira caryophyllea 
Large
Quaking-grass
PoaceæBriza maxima 
Lesser
Quaking-grass
PoaceæBriza minor 
Prairie
Grass
PoaceæBromus catharticus 
Great
Brome
PoaceæBromus diandrus 
Couch
(Quitch, Twitch)
PoaceæCynodon dactylon 
Summer
Grass
PoaceæDigitaria
sanguinalis
 
Panic Veldt GrassPoaceæEhrata erecta 
Annual
Veldt Grass
PoaceæEhata longiflora 
Yorkshire FogPoaceæHolcus lanatus 
Hare’s
TAil
PoaceæLagurus ovatus 
Wimmera
Rye-grass
PoaceæLolium rigidum 

HISTORY 

1939

The Dunlop Rubber Company had acquired a large area of undeveloped land in Beaumaris, which included the land that now forms the Gramatan Avenue Heathland Sanctuary. In August 1939 it announced a plan to use that land as a site for the relocation of its large factory at Port Melbourne factory to Beaumaris. The start of World War II a month later resulted in that plan being abandoned, and the land later offered for sale as suburban building allotments, although very few sold until some time after the end of World War II in 1945.

1944
The site of the Heathland Sanctuary was burnt in the large Beaumaris bushfire of January 1944 as shown in the map at the end of the CSIRO Report on that fire. Australian heathland areas generally suffer no long-term harm from such fires as the heath soon regrows, and it usually benefits from the loss of non-heath competing species that can occur in such fires.

1951
A 1951 Victorian Government Lands Department aerial photograph of Beaumaris shows the large extent of undisturbed bushland still around the land that now forms the Sanctuary. Town planning then did not provide for a reserve in Beaumaris to protect the local heathland flora, which was fast disappearing with housing development.

1953

The Beaumaris Conservation Society (BCS), which was formed as the Beaumaris Tree Preservation Society in 1953, and the Native Plants Preservation Society, whose Secretary, Miss Winifred Waddell, had earlier succeeded in having a smaller area of heathland further east opposite 32 Gramatan Avenue, now known as the Winifred Waddell Wildflower Sanctuary, reserved for flora protection, chose this site. They also mobilized public interest over several years to encourage the City of Sandringham to purchase it, for the purpose of establishing a Heathland Sanctuary, from the Dunlop Rubber Company, which still owned large numbers of undeveloped house blocks as a legacy of the abandoned 1939 plan referred to above. The Society was assisted by support from Professor John Turner (Professor of Botany at the University of Melbourne), Mr (later Dr) Jim Willis (Assistant Government Botanist), and Mr (later Sir) Robert Blackwood (then General Manager of the Dunlop Rubber Company and later the inaugural Chancellor of Monash University).

1957

The City of Sandringham purchased this site and proposed to leased it to BCS, which undertook the responsibility for its management and fencing. BCS paid for the original mesh wire fencing, which is similar to the present fence around the Sanctuary.

1960
A 30-year period (1960-90) began when Sandringham City Council leased the site, at £5 per year, to BCS. The lease period was ten years, and the original 10-year lease was thus renewed twice. BCS Inc. records include a copy of the lease. The Sanctuary is shown at the left side of a 1963 Lands Department aerial photograph some two-thirds of the way down.

1988
BCS asked the City of Sandringham to change the Sanctuary land from its “Residential” zoning under the Planning Scheme to a “Conservation” zoning.

1989
BCS asked the Minister for Planning and Environment to approve the proposal by the City of Sandringham for a “Conservation” zoning.

1990
At the conclusion of the third ten-year period for which BCS had maintained its original 1960 lease of the land from Sandringham City Council, the Council resumed management of the Sanctuary, commissioned the Carr Report (above) on the vegetation in the Sanctuary, and later voted unanimously to support a “Conservation” zoning to retain the reserve as a Sanctuary for the indigenous heathland flora of Beaumaris, and to manage it with help from the local community and BCS. A “Gramatan Avenue Heathland Sanctuary Management Plan”, November 1993, was produced by that Council’s Gramatan Avenue Sanctuary Working Party and edited by its then Conservation Officer, Ms Lisa Milley.

That 1990 intention has been realized now that Bayside City Council, which succeeded the former Sandringham City Council as owner of the land in 1994, adopted a Management Plan for the Sanctuary, which it is implementing. Bayside City Council has ensured that the Sanctuary is now Zoned “Public Conservation and Resource Zone” under the Bayside Planning Scheme and has a Vegetation Protection Overlay Schedule 2 applying to it under that Scheme.

TIMES OF OPENING

First Sunday each month in Spring, 2-4 p.m., or by appointment: Bayside Council Parks and Conservation.

Telephone (03) 9584 5255, Fax (03) 9598 4474.