Hochkins Ridge

It has taken me far to long to visit this flora reserve. I remember when the land was bought by Croydon Council for a very small amount in the 1980s in order to preserve its wonderful biodiversity. After going through a number of management iterations it is now controlled by Parks Victoria.

The ridge runs north-south in Croydon North with views past Lilydale to Mount Toolebewong and the Yarra Ranges National Park. The biggest risks to the reserve include flower pickers.

I parked in a nearby residential court and made my way up to the ridge track. It was a very sunny day and I did not want to linger near the small water course and pond in case of snakes. The 18.6 hectare reserve has 250 indigenous plant species many of which are rare at the local and regional level. The trees are mainly Red Stringybark, the reserve is known mainly for its 13 wattle species and nearly 30 orchid species.

I was too late to see orchids, but hoped to see some of the later blooming wildflowers. By looking very carefully I was able to find these beauties including Common Fringed Lily, Button Everlasting, and lots of Blue Pincushion.

There were fragrant Chocolate Lily everywhere, nodding in the breeze, so it was very hard to get a photo. Other sightings were the Common Rice Flower, Annual Blue Bells and Yellow Stars. The seedpods maybe from Milkmaids.

Grasses were plentiful with the introduced Quaking Grass beside all the paths. There was also lots of the pretty but pesky Delicate Hairgrass and some interesting but unidentified plants, maybe Sweet Vernal Grass.

By going a little way in to the bush I found Wattle Mat Rush and Red-Anther Wallaby Grass.

One of the flowering trees really stood out and I hope to find out what it is and if I can add one to my garden. From the foliage I am guessing a She-oak.

The understory at the top of the ridge was otherwise dominated by Cassinia longifolia in full flower.

The reserve is well worth exploring and I intend to return at different times of the year. The only downside is being elevated, the sound of traffic from Maroondah Highway and Holloway Road cannot be ignored. Housing is also very close by when using the perimeter track.

That is Mount Dandenong not so far away.

2 thoughts on “Hochkins Ridge

  1. Vireya

    It looks like a good spot to visit! All those orchid species would be interesting to explore. Better put it in your calendar for October next year.

    Reply

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