|Crawford River, Hotspur|
The 'lanigerum' part of its name refers to the woolly (hairy) capsules and leaves. It has a a silvery appearance. In fact its other common name is Silky Teatree. The references call it 'common and widespread' and it is a plant used a lot in regeneration and restoration projects so in no way is it a threatened species but what is under threat is their favoured habitat. Farmers for generations have drained swamps and allowed stock to graze along river banks and in wet areas. My father was a dairy farmer and one paddock on our farm was a Woolly Teatree swamp when I was a child. Dad allowed his cows to graze the paddock and subsequent owners have as well and now there are no teatrees left.
Some farmers are doing the right thing and fencing off swamps and creeksides. Organisations like Landcare, Greening Australia and Catchment Management Authorities are providing funding for fencing in some cases. But I fear it is too late for some populations of Woolly Teatree. In the photo, above, the swamps beside the Crawford River at Hotspur are full of water at the moment and the Woolly Teatrees must be loving getting their feet wet. But there won't be much regeneration because this particular patch (and others like it) is not fenced off and teatrees rely on a 'cool' fire to release the seeds from woody capsules.
|A swamp along the Crawford River at Hotspur with Woolly Teatrees, Phragmites, Poas and flowering Billy Buttons.|
|Remnant Woolly Teatree in a small gully near Myamyn, Victoria.|
|Remnant Woolly Teatree, fenced off from stock. Milltown, Victoria.|