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Trip Report - Korokoro Valley, true left branch

Trip Report – 4 February 2012:   Korokoro Valley, true left branch – map BQ32

We met at the Oakleigh St, Maungaraki, Lower Hutt, entrance to Belmont Regional Park, then botanised slowly down the walkway to Korokoro Dam.   We added plants, native and adventive, to a list prepared on 4/8/2007 during a field trip on other tracks in this attractive, bush-clad valley.   Highlights in the three hours we took to reach the dam included Chris Hopkins’ rediscovery of several plants of the epiphytic orchid, Drymoanthus adversus, growing on big tawa, and the not-so-pleasing discovery of Pseudopanax hybrids, and the weedy fern, Cretan brake, Pteris cretica, growing below a footbridge.   We sent a sample, and a description of the location of the fern, to Greater Wellington Regional Council (GWRC).

We ate lunch sheltering from fine drizzle, under regenerating forest near the dam, then climbed the old tramping track direct to our starting point.   The feature of the upper part of this route, from which pines were cleared several years ago, is to see the range of colonising native species, and weeds, which are replacing the old plantation.   Native species include wineberry, hangehange, Coprosma lucida and C. robusta, kohuhu, mahoe, mapou, rangiora, mamaku and ponga.   Common weeds include Himalaya honeysuckle and gorse.

Additions to the indigenous plants list included tarata, Solanum laciniatum, Tmesipteris tannensis, Loxogramme dictyopteris, Polystichum vestitum, Drymoanthus adversus, Pterostylis banksii, Dichelachne crinita, Gahnia setifolia and Wahlenbergia violacea.   We made numerous additions to the weeds list.   The lists have been sent to GWRC, and the NZ Plant Conservation Network.

Participants :   Chris Hopkins, Chris Horne (leader / scribe), Gail Mosey, Mick Parsons, Grant Roberts.


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