Working Bee – 09.01.2022

Had a chance to get some more done at Dick’s creek for the first time in the new year.

As always, I deviated away from my original target after noting some weeds on the way. On the lower west bank of first fall I noticed a healthy stand of Croften weed & mistflower.

Not surprising of course considering that these invasives dominated the spot a few years ago. It didn’t take long to do some maintenance to get rid of most of it. This area is doing well mostly. Native ferns and trees are growing stronger and the weeds are having a harder and harder time.

I videoed progress while I was there…

I took some video at ‘Site A’ and also after manually removing some lantana behind 16 Green Valley Rd.  I took some more photos and video of an issue I have with lantana rafts taking too much space. I am convinced that most bush regeneration advice is aimed at large sites where rafts can be built and forgotten. However, as there so much lantana at Dick’s creek and the site is relatively small, I find those piles of dead lantana take up too much space so I have tried a few options to speed up the breakdown. Firstly, I was spreading out the dead branches rather than piling them. Normally this is not done as it is possible the branches will reroot but I take this into consideration and find that spreading out the branches is an improvement.

Another approach I have now had success with, is to pile green leafy weeds in with the raft when it is made. It keeps the moisture in contact with the dead branches and hence hastens the process. Key with both approaches is to reduce the size of the branches as much as possible.

Finally, I got to the back of the reserve, near the creek, where I intended to spend most of the time on. Privet is the main issue at this location. I found multiple native saplings taking off at this location so I ended up just trying to keep the privet away from these guys.

In this shot, the pittosporum can be seen. A lot of the surrounding privet has been pulled out and will soon die.

Here we can see a small Cheese tree and another small tree of that as of yet unidentified tree that appears to like the area.

Hopefully I can do more for these in future working bees as they are struggling against the privet.

Working Bees back

At present, there are still some extra restrictions or procedures that still need to be followed as per the email (shown below) sent via Lake Macquarie landcare:

Dear Landcare volunteer,

Following the recent announcement that the state has achieved 80% COVID-19 vaccination status, Landcare activities can recommence as of this Monday, the 18th of October. In line with Public Health Orders and Council’s COVID Risk Assessment, the following controls will be required to be met for all Landcare work sessions.

At the beginning of each work session Team Leaders will need to undertake a tool box talk to discuss these controls.

Required controls:

• Stay at home if unwell or if you have been to a potential exposure site
• Maintain social distancing of 1.5 metres between people
• Wash and/or sanitise hands regularly
• Avoid sharing of tools and practice regular tool cleaning
• No sharing of drink or foods
• No car-pooling outside of household members
• Double vaccination is a requirement to be able to volunteer or Medical exemption if you are unable to be
vaccinated due to medical reasons
• Signing on to the Daily Work Diary indicates that you would be able to demonstrates your vaccination status (or
medical exemption) to an Authorised Officer if required (e.g. Police officer)
• Mask wearing in outdoor environments is optional
• In the event that you or a volunteer receive a positive COVID-19 test result or notification as a close contact
and have been volunteering since exposure
or the exposure occurred at site, you MUST contact NSW Health and the Landcare Resource Centre at the earliest
opportunity, providing names and contact details of all volunteers working on that date
• If you have volunteers or members of the public challenging your presence or these controls – refer them to the
Landcare Resource Centre 4921 0392 or Council on 4921 0333.

If you anticipate you will need any assistance implementing any of these controls, or if you have any concerns, please contact the Landcare Resource Centre.

Unfortunately, I still have a few weeks before my second jab is administered so working bees will have to wait until then but not long now…

Water spider at Dick’s Creek – 14.10.2021

We came across this big fella yesterday. A water spider I believe. Very large, over ten centimeters. I could see why some of the kids freaked out when they saw it. It didn’t move an inch while I took these photos though…

Water spider in Dick’s Creek reserve

It is hard to get perspective from a photo so I took some video but unfortunately the quality was less than desired.

Great to see different wildlife inhabiting the creek though.

Evils of Camphor laurel (Cinnamomum camphora)

Fifty-seven great reasons why all camphor laurels need to be eradicated

Written by Greg Alterator for NSW Native Plant Identification on facebook thread:


They contain 15-18 biocidal toxins, most of which are moderately powerful. This tree in its most toxic types (‘chemotypes’) easily rank as the most toxic plant in Australian history, having up to an order of magnitude more toxic biocidal compounds than the average level of toxicity in most other exotic/Native toxic plant species!


1.Addicted/narcotised or over-consuming native bird species (excluding Crows and Northern Hemisphere species) are slowly disappearing/becoming extinct, especially small bird species and waterbirds (Davies, University of New England – Armidale).
2.In the drying circumstances of global warming, Camphor trees generally accumulate noxious and toxic weed species underneath them – three times as many weed species as all known native shrub or tree species known to survive underneath them.
3.Camphor trees harbour and promote more than a dozen other noxious species underneath their canopies (Three-Shire Survey over 5 years), of which 11 of 13 species of noxious weed are also toxic species. These species of toxic plants contribute to the cumulative toxification of native, unsuspecting fauna (insects, etc) eating them and of soft-bodied biota below, and in waterways especially.
4.On streams and rivers, banks are slowly undermined by roots exuding toxins (Kew Botanic Gardens) into sub-soils with most native riparian species suppressed, and some native tree species slowly killed out, especially on creek banks, waterways, rivers, etc. (Sainty 1989). Also, Camphor laurel tree roots are not densely branching like the original Native Coolamon trees which used to historically keep the riverbanks ‘flood-proof’.
5.Camphor laurels are a Northern Hemisphere pesticide tree-crop species, containing a volatile chemistry that can and does readily disturb the native ecological balance of southern Australian fauna and flora, which have for a million years or more had NO evolutionary contact (over geological timespans) with camphor and similar narcotic and other cumulative (sterilising) toxins.


6.Camphor laurels are rich in narcotics, including camphor, naphthalene and benzene – all moderately powerful narcotics and cumulative toxins that imbue addiction, i.e. wildlife/fauna (predisposed individuals) can become addicted after consuming bark, leaves, roots or berries.
7.Camphor is a fresh-scented, active constituent cryptically capable of attracting fauna to eat/consume significant quantities of the plant products (leaf, bark, fruit) because camphor percentages are generally over 50% of the plant oil.
8.Narcotics, including camphor, benzene, naphthalene and vanillin, are addictive, cumulative addictive, and may well cause increased addiction with increased concentrations in drought or due to carbon dioxide increases commensurate with global warming.
9.Sterilising compounds verified by Chinese researchers are also cumulative toxins, compounding the problems attributable to narcotic (‘addictable’) compounds, such that medium and/or long-term accumulations of narcotics and sterilising compounds may well be far worse than accumulations of both of these toxins separately.
10.Oxidation of camphor, in water, in summer heat, e.g. in a hot gutter/ing, can give rise to piperonyl butoxide, a very powerful pesticide synergist. Together, camphor and piperonyl butoxide (‘pip-bute’) are even more toxic, and represent the ‘unstated/intuitive reason’ why people will never place a water-tank under a Camphor laurel tree canopy.


11.In their native habitats of China, Japan, Taiwan and South Korea, camphors are not naturally on riverbanks or overhanging and dropping toxic parts into streams (Flora of Japan, Flora of Taiwan) and are actively kept away from waterways.
12.On mainland China, virtually all remaining Camphor trees are contained in managed plantation areas, which are regularly and sustainably harvested for seasonal oil production without allowing the trees to form flower or seed.
13.Australia received its first colonial transfer of Camphor laurels from Britain, taken by seed collectors to England (1747) from a remote island off Taiwan, and is the only country with a rare, 1881+ hybrid-crossing of Taiwanese island ssp. and Japan (Hiroshima) ssp. Our more toxic hybrids arose from this crossing and do appear to include “killer genes” (which also exist in Lauraceae, e.g. Puerto and Nabal Avocado leaves kill rabbits!).


14.Floristic key to the different types or chemotypes (CRC-Friend 2003) proves that more toxic, or most toxic types exist in two ways: more carcinogenic (benzene, safrole compounds dominant) and narcotic and sterilising compounds dominant, as in camphor rich and double camphor % types.
15.Time lapse photography proves that increasingly more yellow or yellow-green type camphor trees are becoming more common, appearing to be linked to stress such as drought, higher temperatures (max+%) erratically, or the combined effects of ultraviolet irradiation, elevated carbon dioxide concentrations and temperature, etc.
16.At flowering, honeybees and native bees are totally deterred by the volatile narcotic Camphor, a well-known powerful insect repellent and killer compound – killing by asphyxiation in a closed space.
17.More toxic, carcinogenic chemotypes, rich in the pro-carcinogen Safrole, are not good shade trees, have poor morphological form, smaller leaves, and often don’t provide a reasonable leaf canopy.
18.Aerial infra-red photography proves that this is the only tree species able to grow all year round and hence able to manufacture toxins all year round.
19.Camphors can, and have, killed children and infants on three continents – Africa, Europe and North America.
20.Increasing numbers of asthmatic or hypersensitive reactions are occurring due to both acute and long-term exposure to Camphor and its 18 component, largely volatile, toxic constituents’ (Australia and U.S.A., California) cumulative toxicity.
21.At least five of the 18 toxic compounds in Camphor laurels are cumulative toxins due to medium or long-term exposure over sustainable timespans (12-15 years or more.)
22.Carcinogenic and pro-carcinogenic safrole is to be found in most parts of the tree’s bark and roots, as well as other parts of the tree, especially wood of the more toxic or ‘gaudy wood’ chemotypes.
23.Narcotics dull the brain, or cause narcosis by brain numbing, so the greater the output of volatiles like Camphor and Naphthalene etc., both soluble in Safrole (oil), the greater the probability of cumulative vapour breathing and metabolic fate (Overton 1901).


24.New Zealand (Aoteroa), with one of the highest set of health standards in the world, warned its population against the use of camphor and against planting Camphor laurels, by National Radio, in the 1960s. If this is an agreed upon ‘Excellent Standard’, then why not spread it worldwide? (‘IBP’ applies = International Best Practice.)
25.Practical farm/landowners throughout eastern Australia’s seaboard know “not to” place water tanks, or drinking-water collection gear under or nearby Camphor laurel trees, as water will become unfit for human use.


26.Germany has a complete ban on all trade in camphor since 2002, as it is now known as a moderately powerful narcotic and as a compound base from which other drugs, e.g. ecstasy, can be manufactured illicitly.
27.Importation of camphor or camphorated oils to the European Community and America is now strictly controlled and regulated.
28.In the High Court of Australia in 2002, Old English Law was overturned and nullified in Australia, giving Sydneysiders or Australians everywhere the right to remove any street-side Camphor laurel physically destroying sandstone walls or foundations, and seriously damaging footpaths and gutters. (More toxic chemotypes lost by appeal to the High Court.)
29.Australia’s remnant or rare threatened and endangered fauna (and flora) deserve better protection from volatile toxic tree species that deter pollinators and kill helpful pollinating wildlife.


30.Hydrology – Camphor laurels use more water than any other tree species (to manufacture up to 18 toxins interseasonally), valuable water that is needed for native fauna and flora regeneration; stream flows are often reduced by an estimated 40% – as compared with native trees’ water demand.
31.Fish deaths by fish poisons – naphthalene and camphor in combination are especially toxic to soft-bodied organisms (Overton 1898, 1901, U.S.-EPA 1991). As naphthalene is a fish poison (piscicide) and camphor oxides in certain waters to form piperonyl butoxide, in ‘ppb’ this will synergise and make the impact of naphthalene worse in water.
32.High safrole chemotypes or safrole-dominant types of Camphor laurel trees are deadly to most plants and animals underneath them. If and where safrole% in Camphor laurel oil camphor% then camphor is fully absorbed into the safrole oil (Martindale 2000) and fails to repel the organism. Safrole is ingested and both do their damage without the organism being or becoming at all aware. Result: slow steady death of fauna, over long-term timespans – not readily observed.
33.Paralysis and ensuing death of fauna, as observed in a rising tide of recently dying roadside wildlife, is no doubt due to the alkaloid neticulene and laurolitsene which are known since 1968 to come from the root bark.
34.Veterinarians have repeatedly diagnosed “C.N.S.-paralysis”, principally RHS of brains of birds, found by dissection to be full of Camphor laurel fruit in the crop or stomach.
35.Since 1979 (Firth, N.S.W. Agriculture [DPI], Alstonville) two main Camphor laurel types are recognised in scientific journals and one UNE thesis, and both can and do cause differing colourful ‘stream deaths’ (Friend, CRC 2000; Schenk 2004, S.C.U. Lismore).
36.Our air, streams and waterways should be being monitored, and none is as yet, for the serious toxic organic pollutants, the botanical pesticidal and narcotic components of all or any exotic weed species such as Broad Leaved Privet, known to be able to kill native bird species (reference: Toxic Plants of North America). Streams and waterways in valley floors act as ‘collecting reservoirs’ for the long-hot summertime expelled volatile toxins of Camphor laurel trees.
37.All schools in all eastern states need to replace all camphors with native trees, in a stepwise fashion, as part of teaching children and students about the risks of toxic plants.


38.Six decades after the first hybrid Camphor trees were reported (1901, The Northern Star) as spreading west from Bangalow, they had become a native canopy problem in the same area. Most Camphor laurels take only 3-10 years to start seeding, so they have a relatively low generation time, sped on by bird dissemination, mostly by vomiting of fruit and seeds. Genetic diversification has been ongoing for 123 years since Japanese and Taiwanese camphors first ‘crossed’, at or near Burringbar, north of Mullumbimby. Theoretically, Weed Management authorities have to contend with 12 generations of genetic advancement, assuming a conservative 10 years per generation.
39.Genetic diversity within the species Cinnamomum camphora in north-eastern NSW may be assumed to be greatest here cf. other parts of Australia, although it is not known if any legal or illegal mainland Chinese immigrants, or miners, brought the prized seeds in small leather pouches (anecdotal contribution to genetic interbreeding?; not proven).
40.Camphor laurel is a first cousin or relative of the Amazonian poison tree, the Ocotea, or blow dart tree, extracts from which are only slightly less powerful as mammal poisons than curare vine, It is a relative of the family Lauraceae (Ref.
41.Being already the most toxic plant species in Australia and having toxicity genes for at least five differing groups of poisonous compounds, and bearing in mind that plant chemistry evolved long before fauna appeared on earth, Camphor laurels are well positioned to be one of the great survivors on the planet as it becomes increasingly polluted.


42.Camphor laurel is the most toxic weed species in Australia today. No other plant species comes even close to having 18 biocidally active toxins, and certainly not, usually, any cumulative toxins. Cinnamomum camphora needs to be included in the ‘worst’ list – ‘The Worst Twenty Weeds’ (WON S List) in Australia (Canberra).
43.In 1955 Camphor laurel was the reason that the NSW Poisonous Plants Committee was disbanded, or retrenched, by the NSW Government. As compensation, this should be the primary reason that a Federal or State-Federal Toxic Plants Advisory Committee or Scientific Advisory Group needs forming.


44.Solid evidence has been recently collected, on Norfolk Island and the mainland, indicating that Camphor laurel is becoming increasingly more toxic due to global warming, with new hybrids spreading their range to include new, novel habitats, e.g. in mangrove estuaries, and intertidal areas – even below the average high water mark (Friend, CRC 2002), e.g. on South Stradbroke Island (Qld).
45.Surveys of current and old time timber milling staff, Directors, ex-staff, and individual loggers and foresters, reveal that across north-eastern NSW many fellers and millers have known in their own lifetimes or that of their fathers that different types of camphor tree could be selected from bark type, branching type, etc., to obtain the best wood for their purposes.
46.Spread of the species’ geographic range, to now include the NSW Northern Tablelands, and some inland areas (e.g. Dubbo, Tamworth, Uralla and Tenterfield, and Alice Springs, NT,) shows that it is now known to produce viable seed in drier, warm autumns as well as to germinate in low/no-frost winters, e.g. at Tenterfield, and on the Nicholson River floodplain, southeast of Melbourne, Victoria – as confirmed by Melbourne’s Botanic Gardens staff, 2001-02. This is indicative of evolutionary change and selection/survival of hardier ‘cold resistant’ types.
47.Consistent logging of Camphor laurels for over 60 years – which arguably reached its economic zenith in 1946 near Lismore with the export of veneer (>$1 million p.a.) – has resulted in a forest population of known more toxic types in abundance, preponderant over the less toxic types which are favoured for their even grain, creamier, better curing and less knotty timber.


48.Camphor laurels can and have killed numerous stock, especially horses in NSW Northern Rivers and Southeast Queensland, from consuming Camphor laurel bark and/or leaves in drought times; since 1942 in NSW and officially recognised by Plant Toxicologist Dr. Ross McKenzie in Queensland.
49.Entire herd of goats (8-12) killed by force-feeding on Camphor laurel (pruned/lopped) branches and leaves, Kempsey High School, in summer 2001.
50.Camphor laurels reduce many tree crop yields around farm peripheries, as Camphor laurel tree roots invade into farmland, up to 100m, a consistently proven fact (Northpower staff, 1970-2000), especially for small-crops.
51.Camphor laurels coming up in pastures help get cattle addicted to the species, leading to noticeable ‘livestock wasting’, and decline by cows on especially weedy farms has been noted and proven (at saleyards), with occasional death of cows due to camphor addiction, confirmed since 1942 (Everist, NSW Poisonous Plants Committee, text, @ Royal Botanic Gardens, Sydney).
52.Birds eating Camphor berries in dry times become sick, vomiting seeds along fencelines, and small bird species die out in drier areas, slowing reducing ecological on-farm biodiversity, but building up camphor and weed numbers at the expense of native biodiversity.


53.Koalas, in both Lismore and Mullumbimby districts since 1991, have been known to become addicted to regular night-time feeding on Camphor laurel leaf, but in the course of choosing leaf to eat, they eat some more toxic bark, and worse toxins in that (Hiraizumi 1950) cause the speedy demise of individual koalas. They fall from trees sick/dead, frothing from the mouth, with full stomachs reeking of camphor (G. Tomkins, Veterinarian/’Friends of the Koala’ Adviser, Lismore); yet no pathology laboratory is geared-up to even analyse for camphor, to prove the connection – let alone mention the other toxins.
54.Possums have recently (2004, May and June) been found dead, warm and entire (not run over) in the middle of Lismore roadways, with front legs crossed, eyes and other organs dilated, stomach with camphor and purple snouts from eating Camphor laurel, and found directly under entire interlocking Camphor laurel tree canopies over narrow country roads. Evidence is overwhelming in other cases of possum death and symptoms of ‘anaphylactic shock’ – the reason that all camphor is banned in German trade (import and export).
55.Wallabies, now seen through binoculars/multiple observations in three districts consuming significant volumes of toxic Camphor laurel bark, including whole tree seedling/s in one case, may well be declining in population numbers due to excess consumption: addiction to Camphor laurel narcotics.
56.If camphor consumption is ‘so good’ for native fauna (bandicoots, koalas, possums and wallabies), repeatedly attested by certain influential, conservative observers, then how is it that all these species are not becoming increasingly more common across the Northern Rivers region of NSW? In fact, the opposite is the case, where sightings of fauna are now uncommon, seasonal events in most district of the one fauna-rich region.


57.In 1970/71 McCubbin’s ‘Butterflies of Australia’ declared that the Blue Triangle Butterfly (Graphium graphium) enjoyed its main/principal host plant species Camphor laurel trees, or at least the lower limbs and leaves thereon. Since that date there have been 35 years for this brilliant native butterfly species to adapt to its/all toxins (18) known to be manufactured by this tree species. Instead, its population has declined, as proven by three years of springtime branch sampling and close inspection and observations of Camphor Laurel trees in Lismore NSW.
Its a shame cause their nice trees otherwise 🙂

Lantana debris experiment

I have often been left with large piles of dead lantana after landcare working bees. Current recommendations is to leave those piles on site to breakdown in time. However, Dick’s creek is (well, it was…) a small reserve with a big lantana infestation. Those piles take up a lot of space that I would prefer to see being used by native flora. Those lantana piles take a long time to break down. I have heard people suggest twelve months is long enough for it all to disappear but I have seen piles remain mostly intact for years (see video below).

Following landcare rules makes the situation more challenging. It can’t be burnt, we can’t bring machinery on site to process it, it can’t be taken off-site, no building compost heaps etc. I have often felt at loggerheads with this issue…

As any gardener would know, a compost will only work when there is enough moisture and I think this explains my issue with lantana. As long as the remaining debris stays strong enough to keep it suspended above the ground and hence able to stay dry, it takes a long time to break down. I needed to get the debris into something that will keep it wet. So, what I am trying at present and what I show in the video below, is an experiment to see if combining dead lantana with more fleshy green leafy weeds will hasten the composting process. I am hoping it will.

I picked a few locations, ‘Site A’ being one of them. I tried to brake down the lantana as much as possible by standing on it and breaking it up with my hands. I then raked nearby tard/wandering willy (there is no shortage unfrotunately) into the pile. Hopefully, with some rain, it will break down and more area will become available for the flora that is meant to be there.

Fingers cross this will work so I will have an approach I can use for any other lantana infestations.

Here are some videos I took to describe the issue and the approach I am using…

Site Inspection – 2021.10.04

Not really a working bee on this day but I did remove some privet on the west side at the top 2nd fall and removed some fishbone fern on the East side.

This video shows the East side of the creek at the top of 2nd falls. It has a small native olive tree clinging to life by growing mostly horizontally from the cliff edge. It has always been forced out by the fishbone ferns growing from the edge.

Fishbone fern has an impressive ability to create its own root structure. It can end up in the most unlikely of places.
I partly removed the fishbone fern to hopefully encourage some other native flora and to hopefully aid the growth of the native olive tree.

Between ‘Site A’ and the creek, I often referred to as ‘Site A extension’. It has been around a year since I did that work and this video shows the progress at that location. There is a large pile of dead lantana which I want to remove somehow and there is some weeds that have popped back up but largely, it is pretty good. In particular, I liked seeing the hairy clerodendrum budding. I have never seen it flower before.

After taking that video I inspected the west bank of the creek. Under No.2’s property. I don’t normally go over the west bank as I decided quite a while ago to focus on the East side first. The west bank was a mixture of good and bad.  There are many natives so we can be confident that the seed bank is in good health. It will be a matter of removing the weeds. In particular, privet along the creek is dominating.

One interesting find was this staghorn fern:

Staghorn on a rock near ground level

It is the first one I had noticed on the reserve. There was also a large birdnest fern nearby which was good to see.

In summary, the west side is in mostly good condition but the privet will need to be treated. That won’t be as easy as it sounds because getting around was very difficult. Lots of barbwire vine and sizeable cliff edge along the bank makes traversing the area quite difficult.


Working Bee – 18.09.2021

I got a few hours of lantana bashing in on Saturday…

The main pile of lantana at the end of the day.

Mostly I focused on the lantana near the creek towards the rear of the reserve. I had cleared the creek edge previously and this led to some natives taking off. The usual bleeding hearts and sandpaper figs but also a lilly pilly amongst others. Still, I hadn’t moved far from the edge of the creek and the lantana was threatening a return. I put an end to that…

Sandpaper figs free from lantana

That spot was chockers with lantana but now those  sandpaper fig saplings towards the center of the photo should have a good headstart.

I am having to consider where people will walk when an area is cleared. There appears to be enough people going through the reserve now to make a difference. Not a bad thing but something to keep in mind in case some more fragile plants could be damanged. I left some privet and debris to deter people using this area. Easily removed when the saplings become big enough to not be easily walked on.

Just enough debris to deter would be walkers. They can go the usual way…

Here is a summary video I took at the end of the day. Poor quality unfortunately…

That fern tree that can be seen in the video is another win as well. More of those, yes please.

Alocasia brisbanensis – Cunjevoi – Identification

There are a number of other plants often referred to as ‘elephant ears’ or ‘Taro’ which make identifying Cunjevoi uncertain.

I have found that this Brisbane council weed identification site to be one of the best resources in identifying weeds. In particular, they typically note similar species and list the differences.

For cunjevoi, these two pages are informative:

Their entry for Arum lilly is:

Similar species

This species is quite distinctive, however it may occasionally be confused with Italian arum (Arum italicum) and the native cunjevoi (Alocasia brisbanensis). These species can be distinguished by the following differences:
arum lily (Zantedeschia aethiopica) has green leaves and showy white inflorescences with a bright yellow flower spike in the centre. Its inconspicuous berries are yellowish-green to yellow in colour when ripe.
Italian arum (Arum italicum) has slightly variegated leaves and greenish-white inflorescences with a yellowish flower spike in the centre. Its orange or bright red berries are usually conspicuously displayed in elongated clusters when ripe.
cunjevoi (Alocasia brisbanensis) has green leaves and greenish coloured inflorescences with a greenish or yellowish coloured flower spike in the centre. Its bright red berries are usually conspicuously displayed in short, dense clusters when ripe.

For Taro:
Similar species
“The three varieties of taro (Colocasia esculenta) in Australia can be distinguished from each other by the following differences:
Colocasia esculenta var. aquatilis (native to northern Australia) usually has green leaves and leaf stalks, and its corms are very small. Its flower clusters have a very short extension at the tip that is devoid of flowers (i.e. rudimentry appendix).
Colocasia esculenta var. esculenta (cultivated and naturalised) has green or pruplish leaves and leaf stalks, and its corms are well developed (up to 30 cm long and 15 cm thick). Its flower clusters have a very short extension at the tip that is devoid of flowers (i.e. rudimentry appendix).
Colocasia esculenta var. antiquorum (cultivated and widely naturalised) has green or pruplish leaves and leaf stalks, and its corms are relatively small (4-7 cm long and 2-5 cm thick). Its flower clusters have a relatively long extension at the tip that is devoid of flowers (i.e. well-developed appendix).
Taro (Colocasia esculenta) is also similar to similar to blue taro (Xanthosoma violaceum ) and the native cunjevoi (Alocasia brisbanensis). These species can be distinguished from each other by the following differences:
taro (Colocasia esculenta) has green or purplish leaf stalks that have their stalks attached to their undersides (i.e. the leaves are peltate). It has thick, tuberous, creeping stems (i.e. corms).
blue taro (Xanthosoma violaceum ) has purplish leaf stalks that have their stalks attached to their bases (i.e. the leaves are not peltate). It has thick, tuberous, creeping stems (i.e. corms).
cunjevoi (Alocasia brisbanensis) has green leaf stalks that have their stalks attached to their bases (i.e. the leaves are not peltate). It eventually develops thick upright stems up to 1 m or more tall.”

Also, this site is quite descriptive even if it labels it as a weed in other locations:

Cunjevoi – Alocasia brisbanensis

Working Bee – 12.09.2021

A quick session today. Actually classified as exercise rather than bush regeneration 🙂

Once again, just pushing back on lantana. I came across a large sandpaper fig tree that I had previously freed up from lantana. It had since then, fallen over but it continues to thrive. It had once again started to provide structure for the surrounding lantana. I removed the offending lantana and also bits of privet.

Sandpaper fig after I had cleared off the lantana.

I will need to come back to this spot as there is various promising saplings which need defending.

Here is a summary video I did of the site after clearing the fig.

Poison peach tree (Trema tomentosa) vs Lantana (Lantana camara)

While trekking through the bush in Dudley, Lake Macquarie, I noticed a young poison peach tree (Trema tomentosa) near some lantana (Lantana camara). I took advantage of the situation by comparing the two for future reference.

Leaf wise, they are quite alike but with poison peach leaves being more elongated. They main notable difference when they are growing upright from the ground (not that common for lantana) is the leaf arrangement. Opposite for lantana and alternate for poison peach.