Devil's Needle Native Shrub at Charles and Motee Rogers Bushland Reserve.

The vegetation of the Charles and Motee Rogers Reserve is an endangered ecosystem type, which, in Queensland, is found only  on deep, red volcanic soil in the ex-Crows Nest Shire and in a few minor areas in the Cooloola Shire.

The Queensland Government Department of Environment and Heritage classifies it as regional ecosystem type 12.5.6a. This ecosystem type has a double canopy - an upper, open forest canopy featuring Sydney Blue Gum (Eucalyptus saligna) and other Eucalypts, and a lower canopy of vine forest (a type of dry rainforest). Its other two layers, the shrubby understorey and the forest floor make up its complete ecology. Only few thousand hectares of this ecotype remain. Very little of it is protected in National Parks or Reserves.

The Charles and Motee Reserve preserves a small sample of the ecosystem, complete with its natural four layers. This allows for natural regeneration of seedlings so that the ecology is self-perpetuating, and provides habitat for a wide variety of fauna, from the tiniest insects to koalas. Approximately 80 naturally occurring native plant species have been recorded there.

Tall Open Forest Canopy
These plants, especially the Sydney blue gums, tower over the remaining vegetation.  Old stumps tell us that there were once very large trees on this land, but they have all gone. Of the remaining gumtrees, few would be more than 100 years old.  Preservation in this reserve will allow them to attain their full size, and future generations will appreciate the foresight of Charles Rogers, who donated this Reserve to the public in 1993.

  • Sydney Bluegum    Eucalyptus saligna
  • Blackbutt      Eucalyptus pilularis
  • Large fruited Grey Gum Eucalyptus biturbinata (Koala favourite)
  • Gum Topped Box       Eucalyptus moluccana (Koala favourite)
  • Applegum     Angophora floribunda
  • Pink Bloodwood   Corymbia intermedia

Vine Forest Canopy
These dry rainforest trees form a lower canopy, particularly in the south-eastern corner of the reserve. These tough, very drought hardy plants have shady green canopies. They are long-lived plants, with some of them likely to be much older than the Eucalypts in the reserve. We should never underestimate the heritage value of our small tree species, which can be just as “significant” as larger ones.

  • Soap ash          Alphitonia excelsa (Butterfly host plant)
  • Bitter Bark         Alstonia constricta
  • Flame tree         Brachychiton acerifolius (Butterfly host plant)
  • Kurrajong          Brachychiton populneus (Butterfly host plant)
  • Scrub tuckeroo Cupaniopsis parvifolia (Butterfly host plant)
  • Veiny denhamia Denhamia pittosporoides
  • Red olive‑plum  Elaeodendron australe var. integrifolium
  • Leopard Ash     Flindersia collina (Butterfly host plant)
  • Scrub wilga       Geijera salicifolia (Butterfly host plant)
  • Hedge orangebark         Maytenus bilocularis
  • White doughwood         Melicope micrococca (Butterfly host plant)
  • Sweet pittosporum        Pittosporum undulatum
  • Celerywood       Polyscias elegans
  • Box leafed canthium      Psydrax odorata forma buxifolia

These plants are to be found in the northern and western sides of the park, where the vine forest thins out. The oleander leaf wattles put on a glorious display of golden blossom every August, along the Polzin Road frontage.

  • Green wattle      Acacia irrorata (Butterfly host plant)
  • Maiden’s wattle Acacia maidenii (Butterfly host plant)
  • Oleander leaf wattle       Acacia neriifolia (Butterfly host plant)

Vine forests are named after their vines, so it is not surprising to find that there are 17 native vine species in the Charles and Motee Rogers Reserve.
Contrary to popular myth, native vines do not harm trees. They are an essential part of the ecosystem, providing food for the little creatures that live there.
Some of them are the only host plants for some of the large and showy butterflies that feed on the flowers in our Highfields gardens.

  • Slender Water Vine        Cayratia clematidea
  • Staff vine          Celastrus subspicata
  • Small Leafed Water Vine            Clematicissus opaca
  • Native Clematis Clematis glycinoides
  • Wombat berry   Eustrephus latifolius
  • Scrambling lily  Geitonoplesium cymosum
  • Scrub Jasmine  Jasminum didymum subsp. racemosum
  • Stiff jasmine     Jasminum simplicifolium subsp. australiense
  • Sweet Jasmine, (natural hybrid). Jasminum suavissimum x simplicifolium
  • Milk Vine           Marsdenia rostrata (Butterfly host vine)
  • Bower vine        Pandorea jasminoides
  • Wonga vine       Pandorea pandorana
  • Monkey rope vine          Parsonsia straminea (Butterfly host Vine)
  • Red‑flowered native passionfruit            Passiflora aurantia v. aurantia
  • Corky Milk Vine Secamone elliptica (Butterfly host vine)
  • Barb Wire Vine  Smilax australis (Butterfly host vine)
  • Tape vine          Stephania japonica var. discolor

Understorey Shrub Layer
An essential component of wildlife habitat, the shrub layer fills the gap between the vine forest canopy and the forest floor.

  • Scrub boonaree            Alectryon diversifolius
  • Golden Hollywood         Auranticarpa rhombifolia
  • Breynia Breynia oblongifolia
  • Cough bush      Cassinia laevis
  • Hairy lolly bush Clerodendrum tomentosum
  • Narrow‑leafed hop bush Dodonaea viscosa subsp. angustifolia (Butterfly host plant.)
  • Redwood Bush Erythroxylum sp. "Splityard Creek”
  • Cherry ballart     Exocarpos cuppressiformis (Butterfly host plant)
  • Narrow leafed orangebark          Maytenus silvestris
  • Native olive       Notelaea microcarpa
  • New England pimelea    Pimelea neoanglica
  • Birds nest bush Pittosporum viscidum
  • Bush tomato     Solanum nemophilum
  • Devil's needles  Solanum stelligerum
  • Bead bush        Spartothamnella juncea
  • Peach leafed trema       Trema tomentosa (Butterfly host plant)
  • Tie bush            Wikstroemia indica

Forest Floor
Much of the richness of any complete environment lies in the its ground-level flora. It feeds and shelters ground-dwelling animals such as echidnas, bandicoots and lizards, and provides food for ground-foraging bird species.

  • Maidenhair fern Adiantum aethiopicum
  • Slender bamboo grass  Austrostipa verticillata
  • Binung fern       Christella dentata
  • Blue flowered wandering jew      Commelina diffusa
  • Sedge  Cyperus sp.
  • Short stemmed flax lily  Dianella brevipedunculata
  • Blue flax lily      Dianella caerulea
  • Kidney plant      Dichondra repens
  • Rasp Fern         Doodia aspera
  • Saloop saltbush            Einadia hastata (Butterfly host plant)
  • Saw Sedge       Gahnia aspera
  • Native Sarsparilla  Hardenbergia violacea 
  • Blady grass      Imperata cylindrica
  • Whiteroot          Lobelia purpurescens
  • Long‑leafed matrush      Lomandra longifolia  (Butterfly host plant)
  • Many flowered matrush  Lomandra multiflora (Butterfly host plant)
  • Wavy basket grass        Oplismenus aemulus (Butterfly host plant)
  • Creeping beard grass    Oplismenus imbecillis (Butterfly host plant)
  • Gunn's phyllanthus        Phyllanthus gunnii
  • Pomax  Pomax umbellata
  • Common bracken          Pteridium esculentum
  • Native raspberry            Rubus parviflora
  • Spade Flower     Hybanthus stellarioides
  • Wandering Sailor      Commelina cyanea
  • Fringe Lily Thysanotus tuberosus (Discovered 2015)
  • ** Unlisted on Blog (discovered 2015)
  • ** Unlisted on Blog  

The Add-ins
After the reserve was donated to the public, its first caretakers (the Crows Nest Shire Council) made plantings, with the aim of filling in some gaps. Too-sparse vegetation attracts weeds and fails to provide adequate protection for the wildlife that continues to retreat there as Highfields is progressively cleared of native plants.  All the plants from this programme are Australian natives, with most of them being species which grow naturally nearby and may have originally been on this land - but there are a few surprising ring-ins!

  • Southern Salwood (wattle)         Acacia disparrima
  • Fringed wattle   Acacia fimbriata
  • Forest she oak  Allocasuarina torulosa
  • Piccabeen Palm            Archontophoenix cunninghamiana
  • Curry Myrtle      Backhousia angustifolia
  • Tree banksia     Banksia integrifolia
  • Lacebark Tree   Brachychiton discolor
  • Frosty Bursaria  Bursaria incana
  • Bailey's cypress            Callitris baileyi (a local threatened species)
  • Kunkerberry      Carissa ovata
  • Red bloodwood            Corymbia gummifera
  • North Qld tamarind.       Diploglottis diphyllostegia
  • Triangle‑leafed hop bush           Dodonaea triangularis (Butterfly host plant.)
  • Yellow tulipwood           Drypetes deplanchei (Butterfly host plant.)
  • Rainforest quandong     Elaeocarpus grandis
  • Yellow Box       Eucalyptus melliodora
  • Ribbonwood     Euroschinus falcata
  • Crows ash         Flindersia australis
  • Silky oak          Grevillea robusta
  • Native hibiscus  Hibiscus heterophyllus (yellow)
  • Brush Box         Lophostemon confertus
  • Swamp Box      Lophostemon suaveolens
  • Callistemon, red bottlebrush      Melaleuca sp
  • Deep yellowwood          Rhodosphaera rhodanthema
  • Brush Senna     Senna acclinis (a local threatened species) (Butterfly host plant.)
  • Ravensbourne turpentine           Syncarpia verecunda

* This list was compiled with the assistance of Martin Bennett (Ecologist), Steve Plant and Patricia Gardner



  • Bolete
  • Scleroderma
  • Lepiota
  • Austroboletus lacunosus 
  • Amanita
  • Horse Hoof Fungus (Phellinus sp.) 
  • Hairy Trumpet (Panus fasciatus) 
" This list was compiled by Megan Prance (President of Wolston & Centenary Catchments Inc & Co-Author of "A Little Field Guide to West Brisbane Fungi") April 2015 and Judi Gray (with confirmation of species from Megan Prance & SEQ Fungi Group)

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