The marri – grass tree (or Balga) community is one of three unique woodlands occurring on heavy soils on the eastern side of the Swan Coastal Plain, between Waterloo (near Bunbury) and Bullsbrook. These woodlands contain particular assemblages of plant species that have been extensively cleared.

They are believed to have been some of the most extensive plant communities on the eastern side of the Swan Coastal Plain, but through widespread clearing they are now considered rare and endangered.

The marri – grass tree community is the driest of the three woodland communities, although the soils are still relatively wet. The community is dominated by marri (Corymbia calophylla), and occasionally wandoo (Eucalyptus wandoo); the shrubs grass tree (Xanthorrhoea preissii), prickly moses (Acacia pulchella), honeypot dryandra (Banksia dallanneyi), Gompholobium marginatum and white myrtle (Hypocalymma angustifolium); and the herbs milkmaids (Burchardia congesta), Cyathochaeta avenacea and foxtail mulga grass (Neurachne alopecuroidea).

THREATS

The most significant threat to the community is clearing as very few of those remaining are located within secure conservation reserves. Phytophthora dieback is also a threat as are invasion by weeds, too frequent fires and human use pressures such as inappropriate recreational use, illegal rubbish dumping and firewood cutting.
“It was the perfect time of year to photograph this site. The wildflowers were in full bloom following gradual winter’s rain and the rich shrublands depicted a healthy community. Shooting at mid-morning allowed the natural colours to dominate the images.”
Tim Swallow – Photographer