Wildflower meadows bloom in Parkville

Wildflower meadows bloom in Parkville
Brendan Rees

A vibrant wildflower meadow has sprung to life in Parkville thanks to a new project boosting biodiversity in the urban environment.

The meadow on Oak St has burst into full bloom after being planted in August last year and is now boasting more than 25 species of Indigenous grasses and wildflowers.

It is the City of Melbourne’s second Indigenous wildflower meadow created in collaboration with researchers from the University of Melbourne – building on lessons from a meadow planted in Gatehouse St in 2020.

The Oak St meadow features Indigenous grasses and wildflowers including murnong (yam daisy), once a staple food of the Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung people, as well as everlastings and iconic kangaroo grass.

“It’s fantastic to see the city’s second Indigenous meadow in full bloom on Oak St in Parkville,” the council’s environment portfolio lead Cr Rohan Leppert said.

“These meadows are more than just a great way to beautify the city – with the use of Indigenous and threatened species adding a layer of cultural and biological significance,” he said.


By testing out new species and planting methods, we’re contributing to a growing body of knowledge about the restoration of biodiversity in urban areas.


University of Melbourne PhD candidate Katherine Horsfall was one of the team members behind the project’s success.

“With each new meadow we learn something new. For Oak St, we’re really making flowers the showcase and amping up species diversity to supply lots of resources for butterflies, birds and bees,” she said.

“We keep losing our grasslands to urban development and agriculture, which have made some ecosystems critically endangered. Less than one per cent of our grasslands remain.”

Ms Horsfall, who was involved in the Gatehouse St meadow project, worked with her colleagues Professor Nick Williams and Sophia Blosfelds from the Green Infrastructure Research Group to design a seed mix that included 33 native wildflowers and 10 native grasses.

A dedicated team of volunteers then grew a wildflower seed for the project at the University of Melbourne’s Burnley campus.

In addition to the ecological benefits of native wildflower meadows, Ms Horsfall said they also have great aesthetic value.

“I’m a fan of beauty, and if you’re going to do this kind of work in urban landscapes you need to make it approachable and acceptable for people who live alongside it,” she said.

“We need reliable, affordable techniques to bring these plant communities back from the brink.”


Caption: City of Melbourne Cr Rohan Leppert admires a new wildflower meadow blooming on Oak St, Parkville. Photo: Hanna Komissarova.

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