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Sydney is the largest city of the driest continent of the world: Australia.

No surprise there is mostly bush and heath vegetation dominating the agglomeration area of Sydney. The wild flora is adopted to arid coditions, pyrophytes are common. But it is not the lack of rainfalls causing this conditions. In fact there is nearly 60% more rainfall in Sydney than in Hamburg/Germany. The problem is the soil, its mostly made of limesone and there nearly no humus soil making it impossible to accumulate watersupplies for hydrophilic plants.

But there are biotopes in New South Wales dominated by ferns and figtrees: the shadowy cliffs along the coast , vertical biotopes where you can find indigenious specialists and neophytes known from european cities like Parietaria judaica and Cymbalaria muralis.
The day the european settlers arrived a new man-made biotope reached Australia: Buildings made of stone or bricks and later: concrete. Specially the brick ones are perfect for vertical biotopes: the bricks are forming gaps for roots and the mortar is accumulating water.
When you stroll around the older parts of Sydney like Chinatown, Surry Hills or Redfern you will find lots of man-made vertical biotopes where there can live plenty of vertical weeds.

[all pictures by IRIS-A-MAZ 2007]