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“Build it and they will come”

This morning as I sat on my back patio looking around at the back garden drinking a coffee, a butterfly almost landed on my head. How delightful that sensation was once I had got over the initial shock response! I watched it fly away and cross the path of two other butterflies in the process. As I reflected on the growing number of insects I have been seeing in my garden lately I was reminded of a conversation that I had with my sister yesterday. Somehow the conversation got around to the praying mantis egg case that I had discovered before and after hatching. She commented on how lucky I am to have that happen in my very own garden and told me that her husband’s brother had just bought a praying mantis egg case because he couldn’t seem to attract them to his garden. She asked me what I was doing that I thought might be helping them thrive in my garden. The truth is that I am not really sure. I think that a garden is such a complex system with such an abundance of variables that it’s hard to isolate one or two things that make a difference, but here are the things I think are making a difference.

  • I garden organically with no insect control whatsoever, not even white oil. The only way that insects die in my garden by human hands is by being accidentally squashed, squished, crushed or eaten (note: accidentally!). Otherwise I leave it to other predators in the food chain and I think the birds are quite happy about that! Not to mention the praying mantises and lacewings.
  • I try to put the beneficial insects and suffering plants in the same vicinity. For example, the Lacewings seem to like laying eggs on my clothesline pegs so I simply take them off the line and peg them to a plant with scale or aphids. Lacewing nymphs will eat each other in the absence of a ready food source so I figure that I am not only controlling aphids and scale I am also maximising the population of their main predator. I am not worried about being taken over by lacewings either, because the birds seem to appreciate them as a snack. Recently I “saved” two Tuckeroo saplings with this method. It was fascinating watching the transformation as the Lacewings took over the aphid and scale populations and the saplings grew new healthy growth. Both trees are thriving now!
  • I make an effort to maximise biodiversity in my garden. An obvious way to do this is to plant a variety of species and I do that with an effort to preference endemic and native species. I also remove or control invasive species to stop them smothering other plants, particularly the endemic plants in our natural bush gully.
  • I let some of my annual herbs and leafy vegetables flower. Basil and lettuce in particular seem to attract so many beneficial insect species!
  • I leave piles of “garden debris” for nesting purposes. My garden isn’t tidy, because gardening for me is more about the wild delights of nature. Apart from that I’m busy and I’d rather have a messy, wild garden full of biodiversity than a tidy collection of low maintenance species. I don’t have a problem with the latter… if it floats your boat go for it!

This issue of insects is an important one. A quick google search reveals an alarming number of studies showing a decline in insect populations around the world. Without insects, other species in both plant and animal kingdoms won’t last long. I would love to see a revolution in the way that we think about them so that we can celebrate their place in the system and all the benefits we reap due to their “little” lives.
Gardening, for me, is therapy and that therapy is far more effective when it’s full of a delightfully wild variety of things that grow, glow, climb, bloom, crawl, sing and fly, but more than that it’s about the surprises, the astonishment and all the amazing learning about this wonderful thing called life!
Wishing you an abundance of insect life in your garden,
Janegrowsgardenrooms

PS Have you seen my video showing all my newly hatched praying mantis babies. If you’d like to see it Click here

Invite Some Garden Friends: Backyard Biodiversity Tip Four

Using nature to control weeds and pests is a great way to garden organically and improve the biodiversity in your garden.

Gordon is a fabulous worker in my garden. He helps control insects on his nightly hunting missions. Photo by Author.

It’s been a long time coming, but here it is and it’s all about using nature to control weeds and pests.

This is the fourth in a series. You can find the first three by clicking the free reading links here:

There’s really very little point having water, habitat and wild spots in your garden if the organisms that are being attracted by those things are ingesting primary or secondary poisons.

Pesticides and herbicides have lasting impacts on a garden ecosystem, not the least of which is the impact on soil. The importance of soil is becoming more evident as the results of ongoing and increasing research are released.

It’s about the mycelium networks yes, but it’s also about microbial organisms that use that mycelium as habitat.

No matter what poison you use you’re going to use, it will unintentionally impact on other species, most of them microscopic but integral to the complex habitat that you are nurturing.

The point here is that mother nature gives us plenty of tools to use that don’t damage the food webs or habitats for any size organism. She uses plenty of tools herself to ensure that organisms are working in balance.

When I started using these tools, I had to suffer through pests and weeds annihilating parts of my garden.

Graphic by Author (using Canva)

Weeds

  1. Pull them.
  2. Snip them.
  3. Cover their habitat
  4. Limit your disturbance of the soil
  5. Plant perennials

There are a number of different ways to eliminate weeds.

Pulling weeds is an arduous task, but doesn’t have a significant impact on your soil.

Certain weeds can be snipped off at the base of the stalk so that their roots remain in the soil and as they die are devoured and broken down by soil organisms therefore improving the quality of your soil as well as eliminating the weed.

You can also make sure that you have significant ground covers that will discourage weeds from spaces and edges. Keep in mind that many weeds are attracted to disturbed soil which you create when you pull weeds or turn soil, so groundcovers are a great alternative and reduce your garden maintenance workload.

Also if you plant perennials rather than annuals and limit your disturbance of the soil then you’re going to be limiting ideal habitat for many weed species.

Pests

1. Attract predators

2. Plant distractions

3. Nurture predators

A great way to eliminate pests, or rather to minimize pests because you’ll never eliminate them, is to attract their predators. Really, why would you want to eliminate them?

They’re part of the ecosystem.

They’re food sources for many of the beneficial organisms that you want to inhabit your backyard. So rather than spraying them and poisoning them, you can attract their predators which in turn keeps those predators alive.

This keeps them working in your garden ecosystem and discourages future infestation. It also maintains biodiversity and garden health. The garden ecosystem is so complicated that no one aspect can ensure health. Encouraging as many organisms as possible allows the whole system to flourish.

Birds are also very efficient predators of pest insects and they will soon make regular visits to your garden if they can guarantee good food. They will help by keeping all aspects of the insect world in control. Even beneficial predators can unbalance the system if the conditions are too good.

You can incorporate “distractions” to encourage pests to (mostly) leave your valued crops alone.

Some pests like the Cabbage White Butterfly can wreak havoc on certain crops. The Cabbage White Butterfly favours brassicas and can quickly destroy crops, but they prefer Nasturtiums. If you plant Nasturtiums near or in your brassica crops, the caterpillars will mostly destroy the Nasturtiums and leave your brassicas alone for the most part.

Some of the best helpers in my garden are Lacewings. Lacewings eat scale and aphids amongst other pests. They have a ridiculous habit of laying eggs on my clothes pegs. This creates problems because there’s no food on my clothesline for them. If there’s no food when they hatch they will eat each other.

To nurture the population of Lacewings, I find a plant with aphids or scale and simply attach the peg to the plant. This way, when the little predators hatch, they have a good food source so they won’t eat each other. They also start working on one of my pest problems straight away. I end up with fewer pests and more predators and hopefully, a recovering plant. I’ve done this for years and now I find that aphid and scale infestations are rarer in my garden.

Final Thoughts

Humans have the really weird practice of looking at a system and seeing undesirable elements without appreciating how they might work for that system. For example, some organisms are seen as a beneficial or a desirable element in a garden, but on the other side of the coin the larvae are considered to be undesirable pests.

A prime example of this is caterpillars and butterflies. Caterpillars are seen as a pest that eats the leaves of our plants to make them unsightly although most caterpillars don’t destroy a plant in its entirety. Whereas butterflies are seen as beneficial pollinators and a desirable visual element in a garden. I discussed this concept in more depth in this article published in Illumination last year.

Caterpillars Versus Butterflies: Why Can’t We Love Them Both the Same?
We know that the world has changed when we “like” caterpillars as much as we “like” butterflies.medium.com

Beetles are a similar case in Australia where the loss of the Christmas Beetle is a hot topic on social media. This species has become threatened due to people poisoning their lawns to kill lawn grubs. Unfortunately, it kills the grubs that would later become the shiny beloved Christmas beetles so-called because they used to be everywhere in December.

The thing is that if we want the beneficial aspects of the system, we need to care for the system in its entirety. Natural systems are so complex that removing any part has a knock-on effect that is often unpredictable.

Instead of fighting the aspects of the system that you find undesirable, find ways to use the system to help you create a flourishing ecosystem that benefits all organisms. You will reap the rewards through enjoying a biodiverse backyard that requires less work to maintain!

Wishing you many garden friends, botanical and zoological alike,

Jane Grows Garden Rooms

The Newsletter from the Garden Rooms

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Graphic by Author

Each week includes 5 regular feature topics. Over the month 4 other feature topics will be included at least once.

Feedback and requests are welcome!

You can find the newsletter by clicking here or using the QR code below. Or keep scrolling for details of the regular and special features. There’s also a YouTube clip showing the title graphics for the first five issues!

Regular Features:

  1. Good News for the Planet – a story of hope for our future from somewhere in the world.
  2. Plant Profile – information about a plant that you might want to grow. (requests accepted!)
  3. Permaculture Tip – ideas for creating a permaculture garden or food forest.
  4. A Moment of Wonder – shared from my encounters with Nature
  5. A Free Link to a Medium Article

Featuring at least once a month:

  1. Children and Nature Tip – how to get your children connecting with Nature.
  2. This week in books – a commentary on an aspect of a published work connecting to nature, gardening or sustainability.
  3. What is that!? – Ever see something in your garden that you can’t identify? Want to know if it’s friend or foe? This section will highlight different garden friends and foes from around the world.
  4. Citizen Science News – information about citizen science events and initiatives around the world.

Subscribe NOW to get this free newsletter every Friday at 12pm AEST!

Plant Profile – Spotted Gum – Corymbia citriodora subsp. variegata

Also known as:

  • Eucalyptus maculata (historical, no longer used by herbariums for this species)
  • Corymbia maculata (historical, no longer used by herbariums for this species)
  • Eucalyptus citriodora (historical, no longer used by herbariums for this species)
The creamy white blossoms are an abundant source of nectar.

Growing conditions:

  • Prefers well-draining soils
  • Like growing on slopes
  • Prefers full sun
  • Drought tolerant

Propagation:

  • Seeds in shallow trays kept moist until germination

These towering majesties, which grow up to 45 metres, are a substantial part of the landscape along the East coast of Australia from Rockhampton south to Coffs Harbour. Like many in the Myrtle family they are difficult to identify without measuring leaves and examining flowers. Most of the trees we call Spotted Gums in the area are Corymbia citriodora subsp. variegata. Unlike other species labelled citriodora, these ones are identified by their lack of lemon scent.

Spotted Gums generally have straight, tall trunks.

Important for Koalas and other native species

They are an important tree for Koalas, functioning as shelter and a secondary food source. This means that they are not a preferred food source but form an important part of the diet, especially as larger primary food source trees are harder to find.

They also provide food and shelter for gliders, possums and fruit bats, not to mention the birds that feast on the nectar and build nests in their branches. It is also important for beekeepers as it flowers abundantly many times during the year.

The sound of the fruit bats during flowering season is impossible to miss with loud screeching and the flapping of leathery wings against the silent night air.

The quiet Greater Glider is easier to miss. The only one that I have seen I caught by accident in the glare of the torch. It sat still and watched me before slowly continuing to munch its nectar filled snack.

When the bark sheds, beautiful colours are revealed. 

Valuable hardwood

These termite resistant trees have brown or red heartwood and white sapwood with a natural greasiness that makes it respond well to machining. It is used for anything from bridges and wharves to cladding and tool handles to furniture and boats.

Outdoor furniture made from this wood has consistently won domestic and international awards, which is not surprising when you consider its lovely grain and ready acceptance of paint, stain and polish.

A cicada uses the thick, shedding bark to emerge from its shell.

A War with Vines

In Spring, our landscape is structured by tall straight trunks in many hues from salmon pink to green, as Spotted Gums shed their bark. We have one in our yard which has a deep green trunk that shines and sparkles like a dark emerald if it gets wet. Others are dark grey or a shade of pink. The variety is amazing. I speculate that it must have something to do with moisture levels or minerals in the soil or a mixture of both.

This shedding isn’t just about growth, it’s also a defence against the encroaching rainforest in marginal habitats. As the vines try to climb up to the canopy, threatening to strangle their strong trunks and invade their foliage, the Spotted Gum sheds the very surface that they cling to. As an added line of defence the bark that litters the forest floor is highly flammable while the trees themselves are fire resistant.

Shedding right before fire season, means that the vines are threatened by bark fuelled fires while the Spotted Gums stand victorious, protected from all but the most ferocious infernos.

When the bark is shedding, the new trunk glistens after rain.

Wishing you majestic views,

Jane Grows Garden Rooms

References:

North Eden Timber: Timber Profile-Spotted Gum

EUCLID: Corymbia citriodora

City of Ipswich: Koala Friendly Planting Guide

Tea with Mother Nature

UNDER CONSTRUCTION!

A landing page for my Medium Publication – click on the images to be redirected to the relevant post

Click on this image to go the publication homepage
Submission Guidelines by Jane Grows Garden Rooms (Jane Frost)
Writing Challenge: Tea with Mother Nature by Jane Grows Garden Rooms (Jane Frost)
A Question Worth Asking by Jane Grows Garden Rooms (Jane Frost)
When My Daughter Met Emilia by Jane Grows Garden Rooms (Jane Frost)
Nature Writing Worth Reading by Jane Grows Garden Rooms (Jane Frost)
Meet the Trotters by Jane Grows Garden Rooms (Jane Frost)
In My Lammas Garden – a poem by Elizabeth Barnesco
Six Aops to Connect with Nature by Jane Grows Garden Rooms (Jane Frost)
Five Tips to Reduce Plastic Waste at Home by Jane Grows Garden Rooms (Jane Frost)
It Starts with a Trickle by Jane Grows Garden Rooms (Jane Frost)
Ten Australian Bush for Plants for Your Garden by Jane Grows Garden Rooms (Jane Frost)
The Moth who Flapped her Wings by Jane Grows Garden Rooms (Jane Frost)
The Summer Garden – a sonnet by Jane Grows Garden Rooms (Jane Frost)

The Border Room

The Border Room has two main functions. The first and foremost is to give us some privacy from the road. The second is to attract beneficial insects, birds and other wildlife on to the property.

A Glasswing Butterfly at dusk perching on the newly planted Bower of Beauty vine.

FEATURED PLANTS

  1. RUBY TEA TREE (Leptospermum scoparium “Ruby Glow”) – this New Zealand native has beautiful little rose like blooms (as seen in the feature image for this post) that cover the new growth each year. It is one of the trees that Bees harvest to create the much lauded Manuka Honey which has antibacterial properties. In fact, scientists are yet to find a bacteria that is resistant to this medicinal honey. It is a large hardy shrub so I have planted it under two large gum trees in the hope that it will effectively compete in a challenging location. So far, so good. (Touch wood.) It will feed the bees and hopefully offer shelter to small birds when it grows.
  2. TULIPWOOD (Harpulia pendula) – this lovely tree was planted as a memorial to my sister-in-law’s cat, a sweet tempered male named Elvis that she had since his birth. It is a slow growing native which is frequently used in urban planting as it does not have an invasive root system and only grows up to 6 metres in cultivation. In the wild it can grow up to 20 metres. It is not edible for humans but is a useful food crop for native animals.
  3. LILLY PILLY (Waterhousia floribunda) – we planted these on recommendation from a neighbour who works in horticulture. They are endemic to the area and tolerant of dry weather and poor soil once established. They have both experienced some pest issues but are now looking good. Hopefully they will produce lots of fruit for jams and chutneys as well as the local wildlife.
  4. BURDEKIN PLUM (Pleiogynium timoriense) – as the name suggests, this tree is endemic to the Burdekin area in North Queensland. The foliage is stunningly pretty. I have a few of these but none have fruited yet. I am looking forward to being able to harvest and cook with them.
  5. TUCKEROO (Cupaniopsis anacardioides) – another popular street tree due to its generally non-invasive nature. This tree has pretty leaves and edible fruit. Our Tuckeroos have had some pest problems. They appear to be susceptible to scale and aphids. I have solved this with Lacewings who tend to lay their eggs on my clothes pegs. I simply take the peg in question and attach it to the affected Tuckeroo. I have cleared up a number of infestations with this technique and the hardy Tuckeroos seem to recover quickly with minimal damage.
  6. IVORY CURL (Buckinghamia celsissima) – this tree marks another memorial for another of my sister-in-law’s cats, a quiet but very dominant tom called Jimmy. It was chosen for its beautiful blooms which give it its name. It’s not as hardy as some of the others but after a few years should be more tolerant of drought and poor soil.
  7. FRANGIPANI (Plumeria sp.) – I was given this in exchange for some Native Frangipanis that I propagated. I planted them along the boundary because they are hardy and being deciduous, I didn’t want them closer to the house. Exotic Frangipanis always remind me of my mother. She loves the scent as it reminds her of Summer family holidays when she was a child.
  8. BOWER OF BEAUTY VINE (Pandorea jasminoides) – this native vine loves to climb a fence and has big, beautiful flowers that remind me of Petunias. It has been planted to cover an old shed that marks the end of the Border Room. Around the base I have planted Climbing Dayflowers, Cornflowers and Lavender. Hopefully this little spot will become a “pollinator’s delight”!
Prickly Daviesia is prickly by name, prickly by nature but the small yellow pea flowers are stunning!

EXISTING STRUCTURE

  1. LARGE GUM TREES – There are some very large gum trees in this room. I haven’t been able to key them out yet for a definite identification, so I can only use the common names: Spotted Gum and Ironbark.
  2. SAGO BUSH (Ozothamnus diosmifolius) – These delightful endemic shrubs have wonderful small white flowers that crown the ends of their branches. These flowers sometimes replace Baby’s Breath (Gypsophila sp.) in floral arrangements. I always think that they look like fairy roses, tiny and perfectly formed.
  3. PRICKLY DAVIESIA (Daviesia villifera) – These small shrubs are very prickly and endemic to the area. They provide shelter to small birds, insects and arachnids as well as bright yellow pea flowers.
These beautiful Frangipani have a place for their sentimental value and lovely scent.

UNSUCCESSFUL EXPERIMENTS

  1. LILLY PILLY – We lost two Lilly Pillies in this area during the drought. I can’t remember the exact species, but they held on a long time in this part of our block which has very poor, hydrophobic soil. I think they were in the genus: Syzygium. They were the last two plants to be planted without excavating a large hole and filling with a mix of the original soil and better soil.

STILL TO COME

Photos of all these plants fruiting and in flower!

Wishing you privacy and welcome guests,

Jane Grows Garden Rooms

Redbubble Designs

I am rather excited about this… I am selling some of my photography on Redbubble. They will print them on everything from shirts to phone cases to shower curtains.

If anything interests you, you can find my store here. Also very open to feedback. 🙂 Redbubble designs are not printed with the watermark which is added here for statement of intellectual property rights.

The Rainbow Twist!
Native Australian Hibiscus Pattern
Australian Magpie – pictured on jigsaw puzzle
Black Jezebel Butterfly
Galangal Leaves – pictured on floor pillow
Scaly-breasted Lorikeet Baby
Choose the Arts and Quote from Ken Robinson – pictured on hard cover journal
Yaćon Flowers
Staghorn Fern on Soap Tree – pictured on postcard
Blue Dragonfly
Tawny Frogmouth Staring – pictured on Samsung Galaxy Phone Skin
Native Australian Bees and Salvia
Rainbow Lorikeet Cheeky – pictured on Chiffon Shirt
Civilisation in Metamorphosis Quote
Glasswing Butterfly on Bower of Beauty – pictured on iPad skin
Hoverfly in the Vegetable Garden – pictured on clock
Droplet in the sun on Acacia – pictured on A line dress
Star Hibiscus Flower – pictured on backpack
Australian Native Hibiscus Flower – pictured on a jigsaw
Black and White Subtropical Rainforest- pictured on Graphic T-shirt dress
Common Crow Butterfly and Peach Blossom – pictured on shower curtain
Purple Oxalis Flowers – pictured on comforter
Tea with mother nature
Banksia Sun pictured on baseball cap
Rainy Day Hair Looks Good on Me – Kookaburra
Kookaburra waiting – pictured on Flat Mask
Sulphur-crested Cockatoos preening – pictured on sleeveless shirt

Plant Profile – Brisbane Wattle

Wattle or Acacia trees are iconic in Australia because of their golden blooms. This variety is just as striking as the Golden Wattle which is Australia’s floral emblem.

The green leaves and gold flowers of the Wattle tree are the inspiration for Australia’s representative colours. This flowering Brisbane Wattle shows how splendidly the colours complement each other.

Also known as:

  • Acacia fimbriata
  • Fringed Wattle
  • Fringed Brisbane Wattle

Growing Conditions:

  • Full Sun/Part Shade
  • Protected positions
  • Will tolerate most soils but prefers well-drained loamy soils
  • Drought tolerant when established
  • Shrub or small tree up to 6 metres tall

Propagation:

  • Seeds
  • Cuttings
A Brisbane Wattle starting to bloom, eventually the tree will look almost all yellow as it reaches the peak of the flowering season.

This Acacia is found in coastal regions and tablelands from Brisbane south to Sydney. The second half of the scientific name, “fimbriata” is Latin for “fringed” and refers to the tiny hairs on the leaves. The leaves, like those on most Acacia species, are not true leaves. Rather, they are “phyllodes”, or modified stalks, helping the tree prevent moisture loss. We have lots of these trees in our area and the profusion of yellow that lines the roads and pops up in the bush is wonderful to behold!

The flower buds start to appear in early Winter but they take almost two months to burst into flower.

It’s a great plant to help prevent erosion and with pruning makes an effective and pretty privacy screen. The thick foliage weeps in a way that reminds me of weeping willows although, of course, it doesn’t hang as low as a willow.

First Nation Peoples in Australia harvested the nutritious seed which is up to 25% protein. They were eaten straight from the tree or roasted to make a paste or damper. In season the seed pods are abundant, suggesting an excellent yield for anyone taking the time to harvest from this tree.

This Scaly-breasted Lorikeet baby fell from its nest before it was ready to fledge. Unperturbed it climbed the Brisbane Wattle and took refuge in its thick foliage until it was ready to fledge.

King Parrots love the seed pods from this plant. The King Parrots in our area have trained many residents to feed them, but when the Brisbane Wattles are covered in seed pods they ignore the humans and forage instead. It’s leafy crown offers excellent coverage for small birds. We even had a Scaly-breasted Lorikeet chick sheltering in one of ours after it fell from the nest. It remained in the tree, visited frequently by the parents until it fledged.

Wishing you glorious green and gold in your garden,

Jane Frost

References:

Australian Plants Society New South Wales

Toohey Forest Environmental Education Centre

Plant Profile  – Wombat Berry

A Wombat Berry acting like a groundcover in my “Wild Woods” rehabilitation area.

Also known as:

  • Eustrephus latifolius
  • Orange Vine
The flowers of the Wombat Berry are hard to spot as they hang downwards. Note the frilled or furry edges of the petals.

Growing conditions:

  • Part shade/shade
  • Tolerant of most soils
  • Vine, gentle climber that doesn’t restrict the host
  • Groundcover
  • Suitable for pots, garden beds, rockeries, bush rehabilitation
  • Suits hanging pots which allow the foliage to hang over the edges
Seeds ripe for planting – fresh seed is best.  The edible white arils, which taste something like coconut,  are clearly evident.

Propagation:

  • Fresh Seeds, 54-368 days germination

This plant is truly unique, owning a genus all to itself. It’s closest relative, which it can be confused with, is the Scrambling Lily (Geitonoplesium cymosum) also alone in its genus. It is found all along the East Coast of Australia in dry and wet forests and heathlands.

The split orange berry is ready to harvest for the edible white aril and seeds to plant.

It was the orange berries on this vine that first caught my eye in the Wild Woods, one of my bush rehabilitation rooms. I took photos and submitted them to a Facebook group for identification. I was relieved that it was native and thrilled that it was edible.

A Wombat Berry Vine climbing a fence.

The white arils in the berries taste like coconut, but they aren’t a substantial harvest. Apparently the roots, which are popular with Wombats and Bandicoots, are crisp and sweet. I haven’t sampled them yet, but as soon as I have some growing in my Permaculture Room I plan to try them! The roots can be up to a metre underground so it hardly seems worth digging in to our compact soil and depriving the ecosystem of this endemic species. The other advantage is that I can continue to harvest seeds from established survivors.

Apparently King Parrots love these berries but this one is hidden in the undergrowth.

In my area Wombat Berry can be found sprawling across the ground or climbing anything from fences to shrubs to small trees. It is an understorey plant so it is frequently found in the shaded areas and a great vine to grow in a shady spot. I have one established plant that has survived for years in a very sunny spot with compacted soil, but it is the exception to the rule. The rest are all in well-shaded locations.

There are two forms of this plant and countless variations in those two forms. The leaves can be very thin or as broad as a Scrambling Lily. Another way to distinguish the two plants is that the Wombat Berry leaves connect directly to the stem whereas Scrambling Lily has a short petiole (stalk). Wombat Berry flowers look furry whereas Scrambling Lillies don’t.

This hardy survivor lasted through the two year drought with no apparent issues, though I wonder if the root would be as palatable after a lengthy time without rain. I haven’t observed any species eating the berries or digging up the roots but the berries frequently vanish from the most visible vines. From research, I suspect it may be King Parrots who reportedly love the berries and seeds. Wombats and Bandicoots are rarely sighted in our area due to being displaced by development. Perhaps this is why I never see any signs of digging around the plants.

Wishing you small pleasures,

Jane Grows Garden Rooms

References

ANPSA

Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants

Toowoomba Plants

Meet the Trotters: a family of Magpies

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