Saturday, January 14, 2012

Flame Tree hybrids

Brachychiton 'Jasper Bells'
When I got an email from Peter this week promoting a native tree I nearly fell off my chair. He has never been one to even mention native plants let alone use them in his garden designs. So this tree is a hybrid between Brachychiton bidwilli and B spectabile and has been grown on B. rupestris rootstock. It and other different coloured hybrids are available from Brent Vieritz at Colours of Eden, 32 Bishops Road, Beachmere in Queensland. Telephone 07 54962181

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Myrtle Rust

Myrtle Rust on Lilly-Pilly , Syzygium australe

A friend rang me this week to tell me that the leaves on his Lilly Pilly were turning orange. When I went to visit, it turned out to be the dreaded myrtle rust so we removed the shrub and put it into plastic bags to kill the pest spores. We probably didn't need to take such drastic action, as a call to the Department of Primary Industries "pest hotline" gave very helpful advice on what fungicides to use to control its spread. (Their phone number in New South Wales is 1800 084 881) It is important to take a vigilant stance against the spread of myrtle rust . It affects all members of the Myrtaceae family including Gum trees (Eucalyptus), Bottlebrush (Callistemon and Melaleuca) ,Tea Tree (Leptospermum) ,Lilly Pilly (Syzygium, Acmena and Waterhousia ), Willow Myrtle (Agonis),Lemon Myrtle (Backhousia), Midyim Berry (Austromyrtus), Brush box (Lophostemon) New Zealand Christmas Bush (Metrosideros) and the fruiting exotic Gauva and Feijoa

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Homalanthus stillingifolius

Homalanthus stillingifolius syn Omalanthus stillingifolius
This shrub is native to dry rainforest and open woodland of the east coast and forms a dense rounded shrub to about 3 metres. It suckers at the base sending up many closely crowded stems but does not cover a great distance and at the most, a 1.5 metres spread is produced after a couple of years. The shrub is noted for its burgundy coloured leaves and red stems and like other members of the Euphorbia family, flowers are insignificant and not notable.This specimen was photographed in an garden of mainly exotic plants and it is maintained like many shrubs these days by a quick once over with powered hedge trimmer to keep it at a desirable height.
It certainly deserves to be better known as an easy care shrub for ornamental and screening purposes. Like many native plants however it fails to look particularly interesting in a pot and may only come into its own after a couple of years in the ground.