Jul 1, 2009

At the working bee

There were several plants of interest in Franke Scrub last week.
The hairy boonaree, Alectryon pubescens, was putting out a few of its showy fruits. This is not a common plant in this district, and one of the things which makes Franke Scrub special. It resembles the closely related common scrub boonaree, but has larger leaves and fruits.

The key distinguishing factor is the hairiness of the capsule. Here you can see how it has been burst open by the swelling of the red “cockscomb” aril.

This muttonwood (Rapanea variabilis) is covered with buds, which will take months to ripen into brownish flowers, then be followed by pretty purple-blue fruits - all clinging to the branchlet in the distinctive muttonwood way.

One of the scrub wilgas (Geijera salicifolia) was putting out a few flowers, too. We’ll see more of these over the next few months.
Lots of little birds are to be seen in the scrub at the moment, attracted by the pools of water down in the creek. They will appreciate the food provided by the wilgas, whose fragrant flowers attract little insects.
Trish Gardner

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