Oct 1, 2009

Spring flowers, birds and butterflies

Two mistletoes are flowering beautifully at Franke scrub this week.

Lucas's mistletoe (Amyema lucasii) is making a great show with its bright yellow flowers, on our favourite leopard ash (Flindersia collina). The Flindersia itself is also flowering, though only
moderately this year.
And the "variable mistletoe", Amyema congener was quite conspicuous.

This plant loves growing on the Boonaree (Alectryon diversifolium) with its holly-like leaves. However it also grows on several other species in the scrub.The flowers on our local Amyema congener are a darker shade of red than the more common variety seen elsewhere.
Expect to see honeyeaters coming for the nectar from these flowers - and, later in the year, mistletoe birds coming for the fruits. Those special butterflies, the beautiful jezebels, which depend on mistletoes for their survival, are beginning to appear in the scrub again as the
weather warms up.
The sandalwoods (Santalum lanceolatum) under the leopard ash are in bud, so we can expect to see flowers there over the next few weeks. It looks as though they will be putting out a good crop of their dark red (edible but please don't eat them) fruits this year.

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