What a perfect day we had for our planting activities on Friday, 29 May! The sun was shining and we had lots of help. Our regular core was enhanced by 8 willing helpers from Conservation Volunteers Australia, led by Tricia Curtis. We also had drop-in help from Yankalilla Council (Corey, Warren (& partner Alison) & Peter) and Zac from Sealink. In total, about 550 seedlings were planted, including over 44 local species of trees, shrubs, grasses and ground covers. Our cakes and bikkies were a hit as always. On Saturday we planted another 50 “delicate” plants, and set up our direct seeding trials in donated wire cages. Hopefully the cages will keep the rabbits out! The seedlings were grown from locally collected seed, mostly by Carolyn & Liz, but we did get some help from John at Fleurieu Natives. Thanks to everyone who contributed to a very successful weekend. All we need now is a good rain every few weeks!!
Next Activities: Sat 2 Aug 10-4 & Sun 3 Aug, 10-1. Tools & cake provided.
For information contact Carolyn 0423 213 481
(Photos: C.Schultz; tree; close-up showing flower)
This tree was widely planted for its shade in the 1970s, but has now been listed as a “Weed of National Significance”. It is a threat to the pastoral industry, because of its invasiveness (it has already spread along 600 kms of the Finke River of NT), and its ability to dry up waterholes and rivers. It also out-competes native plants which provide food and shelter for birds, reptiles and other animals. The trees can grow to 15m tall. Though not a true pine, the tree does produce dull green leaves similar to pine needles. Light grey trunks of younger trees darken to black as the tree matures. Sprays of pinky-white flowers are followed by bell-shaped fruits containing lots of seeds. These seeds have a built-in parachute … fine hairs, to help the wind spread them. Buried broken branches can also grow into new trees.
(Photos: E. Cousins, C. Schultz, Cape Jervis)
This is a low-growing creeper, only about 15cm high, but with a spread up to 1.5 m. Convolvulus is from the Latin for “to twine around”; angust is for “narrow”, and issimus for “greatest degree”, perhaps a reference to the multi-lobed leaf shape on mature plants? The leaf shape actually changes along the stem as plants mature: young leaves are smooth and almost shield-shaped, but after a year leaves are narrow and branched. The trumpet-shaped flowers are pink when open, but last only a day, like many other forms of convolvuli. Luckily, the flowering period can be quite long, from early spring to mid-autumn. The black, hard seed normally matures from October-May, after the papery fruits turn brown and brittle. Extracts obtained by boiling the whole plant were used by Aboriginals to treat diarrhoea and stomach ache (Greening Australia); as well, taproots were used as a food source when the yam daisy was out of season.