Wildflower Season Blooms in Pollinator Link garden

Native Sarsaparilla Hardenbergia violacea

Native Sarsaparilla Hardenbergia violacea

By: Sheamus O’Connor

The Pollinator Link Garden at Mount Gravatt SHS is beginning to display the vibrant colours of Australian wildflowers. We had a very undesirable storm season this year, hardly receiving much rain at all when we needed it most. Autumn simply did not exist in Brisbane, as most days reached 30oC at least. However, now with winter here, as well as some decent cold weather, the water that’s left in our soils is less likely to be evaporated by the intense heat of the sun.

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Beetles enjoying the abundance of wattle flowers

Beetles enjoying the abundance of wattle flowers

Native plants are known for their hardiness, and they always are able to create an elaborate display of stunning flowers in unfavourable conditions. Acacia species are in full bloom, if not now, very soon. Their perfume can be smelt a great distance away. Look closely at their flowers and you are sure to find some small pollinator devouring on some nectar and pollen. The Early Black Wattle (Acacia leiocalyx) has been flowering in the PLG for a few weeks, almost starting to form seeds. These plants are incredibly important for our pollinators, such as Squirrel Gliders (Petaurus norfolcensis).

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Running Postman Kennedia rubicunda

Running Postman Kennedia rubicunda

Other plants in full bloom in the garden include the Running Postman (Kennedia rubicunda). This pea plant is bright red flowers, and as the name suggests, ‘runs’ all over plants. The leaves of the pea plant are a favourite for the Leaf-Cutter Bee (Megachile sp.) which leaves a distinct semi-circle cut in the leaf. The leaves collected are used for a tube for the female’s eggs, as well as food for the larvae.

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Future raspberries growing in Pollinator Link garden

Future raspberries growing in Pollinator Link garden

The first flower has formed on our Native Raspberry bush (Rubus probus), which is one of the most productive and tastiest bush tucker plants. The red donut-shape fruits and extremely sweet and one finds themselves unable to stop picking them from the bush, just watch out for the thorns! These bushes grow into a dense habitat for small birds, lizards and other creatures that are vulnerable to butcher birds and other aggressive birds. Much like its European cousin, the bush is an extremely aggressive and invasive plant, so keep a watchful eye in small gardens and prune back after fruiting.

With this dry spell we’ve had so far this year, all gardens are suffering. However, our Pollinator Link garden pushes on to create a wonderful habitat for our vulnerable native species. Helpers are greatly welcome as more hands make lighter work. Come along and enjoy a beautiful winter Sunday afternoon doing some bush rehab work with a nice warm cup of tea and sweets after. National Plant a tree day is not far away (end of July), so keep an eye out for our future events.

About Mt Gravatt Environment Group

Mt Gravatt Environment Group is restoring a unique piece of Australain native bushland only ten minutes from Brisbane CBD.
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