Friday, August 19, 2011



Traits: , Shade, Feature, Groundcover, Container, , Birds

This genus in the amaryllis (Amaryllidaceae) family is made up of just 4 species of perennials from southern Africa. While these plants are best suited to warmer conditions, and can tolerate only the lightest of frosts, they can be enjoyed as container plants in cooler climates. The stunning flowers come in vibrant shades of red, yellow, and orange, and are followed by equally vibrant and showy berries, which extend the ornamental season of these plants. The genus was named for Lady Charlotte Clive, Duchess of Northumberland, who was the granddaughter of Robert Clive of India (general and colonial administrator).

Flowering Season: Summer, Spring

These clump-forming plants grow from stocky rhizomes, and have long, bright green, strap-like leaves. Most bloom in spring, but flowering times do vary, depending on the speciesClivia gardenii, for instance, blooms from autumn to spring, bringing welcome color to the winter garden. They produce strong flower stems that are topped with heads of large funnel-shaped flowers in vibrant hues of yellow, orange, and red. Attractive bright red berries follow the flowers.

Fire lilies will tolerate only the lightest of frost, but otherwise they are easily grown. These plants make superb greenhouse container specimens, and can be enjoyed as indoor pot plants in cooler climates. Outdoors they will do best if grown in fertile well-drained soil in a position that provides dappled shade. Water well during the warmer months and allow to dry off for winter. They are usually propagated by division.


Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Cumberland Plain Woodlands

Cumberland Plain Woodlands


Scientists generally recognise the 'Cumberland Plain Woodlands' to represent those distinct groupings of woodlands dominated by trees of Eucalyptus moluccana,(Grey Box), Eucalyptus tereticornis (Forest Red Gum) and in some areas Eucalyptus crebra (Narrow-leaved Ironbark).
Summary of the nomination
The nomination of 'Cumberland Plain Woodlands' is for Schedule 2, ie, 'Ecological Communities that are Endangered'. The nomination provided a summary of information about the ecological community and evidence about the conservation status of the ecological community type. This community type was once widespread in the Cumberland Plains region west of Sydney NSW but has been reduced to a few fragmented stands by human use of this land for farming, industry and housing. The nomination states that the remaining stands of this ecological community are threatened by the spread of the Sydney suburban areas.
Statement with regard to the Endangered Species Protection Regulations
This nomination has been assessed by officers of the Threatened Species and Communities Section, Biodiversity Group, Environment Australia. ESSS has been advised that the information supplied with the nomination meets all the requirements specified by regulation.
Description of the range and status of the ecological community
The Cumberland Plain Woodlands is the accepted name for the plant community that occurs on soils derived from shale on the Cumberland Plain.

The Cumberland Plain Woodlands ecological community is characteristically of woodland structure but may include both more open and more dense areas, and the canopy is dominated by species including one or more of the following: Eucalyptus moluccana, Eucalyptus tereticornis, Eucalyptus crebra, Eucalyptus eugenioides and Eucalyptus maculata. The understorey is generally grassy to herbaceous with patches of shrubs, or if disturbed, contains components of the indigenous native species sufficient to re-establish the characteristic native understorey. The Cumberland Plains Woodlands ecological community includes regrowth that is likely to achieve a near natural structure or is a seral stage towards that structure.

The following assemblage of grass, forb and sub-shrub species characterises the understorey of the Cumberland

Plain Woodlands ecological community:

  • Aristida ramosa,
  • Aristida vagans,
  • Arthropodium milleflorum,
  • Chloris truncata,
  • Chloris ventricosa,
  • Commelina cyanea,
  • Cyperus gracilis,
  • Dianella revoluta,
  • Dichelachne micrantha,
  • Echinopogon caespitosus,
  • Echinopogon ovatus,
  • Entolasia marginata,
  • Eragrostis leptostachya,
  • Hypoxis hygrometrica,
  • Lepidosperma laterale,
  • Lomandra filiformis,
  • Lomandra multiflora,
  • Microlaena stipoides,
  • Oplismenus aemulus,
  • Panicum simile,
  • Themeda australis,
  • Tricoryne elatior,
  • Asperula conferta,
  • Brunoniella australis,
  • Dichondra repens,
  • Glycine cladestina,
  • Glycine tabacina,
  • Goodenia hederacea,
  • Hardenbergia violacea,
  • Hibbertia diffusa,
  • Hypericum gramineum,
  • Lissanthe strigosa,
  • Oxalis exilis,
  • Phyllanthus filicaulis,
  • Pratia purpurascens,
  • Solanum pungetium,
  • Vernonia cinerea and
  • Wahlenbergia gracilis.
  • The characteristic taller shrub assemblage is:
  • Acacia decurrens,
  • Acacia falcata,
  • Acacia implexa,
  • Acacia parramattensis,
  • Bursaria spinosa,
  • Daviesia ulicifolia,
  • Dillwynia sieberi,
  • Exocarpos cupressiformis,
  • Indigofera australis,
  • Melaleuca decora and
  • Eremophila debilis.
  • The following assemblage characterises the tree canopy:
  • Eucalyptus crebra,
  • Eucalyptus eugenioides,
  • Eucalyptus fibrosa,
  • Eucalyptus maculata,
  • Eucalyptus moluccana and
  • Eucalyptus tereticornis.
  • Not all species listed as characteristic of the assemblage occur in every single stand of the community. Also, the total list of plant species that occurs in the community is much larger than the characteristic assemblage, with many species occurring in one or a few sites, or in very low abundance. A detailed description of the ecological community is provided in Benson D. (1992). The natural vegetation of Penrith. Cunninghamia 2(4): 541-596.
    The distribution of Cumberland Plain Woodlands in the County of Cumberland in 1788 was approximately 107,000 hectares. Only 6% (6,420 hectares) of the original community remained in 1988 in the form of small fragmented stands. Although some areas occur within conservation reserves, this is in itself not sufficient to ensure the long-term survival of the community unless the factors threatening the integrity and survival of the community are ameliorated.
    Threats to the community include clearance for agriculture, grazing, hobby and poultry farming, housing and other developments, invasion by exotic plants and increased nutrient loads due to fertiliser run-off from gardens or farmland, dumped refuse or sewer discharge.
    How judged by ESSS in regard to the ESP Act criteria
    It is the view of ESSS that the ecological community known as 'Cumberland Plain Woodlands' is subject to current and continuing threats likely to lead to extinction as demonstrated by the following two of the four criteria for an ecological community provided in the document 'Listing Endangered Ecological Communities under the Endangered species Protection Act 1992: Guidelines for Nomination and Assessment of Proposals':
    a) marked decrease in geographic distribution (to 6% of the original community), and
    d) restricted geographic distribution such that the community could be lost rapidly by the action of a threatening process (such as clearance for farming, industry and housing).
    ESSS judges that this ecological community meets the criteria for endangered under s6. (3) for the following reasons:
    it is likely to become extinct in nature unless less the circumstances and factors affecting its abundance, survival or evolutionary development cease to operate.
    'Cumberland Plain Woodlands', should be listed under 'Schedule 2 Listed Ecological Communities' of the Endangered Species Protection Act 1992.

    Monday, August 1, 2011

    Planting Bulbs

    The possibilities when gardening with bulbs are endless.

    Bulbs are loved the world over for their clear colors and some for their unique fragrance. Tulips, freesias, daffodils, hyacinths and many more will enhance your garden and give pleasure to your senses.
    Most bulbs prefer to be planted in sunny spots, but you will find that they will also grow with some shade.Easy to grow, bulbs require only a little care and attention to give a beautiful and colorful display. You can have a spectacular spring garden outside and spotted color inside.

    VARIETIES - There is a big and interesting range of bulbs to choose from. For full sun, choose anemones, daffodils, Dutch iris, ixia, lachenalias, ranunculus, sparaxis and tritonia. For areas with some shade choose bluebells, daffodils, freesias, grape hyacinths, tulips and hyacinths.

    WHEN TO PLANT - The best time to plant for most bulbs is between March and May - tulips in May and hyacinths in March/April.

    WHERE TO PLANT - The majority of bulbs prefer sun but will accept broken shade, or shade for part of the day. They do not like poorly drained, wet soils and definitely prefer cool soil. Bulbs such as anemones, ranunculus and sparaxis prefer sunny spots.

    PREPARATION AND PLANTING - It is not difficult to prepare a soil suitable to grow beautiful bulbs. Loosen the soil in a sunny well drained spot to spade depth and add some YATES BULB FOOD, raking it through. Add some compost too to help keep the soil rich and friable. When planting bulbs, you can choose how you want them placed, either individually

    You should only fill the container so that the the tips of the bulbs are level with, or just above the rim. Once this is done, fill the pot to the rim, and firm the mixture around the bulbs. Create an artificial winter for hyacinths and tulips by keeping them in the vegetable crisper of the refrigerator for about 2 - 3 weeks prior to planting. The container of flowering bulbs may be brought indoors when the flowering commences.

    FEEDING - The major cause of failure to flower is under- feeding of bulbs. Like most plants they require some fertilizer from time to time. Incorporate a liberal dressing of YATES BULB FOOD into the soil about one week prior to planting. Feed the bulbs as they grow, and add some more YATES BULB FOOD just before the buds show color. Feed with PHOSTROGEN every three weeks during the flowering period. About a month after the flowers have finished, before the foliage has died down, feed again with YATES BULB FOOD.

    WATERING:- Once planted, you should water occasionally for 8 - 10 weeks, so that they don't dry out. Don't be too heavy handed but gradually increase the watering as the plants grow.

    - Posted by Zeal Property Maintenance P/L from iPad.


    Larve Form

    Some Caterpillars are easy to identify because they have some unique characteristic, but most are rather similar to each other. Most taxonomy has been performed using the adult forms, so the only sure way to determine their species is to rear them through to the adult butterfly or moth, and then identify that.
    Some caterpillars can be identified to the individual species.
    Some can only be identified easily to the family.
    Some are not true Caterpillars at all.