DIGGIN’ IT

WHAT’S HAP­PEN­ING

Townsville Bulletin - Townsville Eye - - Garden -

W O R D S A N D P H O T O S : Meli­cope rubra (for­merly Evodiella muel­leri) is known as Lit­tle Evo­dia as it gen­er­ally a small, grey-barked tree to about 6m tall. Cur­rently its stems are cov­ered with bright pink flow­ers that are fol­lowed by green, strongly cit­rus-scented fruits. The glossy green leaves have three leaflets and cater­pil­lars will eat them, as they are one of the food plants for the Ulysses but­ter­fly. The plant is also fre­quented by lori­keets, fig­birds and hon­eyeaters. It’s tol­er­ant to a fairly wide range of cli­mates, but it does suf­fer in ex­posed sites or in­land ar­eas sub­ject to frost.

WHAT TO PLANT

Pa­roo Lily (Dianella caerulea) is a re­li­able tufted strap-leaved plant to 1m tall. It is an ideal plant for rock­eries or can be used as an un­der­storey or edg­ing plant. While it does grow nat­u­rally on stream banks, it is also found among open wood­lands and sand dunes. It has loose heads of blue star­like flow­ers that are fol­lowed by blue-pur­ple berries.

WHAT’S NEW

Woolly Mal­lo­tus, or Soft Ka­mala (Mal­lo­tus mol­lis­simus), is a na­tive shrub from Cape York Penin­sula and north­east Queens­land grow­ing in gaps of well-de­vel­oped rain­for­est or on their mar­gins. It is in the Euphor­bia fam­ily and has in­ter­est­ing pale-green and furry pen­dant flower clus­ters. The young shoots and leaf-bear­ing twigs are densely clothed in short, pale brown hairs. Fast-grow­ing plant from seed.

DON’T FOR­GET

The Horseradish, or Drum­stick Tree (Moringa oleifera), orig­i­nated in India and has been widely cul­ti­vated in many parts of Asia, Cen­tral and South Amer­ica, Africa and the Pa­cific. This tree has del­i­cate fo­liage and at­trac­tive pale-yel­low flow­ers; both ed­i­ble and nu­tri­tious. The long, green pods ap­par­ently taste like a cross be­tween peanuts and as­para­gus. A sub­sti­tute for horseradish is ob­tained from the peeled roots. This semide­cid­u­ous, tree can grow to about 10m tall with droop­ing branches; can be kept pruned un­der 2m tall for ease of pick­ing. Grows best on a dry sandy soil. Makes an ideal shade tree with high drought re­sis­tance.

DIANELLA CAERULEA

0427 331 395

WOOLLY MAL­LO­TUS

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