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.
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.
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.
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