Monday, May 21, 2012

Crotalaria sp

Another plant in flower spotted under the powerline easement on Mt Petrie the other day was this:


It was about 1.5 m high with a fairly open growth habit in an area that is regularly slashed by SEQEB.  My tentative ID is Crotalaria grahamiana.  There are some native Crotalarias,  (common name of Rattlepods)  but this is an exotic sp, if I have correctly identified it. As it is reported to have  low potential to proliferate freely I have taken some cuttings to propagate for planting on our property. There might be some seed pods also in a few weeks to collect. It has very eye catching flower spikes and is also is a food  plant for a couple of butterfly species.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

penguin colony

We have been fortunate to see quite a few of the penguin species in the wild, both in Antarctica and recently in the  Sub-antarctic islands. We found them to be amazing and fascinating  - even if their colonies are rather odorous!

In view of this we decided that we should have a penguin "colony" in our garden.  As there are no real penguins living in our parts we must make do with some pottery ones!

It's only a small colony of five birds.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Chequered Swallowtail

Another butterfly that was seen in large numbers at Bladensberg national park near the old homestead on a hedge (not sure exactly what plant species) and a large bougainvillea, was a Chequered Swallowtail.  We have also seen it at other places out Western Queensland so it seems to be a common species out here.

Brisbane Insects is the reference:

We have a bougainvillea of the same colour in Chandler but I have not seen it attract this butterfly species

Sunday, May 13, 2012

White-stemmed Gum moth

We have been on a road trip to Western Queensland and we have been privileged to see some amazing things both historical and natural.

One "treasure" was this large moth that we spotted on the ground at Stanthorpe.

It is known as a White-stemmed Gum moth or   Chelepteryx collesi 

 The above web site gives a good description. This one is probably a male from the feathery antennae. After photographing we gently placed it back into some nearby bushes.  The variety and colours of moths and butterflies never ceases to delight us.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Rocket Goodenia

The other day I noticed some small spikes (racemes) of about 300mm length with multiple small yellow flowers on the road verge near Mt Petrie reserve under some Casuaurina trees. Closer inspection revealed a flat plant (a basal rosette-  like cats-ears -Hypochoeris radicata). I initially thought dandelion but realised the flower stalk was different.

Investigation - including checking with two of the authors of "Mangroves to Mountains" that I know,  has identified it as Goodenia bellidifolia subsp argentea or Rocket Goodenia.

It is reported to  be one of the host plants for the Meadow argus butterfly. I have been unable to track down why it is called "Rocket Goodenia" but maybe it is something to do with the shape of the leaves that look a little like the vegetable called rocket. As it was on the road verge I have relocated some to our property.  I hope it grows successfully and propagates well to help attract the Meadow argus butterfly and also to provide some colour to our garden. 

ref:  Mangroves to Mountains  rev. ed. Leiper G, Glazebrook J, Cox D, Rathie K.
       Logan River Branch of SGAP.