Sunday, December 30, 2012

Yellow buttons, Striped Marsh Frog, Rhubarb

The main purpose of this post is to outline my attempts to keep our rhubarb plants alive over summer.  We have the green stemmed variety.

I have been giving them a regular drench of phosphoric  acid which is a treatment for phytophtera but both plants in the vegetable garden have been going backwards -as in getting fewer and smaller leaves. They have also been wilting badly each day but recover overnight.  I have another three plants in pots in the shade house which seem to be doing ok so far.

Recently on a local bush walk, in an area that I don't usually use, I discovered a chest type freezer had been dumped.  The idea occurred of modifying it to form a cooler microclimate for the rhubarb - including placing frozen water inside it on the hot days.  I think the lid will be needed as well on the hot days to keep the temperature down.

Here is the finished "product":

The photo shows the rather sad state of this Rhubarb plant.

It will be an interesting gardening experiment - I have never managed to get Rhubarb to survive through summer in Brisbane.

There's not much in flower on Mt Petrie at present  - the above is yellow buttons
or  Chrysocephalum apiculatum.  It is not a good photo -  there are some nice 
mats of this plant in only a few places.

This striped marsh frog had found it's way into one of the aquaponics tanks:

It was  removed and placed in amongst some moist and shady vegetation beside
the shade house.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Sun Moth

Also seen in the Mt Petrie Koala reserve on 22/12/12 - the flash of red was what drew my attention:

Location : Western side Mt Petrie reserve  22/12/12  
Common name: Sun Moth
Binomial name : Synemon laeta

The above web site has some interesting information on the moth - it is common
in dry eucalypt bush, the male has territorial behaviour and the adult moths have a scarlet arc on the hindwings.

Lomandra longifolia is the host plant - we call it Lomandra but it is also known as the Spiny headed mat rush.   We have planted lots of Lomandra longifolia and  other types of Lomandra  in our garden but I have never spotted this moth as being present - not to say it is not in the garden however.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Woolly frogmouth

Today whilst walking the  bush track that goes around Mt Petrie, I noticed this plant in flower :

Location : swampy area in the power line easement between Mt Petrie Rd and Prout Rd (Southern part)

Common name: Woolly frogmouth
Binomial name : Philydrum lanuginosum

Mangroves to Mountains describes it well:

"Fleshy leaved plant to 120cm on edges of ponds and still shallow water. Flowers on spikes  to 60cm, covered in  white woolly hairs."

I have been aware of this plant in the marshy low spot but this is the first time I have seen it in flower. The plant looks a bit like an iris but it has long hairy flower spikes and flowers which, with some imagination, look like the mouth of a gaping frog. Thus the delightful common name of woolly frogmouth.  It is also recorded as a good frog plant so I think I will grow some clumps in an old bath-tub.

Seasons greetings  from  both of us and our resident reindeer "Woody"
- happy gardening next year  and may the rain come regularly!

Thursday, December 20, 2012


This plant is listed as a weed species in some parts of Australia but not by Brisbane City Council.
So far I have spotted it in two places in our area- on the roadside near the waste transfer station and also in some bushland where it was obviously dumped with garden waste.  It was removed from both areas and as it didn't seem to be too invasive I have replanted a few clumps in our yard-  it has very attractive flowers and it seems to be drought tolerant- both of which are appealing to me. I am reasonably confident it will be ok as a plant in our garden and climate but will monitor it closely. 

Common name: Coreopsis, Tickseed
Scientific name : Coreopsis lanceolata

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Foxtail Grass

Whilst having a bush walk a few days ago, I spotted this very attractive clumping grass.
Unfortunately, it is listed as an exotic weed and it should be removed from the reserve
(there is about 30 clumps of it). Mangroves to Mountains states that it mainly grows on swampy and poorly drained soils but this certainly doesn't apply to this site.

Location : Neville Laurie Reserve -  eastern side on ridge overlooking disused quarry site

Common name: Foxtail Grass

Scientific name:  Pennisetum alopecuroides. 

Monday, December 17, 2012

Double White Banded Noctuid Moth

Late yesterday after doing some potting of some plants we noticed this 
rather attractive moth:

Common name: Double White Banded Noctuid 
Binomial name:  Donuca rubropicta

It is a bit out of focus - when I went back to  take another photo it took off
and disappeared from view.
The internet is pretty sparse on  information about it - I was interested in what the host plant is but couldn't track it down.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Native Gardenia

Whilst down doing some watering of some freshly planted native grasses this morning I noticed this plant in flower:

I couldn't remember the name but Anne ID it when I showed it to her.

Common name: Native Gardenia
Binomial mane: Atractocarpus fitzalanii

It used to be known as Randia fitzlanii  and seems to have been
first described by the famous early botanist Ferdinand Von Mueller.
In 1860 he published an "Essay on the plants collected by Mr Eugene Fitzalan during Lieut Smith's expedition to the estuary of the Burdekin"
and described this plant which he called Gardenia fitzalani  with a sub-name of Randi fitzalani. He recorded it as having been found at Cape Upstart, Magnetical Island and Halifax bay.;seq=14;view=1up;num=12

It looks like it was reclassified in 1999 as Atractocarpus with Randia being restricted to similar African plants

It quite an attractive small tree (thus far) on our property.


Saturday, December 15, 2012

Two-spots Tiger Moth

I am starting to repaint my shed and spotted this moth spending the day
on the inside surface of the north facing fascia: 

Common name : Two-spots Tiger Moth 
Scientific name :  Asota plagiata

(ref :

The host is  Ficus macrophylla  - we have several  figs and probably do have one or more of these (but I am not sure,  having long forgotten which types we planted!)

Thursday, December 13, 2012

White necked heron

It is hard to believe it is over 6 months since I posted.

The garden has been lower priority due to other commitments but it is once again
"on the agenda"

This morning whilst walking on Mt Petrie - doing the big lap around the base of the reserve that takes about 1hr 40mins - I spotted this bird in a swampy area.  It is one  that I haven't previously seen in our area.

Scientific name:  Ardea pacifica
Common name : White-necked heron

The photo was taken with my iphone so the quality is a bit average.

We also spotted some Dollarbirds (Eurystomus orientalis) this morning high in a dead tree. These we rarely see as they are a migratory species  and don't usually come to SE Qld (ref  Field Guide to Australian Birds : Michael Morcombe 2004).

It is fairly dry at the moment and I am carting water to a few recently planted
natives - grasses and some other herbaceous species that I will detail later