Blanket leaves are literally blanketed in leaves.
- Blanket leaves are small trees or large shrubs that are native to parts of Australia’s southeast, and are found in the states of Tasmania, New South Wales and Victoria.
- The scientific name of a blanket leaf is Bedfordia arborescens and it is from the family Asteraceae, the family of daisies, and it is very similar to some other species in the Bedfordia genus.
- Blanket leaf plants generally reach heights between 3 and 5 metres (10 to 16 feet), although they can grow up to 8 metres (26 feet) tall.
- ‘Blanket leaves’ are also known as ‘blanket bushes’, ‘tree blanketleaves’, ‘tree blanketferns’, and ‘flannel leaves’.
- The small flowers that bloom on a blanket leaf plant are coloured yellow and grow in clusters, while the leaves are a green colour on the top side and a white colour on the underside.
- Blanket leaves are found in rainforest and other forest habitats, particularly those in mountainous areas, and in Tasmania they are a vulnerable species due to environmental factors and the small proportion of suitable land available for the plant.
- The underneath of blanket leaf leaves are typically covered with white fuzz, made up of numerous white hairs, which also occurs on new branches.
- Blanket leaves bloom during the spring months, generally between October and January.
- The fruit of a blanket leaf plant is very small, reaching approximately two to three millimetres (0.08 to 0.12 inches) in diameter, and the seeds are dispersed with the wind.
- Blanket leaves grow best in partly shady areas, and in moist soil conditions, and they are able to withstand snow and frost.
Bedfordia arborescens—Blanket Leaf, Flannel Leaf, Blanket Bush—ASTERACEAE, 2012, Flora of the Mid North Coast of New South Wales, http://floragreatlakes.info/html/rfspecies/bedfordiaa.html
Ray water-ferns are just another one of those ferns…
- Ray water-ferns are a species of fern native to Papua New Guinea, south eastern Australia, and New Zealand, as well as some parts of Malaysia and Indonesia.
- The scientific name of a ray water-fern is Blechnum fluviatile, and it is from the family Blechnaceae, a family of ferns.
- ‘Ray water-ferns’ are also known as ‘star ferns’, ‘creek ferns’ and, in the native New Zealand language of Māori, ‘kiwikiwi’ or ‘kiwakiwa’.
- Ray water-ferns are small ferns that grow from a rhizome, and they are found in rainforests, or other moist habitats, often near water.
- One of the earliest ray water-fern specimens collected was in 1841, by William Colenso, a botanist from England.
- The fronds of ray water-ferns range from 20 to 60 centimetres (8 to 24 inches) in length, and the plant can be 20 to 40 centimetres (8 to 16 inches) in height, and up to one metre (3.3 feet) in diameter.
- Ray water-ferns have leaves that are coloured a vivid to dark green, and they have brown stems that have numerous hairs and scales.
- Rather than sitting erect, most ray water-fern fronds radiate out from a centre point and sit more parallel with the ground, creating what looks like a star or rosette.
- Indigenous Australians have used cooked or raw ray water-fern rhizomes as a starchy food, while the Māori people from New Zealand have used the fern leaves medicinally to treat illnesses in the mouth.
- Ray water-ferns grow best in shady or partly shady environments, and as the plant ages, they will often produce small trunks that grow at the centre of the plant.
The light of a candle heath is a bit odd – it is simply its beauty.
- Candle heaths are a species of shrub, native to the states of Victoria and southern New South Wales, in Australia.
- The scientific name of a candle heath is Richea continentis and it is from the family Ericaceae, the family of heaths.
- Candle heaths are plants that can reach heights of 0.5 to 1.0 metre (1.6 to 3.3 feet), and they have a similar or slightly larger diameter.
- Candle heaths are typically found in marshy and moist habitats, in mountainous regions.
- Brian Burtt, an English botanist, was the first to scientifically classify the candle heath, doing so in 1942.
- The leaves of candle heaths are usually 1 to 4 centimetres (0.4 to 1.6 inches) in length, and they are often a triangular shape.
- The small, white, cream or greenish coloured flowers of candle heaths bloom in December to February.
- Candle heaths can be used to deter animals in gardens, due to their prickly leaves.
- Candle heath flowers emit a pleasant odour, and they grow in groups on long stalks, that sit above the plant.
- Candle heath plants grow best in partially shady or sunny areas, in cool climates, and as such they are not affected by snow or frost.
Don’t miss out on a swamp club-rush membership – all you have to do is read on!
- Swamp club-rushes are a species of perennial, grass-like vegetation native to Australia, New Zealand, South America, Malaysia, Philippines and Indonesia.
- The scientific name of swamp club-rush is Isolepis inundata, previously known as Scirpus inundatus, and it is from the family Cyperaceae, the family of sedges.
- Swamp club-rushes grow in thin blades with the plant reaching heights from 5 to 50 centimetres (2 to 20 inches) and about 40 centimetres (16 inches) in diameter.
- The ‘flowers’ of swamp club-rushes are small and spiky in appearance, and are clustered in three to twenty spikelets.
- Both swampy environments and gullies can house swamp club-rushes, and they prefer sunny or partly shady conditions.
- Swamp club-rushes bloom from September to February, the spring and summer months.
- The vegetation of swamp club-rushes is typically a vivid green colour, while the blooms are brown, to pale yellow or cream.
- The first scientific description of swamp club-rushes was in 1810, by Robert Brown, a botanist from Scotland, who observed the plant in Australia on an expedition there.
- Swamp club-rushes can be used for landscaping purposes, particularly those involving water, and they prefer moist soil conditions, though they are hardy and versatile.
- Swamp club-rush plants grow from rhizomes that tend to multiply, and the plant produces tiny, triangular shaped nuts that are pale red-brown to yellow in colour.
Bush stone-curlews are an evening bird… with an odd gown.
- Bush stone-curlews, also known as ‘screaming woman birds’ and ‘bush thick-knees’, are birds that are mostly active during nocturnal hours and are native to Australia.
- The scientific name of a bush stone-curlew is Burhinus grallarius, formerly Burhinus magnirostris, and it is from the family of stone-curlews.
- The plumage of bush stone-curlews ranges in various patterns of grey, black, brown and white, that typically looks similar to their natural habitat, so that they are not easily noticed.
- The diet of bush stone-curlews consists of a wide variety of foods, including insects, small mammals, molluscs, amphibians, crabs and reptiles.
- A bush stone-curlew’s native habitat is open woody forests, or grassy or shrubby areas, often with dead branches and leaves on the ground with which they can blend in.
- Bush stone-curlews are proficient in both mobility on land and during flight, although they spend most of their time on the ground, where they forage for food and lay their eggs.
- The sounds of bush stone-curlews are very noticeable, with loud screams or wails, or even screeches when frightened, that are mostly heard after dark, and if they are discovered or threatened, they will generally freeze like a statue to camouflage themselves.
- Bush stone-curlews have long skinny legs, and the birds reach heights of 50 to 60 centimetres (20 to 24 inches), with a similar wingspan.
- Female bush stone-curlews generally lay two eggs in a small depression in the ground, which both parents care for, and they usually partner for life and can live up to 30 years.
- Bush stone-curlew populations have dwindled significantly in some areas, and as a result they are listed as endangered or near threatened in most states, with flocks once reaching into the hundreds now limited to tiny groups due to habitat loss and introduced predators; though in 2012, the species was listed as ‘least concern’.
False bracken is truly not bracken… it is a fern.
- False bracken is a species of common fern, native to eastern forest areas of Australia.
- ‘False brackens’ are also known as ‘rainbow ferns’, ‘soft brackens’ and ‘common ground ferns’.
- The scientific name of false bracken is Calochlaena dubia, though it was previously listed as Culcita dubia, and it is from the family Dicksoniaceae, a family of various ferns.
- False bracken leaves, or ‘fronds’ as they are known, reach a length of 0.4 to 1.5 metres (1.3 to 4.9 feet), and they tend to droop at the ends.
- The false bracken scientific genus name ‘Calochlaena’ is said to come from Ancient Greek, meaning ‘beautiful cloak’, while ‘dubia’, or ‘dubious’ in English, is a Latin term and has the meaning ‘doubtful’.
- The leaves of false bracken are lacy and range from green to yellow-green in colour, and are hairy and quite soft to touch.
- False bracken plants do not produce flowers, and instead reproduce through the use of spores that grown on the underside of the leaves.
- The false bracken plant grows from a rhizome, that spreads underground and can be divided to produce more plants, and the rhizomes are covered in brown hairs.
- False brackens grow as understory plants that are easily cared for, and as such, are useful as a garden plant.
- False bracken plants grow to heights from 50 cm to 2 metres (1.6 to 6.6 feet) and prefer well-drained soils that are moist, and partly shady conditions.