Re:Flowering Trees

To: Victoria Quinton <>
Subject: Re:Flowering Trees
From: "R.A. & A. Green" <>
Date: Wed, 15 Nov 2000 11:04:54 +1030
Victoria Quinton wrote:

> That made me think, if we were to designate a special "bird and butterfly"
> area of the home garden, which native flowering plants ( preferably not
> growing too tall) would people suggest we plant.  Is the best idea to go to
> a local nursery?

If your local nursery grows sturdy, hardened-off plants with a proven record of
success in your local soil types and climate, then its a good starting point.
(Some import plants in pots from 'production nurseries' with little regard for
local suitability).You can also ask them which species are locally indigenous
but in a home garden I don't think this is essential.
Also contact your local/state branch of the Australian Plants Society (SGAP).

> Butterflies and bees seem to like herbs in flower, such as sage, rosemary,
> lavendar and variegated time.

Insects tend to like small flowers. Bees favour mauve, lilac and purple but
yellow, red and white are also popular
Butterflies like any open-face flowers such as daisies or others whose petals
form a "landing stage". Creeping Boobialla ground cover (Myoporum parvifolium)
in our garden, is currently smothered in tiny white flowers and assorted

In broad terms, nectar-feeding birds are attracted to red, pink or green
flowers. Insectivorous birds will go where the insects are...

> I have seen Eastern Spinebills (the 'upside down birds') on bottlebrush and
> grevillea, but I think bottlebrush needs some room around it to grow.

There are dwarf bottlebrush varieties eg Little John, Captain Cook but ANY of
them can be kept as small as you like by pruning after flowering. They thrive
on it and will produce a denser bush with even more flower next time. Same goes
for Grevilleas and Melaleucas- all good bird plants.

I could go on but anyone wanting more info is welcome to email me privately.

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