Re: Exotic plants for our native birds

To: "Paul T." <>, <>
Subject: Re: Exotic plants for our native birds
From: "Dow, Coral (DPS)" <>
Date: Wed, 18 May 2011 11:58:15 +1000
I agree regarding Abutilons. I always thought they wouldn't succeed in
Canberra due to frost but tried one recently with great success. They
flower for long periods. I would also add Kniphofia (Red hot pokers)
another South African. Different species flower at different times
(although I think none through winter?) I have used them mixed with
native grasses and lomandras. Unlike some south African species they
don't seem to be a danger for spreading into bushland.

Dr Coral Dow
Senior Researcher, Social Policy Section
Research Branch
Parliamentary Library, Department of Parliamentary Services
Parliament House, Canberra ACT 2600
Ph: 02 6277 2709
Fax: 02 6277 2498
-----Original Message-----
From: Paul T. 
Sent: Tuesday, 17 May 2011 9:53 PM
Subject: Re: Exotic plants for our native birds

At 07:52 PM 17/05/2011, you wrote:
>should have added proteas (often assumed to be local, but South
>African etc) - especially for the wattlebirds, but also the smaller

Howdy All,

I have extensive camellia use by the honeyeaters as well, but the
single biggest attractant in my garden is probably the Abutilons
(Chinese Lanterns).  These are a constant source of food for
honeyeaters for about 9 months of the year (no exaggeration), and the
dense branch makeup means that they are ideal hiding places for the
smaller birds when Currawongs etc are after them.  There are almost
always aphids or other small insects on the as well, so the wrens and
miscellaneous little brown birds go through them in waves as well.

Also of note are Ericas (another South African), in particular Erica
colorans 'White Delight' (I think that is the name?), which flowers
almost year around for me, unlike any of the other Ericas I have
grown.  Other Ericas at their flowering time are regularly patrolled
by the honesyeaters as well.

For winter food for honeyeaters there are the winter Clematis species
like Clematis nepalensis and the Clematis cirrhosa cultivars.

And for summer, you can't beat Salvias for honeyeaters, particularly
the Wattlebirds, White Plumed etc.

These are just from my own experiences here in my own garden.  There
are more, but these are the biggest drawcards I can think of right now.


Paul T.
Higgins, ACT


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