By Michael Lowe
FINIA’s last newsletter featured a terrific article by David Anderson on the colourful and rare local native vine species, Fraser Island Creeper or Tecomanthe hillii. In this issue I will explore more of the Island’s ‘must have’ native vine species for local gardening, landscaping and bush regeneration projects.
The first is the Native Wisteria or Callerya megasperma. This is a vigorous-growing woody vine with rich-green leaflets found in forested areas throughout the Island. The species name mega – sperma refers to ‘mighty’ or large seeds, which emerge from long velvety seed pods around February to March following delightful bouquets of light and dark purple pea blossoms in Winter to Spring. This is a wonderful plant to add to the garden but will require a few years to produce a flower and needs room to move!
The second species is Native Jasmine or Pandorea floribunda. This vine grows quite commonly in wooded areas slightly inland along Fraser’s eastern coast where it can reach the height of the surrounding bushes. It has glossy-green leaves and stunning displays of creamy-white, tubular bell-flowers, (each up to 3cm long) in Spring.
Seeds and cuttings for both species and the Fraser Island Creeper have been collected from on-Island stock and propagated at the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service nursery facility at Eurong for use in local gardening and bush regeneration projects.
These and many other local native plants are being made freely-available to the Island’s residents and landholders as part of the ‘Fraser Island Community Weed Replacement Project’, which aims at reducing the impact of exotic and non-native garden species on the natural integrity of World Heritage-listed Fraser Island.
To further assist residents and landholders, a Native Species Planting Guide booklet is being produced as part of the project to help guide decisions on the selection and use of locally-sourced native plant species for Fraser Island gardens and landscaping.
To access any of these freely-available local native plants, Island residents and landholders are encouraged to contact QPWS Ranger, Amy Sauer on (07) 4121 1687.
For information about the Weed Replacement project, contact Project Coordinator, Michael Lowe on 0142 119 719. This project is supported by FINIA and Fraser Island Defenders Organisation through funding from the Australian Government’s ‘Caring for our Country.’
About the author:
Michael Lowe Environmental Services provides contracting and consulting services on the management of coastal native vegetation in the south-east Queensland and Wide Bay regions. Services include native vegetation planting, environmental weed control, wetland and waterways rehabilitation, seed collection and propagation, project planning and management, and coastal native gardening.