Christmas Bushes and other summer flowering plants
Along with the deafening harmonies of cicada choristers and sun-burnished blue skies, the starry red ‘blooms’ of the NSW Christmas Bush (Ceratopetalum gummiferum) herald the start of the festive season in New South Wales. Eleanor spoke to horticulturalist, Alison Sheen from Flower Power about how to care for them.
Tawny Frogmouth owls and many small birds such as the Fairy Wren feed almost entirely on insects, and so love insect-attracting plants such as this. Larvae of the Dark Pencil Blue butterfly feed on the foliage, the flowers provide resources for a wide range of invertebrates particularly bees and the seeds are eaten by parrots.
Christmas Bush was once harvested direct from bushland areas, but this is now illegal. It can be obtained from specialist growers and florists so you can deck your halls during the festive season or better still, plant one or more in your garden and enjoy its beauty and wildlife attracting properties for years to come.
Source: Wildlife Willoughby