Our plant of the month is Melaleuca thymifolia (Thyme-leaved honey myrtle), an adaptable shrub to around a metre with mauve flowers spring to summer. It likes wet conditions and will flower best in full sun. Image Mary Boyce
Many of Australia’s best-known plants come from the Family Myrtaceae – the myrtles. Gums, tea trees, bottlebrushes, paperbarks and lillypillies are some of the myrtles. These plants were of great value to Indigenous Australians who obtained food, water, shelter, tools and utensils from the various species.
Melaleucas – paperbarks or honey myrtles – make attractive garden plants as they have lovely flowers in a wide range of colours and nectar loved by honeyeaters and many insects. The colourful new foliage is another ornamental feature. Melaleucas tolerate most soil types and require little maintenance, though light pruning after flowering will promote a tidier shape. A native-specific fertiliser applied early spring and autumn and after pruning will be beneficial, and mulching is always recommended.
Please note: City Farm will be closed until Tuesday January 8. For three months from the beginning of 2019, we are trialling opening on Thursdays from 8am – 3pm, and if there is enough interest, will continue to open on Thursdays.
Cooloola City Farm, opposite the Community Centre, on Tin Can Bay Road, is open to the public for plant sales on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 8am-3pm, 07 54862304, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.cooloolacityfarm.org