Plant of the month: Dodonea viscosa (Sticky hop bush) is found in montane, but also in eucalypt forests and on the coast. It grows to around 2 metres, likes sandy soil, has small, inconspicuous flowers, but interesting fruit which are winged capsules, in clusters, that change from green to pink as they mature. Image bushcraftoz.com
City Farm, opposite the Community Centre, on Tin Can Bay Road, is open to the public for plant sales on Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday from 8am-3pm, 07 54862304, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.cooloolacityfarm.org
We have a large number of grevilleas in stock – do come in and inspect the range. Grevilleas are hardy and have lovely flowers that attract the birds and beneficial insects, so please consider one or two for your garden .
Except for a couple of digressions in recent months, we have been discussing plants of different vegetation communities. We have covered coastal, heath, wetlands and eucalypt forest environments and this month it is time to consider plants of montane or mountainous regions.
Montane areas are host to many varied plants – at one extreme, rainforest plants may predominate where there is good rain and deep soil and, at the other, where erosion caused by harsh conditions has left only a shallow layer of soil, hardy small shrubs, herbs, ferns and even orchids can be found.
Some eucalypts, such as E. exserta (Queensland peppermint) cope with rocky sites. Acacias, Melaleucas, Leptospermums and Banksias, along with many other species, occur in montane.
Conditions vary and plants are often exposed to high winds and strong sunlight, but may benefit from moisture in low cloud and mist, and cooler temperatures. Because these areas are harder to access, they may suffer less from human interference.