Friday, July 4, 2008

Devil’s Marbles

Eremophila debilis (Myoporum debile)
This little groundcover will be coming to the end of its season soon, but meanwhile was looking spectacular at Goombungee this week, as you can see. Its fruits are edible, very sweet and tasty, provided you wait till they’re quite ripe.
As you can see, this plant makes a very good groundcover for garden use. It is showiest if grown in full sun, but does well in dappled shade. For a dense cover, it is best to put in a number of plants at about 40cm intervals.
Like all members of the Myoporaceae family, this is a difficult plant to set alight, and so is sometimes suggested for fire-retardant planting. It is hardly of a size to retard anything very much, but at least won’t contribute much to a fire. It might be preferable to a groundcover of flammable mulch in some circumstances. Meanwhile, if it burns (as all “fire-retardant” species will if the fire is hot enough) it is quite good at surviving underground, to resprout once the fire has passed. This same resprouting ability can be used to create denser groundcover by pruning.
It is a very drought resistant plant.

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