Thursday, April 8, 2010

Gargaloo at Ironbark

Parsonsia eucalyptophylla
These vines are flowering madly at Irongate Reserve at the moment, and I am intrigued to contrast them with the flowers I photographed in January, on the road south of Blackbutt. (See article January 14, 2010) At that time, there were plenty of Gargaloos in flower along the range, but the Irongate plants were only just beginning to put out a few buds.
The perfume of these Irongate flowers is much sweeter - more honey, and hardly a hint of the rotting fruit undertones - and the insects attracted by them consist largely of bees and butterflies. There were none of the beetles which swarmed to the Blackbutt flowers.
I wonder whether this is something governed by variable factors like the season, the soil, and the rainfall, or whether these Irongate plants are just genetically a bit different. If so, (and considering where they grow), they are probably tougher, and more resistant to drought and frost.

Some of the Irongate gargaloos are producing their seeds already.
The green pods (which resemble this pod on another species of Parsonsia at Irongate) ripen to brown...

and split into two parts, spilling out hundreds of flyaway seeds.

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