Saturday, October 13, 2012
The Spear Lilies growing on Mt Cordeaux are one of the natural wonders of our district - and the time to see them is now.
Hundreds of these spectacular plants , with their “spears” of bright red flowers, spread down the eastern escarpment. Growing with them are grasstrees, Xanthorrhoea glauca.
Following the path on the western side, we can get up close and personal with the huge flowerheads, which are often more than a metre long.
Butterflies and European honeybees were attracted to them. The butterflies would be attracted by the red, as they are some of the very few insects that can see that colour. It would be interesting to know just what the honeybees can see. They were certainly guzzling on the nectar, fighting over the newly opened flowers.
Birds can see red very well, and it is often the case that big red flowers are designed to attract them as pollinators.
Yesterday a group of these Lewin’s honeyeaters were taking advantage of the nectar flow. There was quite a party atmosphere as they socialised, flirted, and flew back and forth between the lilies and the overhanging trees.
Mt Cordeaux is about an hour’s drive from Toowoomba. Heading east on the Cunningham’s Gap Road, it is the mountain on its left-hand side, just before the road heads down the eastern side of the Great Dividing Range. Access is from a small carpark in the Gap.
Posted by Patricia Gardner at 7:28 PM