Friday, January 9, 2015

Daphne Beard-Heath

Leucopogon trichostylus
I photographed these pretty little yellow fruits today, in open woodland at Highfields.

The plants are known as daphne heaths.
Today they were heavily in fruit, of the soft, juicy kind that attracts birds. People can also eat them. They are pleasantly sweet, but so tiny that they are hardly worth the trouble.
And it is trouble, to pick them, as they are defended by fiercely sharp-pointed little leaves.

There were also  a few out-of-season flowers.

Like all beard-heath (Leucopogon) species, they are tiny, and have woolly white “beards” on their petals. (Leucopogon means “white beard”.)

Daphne beard-heath is a small shrub with garden potential.

This wild-grown plant is scruffy, as wild-grown plants often are, but with ordinary garden care and occasional pruning it would probably make a neat, dense garden shrub. A few of these in the garden, with dense canopies of their fierce foliage, would make excellent nesting sites for small birds.


Max Henderson said...

There are lots of these in Duggan Park in Leslie St Toowoomba. Mature plants 2+ metres and lots of seedlings.

Patricia Gardner said...

Thanks for the information, Max.
It's always interesting to get a piece of information that helps us reconstruct what the original vegetation of Toowoomba would have been.
Obviously these plants like the well-drained red soil along the top of the Range.