Friday, 10 July 2009

Under the mistletoe

We have quite a lot of mistletoe on the Eucalypts growing on our property. This is a good thing as the presence of mistletoe is highly correlated with high biodiversity. Right now (ie mid-July) some (on a later check, about 50%) of them are flowering and I was able to get an image of flowers which had been knocked down.I am not sure what caused them to descend: no log trucks have been seen on the place so my next favourite nominees for environmental destruction are Crimson Rosellas. However these plants are the favourite hang-outs of some rather uncommon honeyeaters and they will thus be closely studied!

The flowers above are of the Drooping Mistletoe (Amyema pendula) which flowers all year. I have subsequently checked out another low-growing mistletoe and found that every flower in the bunch had a stalk so that turned out to be the Stalked Mistletoe (A. miquellii). With A. pendula the central flower in each group is sessile (in plain language, has no stalk). It's nice to have both of the species present on the block!

As well as the fallen mistletoe blossom the first Silver Wattle (Acacia dealbata) has flowered! Here are a couple of blurry images - the wind was blowing enough to shift them in and out of focus).

1 comment:

Denis Wilson said...

Hi Martin
In my little edge of rainforest habitat, Mistletoes (on Blackwood Wattles) are the only large flowers which produce nectar in Robertson Rainforest.
Consequently, when they flower, the Little Wattlebirds appear, and take control.
Nice to see the early Silver Wattle flowers - hope of warmer weather ahead - if you are able to delude yourself as I do.
August is usually nastier than July here. But as long as the Wattles are in flower, we can dream of Spring.
Cheers
Denis