A beautiful bird regails us in Wildlife in Focus, the elusive pollination problem in vegetable heroes, a an alluring indoor plant in Plant of the Week plus Why Don’t Plants Last in Design Elements.
WILDLIFE IN FOCUS
Over the years, Australian birds have featured on this program, but how good are we at identifying the calls?
It’s not that easy is it?
|Beautiful Firetail finch|
That should be easier so where do finches sit? Parrot family or Passerine?
Let’s find out .
Amazing to see in the wild, males and female Firetail Finches are similar, being small and chunky, with striking barring and a pale blue eye ring.
Let’s hope listeners that people don’t mistake them for mice scuttling about the long grass looking for grass seeds.
They also like the seeds of Casuarinas and Tea-Trees.
Can you imagine this little bird building an exact bottle shaped nest tipped on its side?
Not found in urban settings that much, but in shrubby settings.
If you have any questions either for me or for Holly, drop us a line to firstname.lastname@example.org or write in to 2RRR PO Box 644 Gladesville NSW 1675
- The pollen grains are sticky or spiky so that they stick to the insect good and proper.
- Inside the flower, the anthers are stiff and firmly attached so that they remain in place when an insect brushes past.
- The stigma, usually higher than the anther, has a sticky surface to which pollen grains attach themselves when an insect brushes past.
- Wind pollinated flowers are often small, dull green or brown with no scent or nectar.
- The flower usually has hundreds of thousands of pollen grains that are smooth and light so that they can easily be carried by wind without clumping together.
- Anthers are outside the flower, and usually looks quite long.
- All the better to easily release pollen grains.
- The stigma is also outside the flower and looks more like a feather duster so it can more easily catch those drifting light pollen grains.
- That’s important to remember if you think about sweet corn which is from the grass family and therefore wind pollinated.
- Pumpkin and zucchini is another variation in that the separate male and female flowers are on the same plant and are self –compatible just like corn, but relying on insects.
- Without insects to transfer the pollen there would be no fruit.
- Did you know that our favourite vegetable, the tomato, is a hermaphrodite too?
- Botanists call the flowers of tomatoes, perfect flowers because they have male and female flowers within the same flower.
- That means they are self-pollinating and don’t need cross-pollination by wind, birds or insects.
|Male Flower of Zucchini|
- If you need to you can hand pollinate the cucurbit’s flowers.
- As temperatures reach the high 20's, the success rate for pollination declines.
- A heat wave in the thirties, will result in poor if any, pollination.
- To help with fruit set, try misting the flowers early in the morning with a spray bottle of water.
- When the weather is very hot and dry with temperatures over 290 C, the pollen becomes very dry and isn't easily transferred.
- Again, it’s a good idea to try misting the flowers with water occasionally and keep up the mulch around the base so the plants don't dry out too much.
- This is common with many plants, especially with more northerly climates.
- The cure, shade cloth covers.
PLANT OF THE WEEK:
But what is this alluring plant with dark green luscious, tropical leaves.
Let’s find out …
I'm talking with the plant panel where were Jeremy Critchley of www.thegreengallery.com.au and Karen Smith editor of www.hortjournal.com.au
Anthuriums are evergreen, subtropical small plants with dark green glossy heart shaped flowers and leaves.
They’re great for indoors as houseplants but if you live in the tropics, they also make beautiful underplanting for shady and part-shady spots.
If you have any questions either for me or Jeremy or Karen why not write in to email@example.com