WILDLIFE IN FOCUS
Today it’s a pretty looking bird that is Australian but with a French sounding scientific name.
Varied Triller's have a wide-ranging diet, about anything from fruits, to nectar, and insects.
Don’t be alarmed though, they go for the fruits of native figs and not your fruit trees in you backyard or orchard.
The varied triller is a small to medium, about the size of a noisy miner and weigh around 35grams.
The Varied Triller builds a beautiful cup shaped nest held together with spider’s web and placed in the fork of a tree.
Sorry Tassie and Victoria, you miss out, but maybe when you’re travelling to other parts of Australia, you can listen out for them.
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
- Did you know that this sea fennel is in the same family as carrots?Apiaceae-that is.
- It’s called sea fennel because it can grow in saline soil.
- The word Crithmum: comes from the Greek krithe: barley, because the fruit looks a bit like barleycorn. Of course maritimum means of the sea.
- This plant also goes by the name of SAMPHIRE or Rock Samphire : a corruption of French St. Pieere, (St.Peter) the patron saint of fishermen, also known as the rock.
- In German, this plant is also given a name equivalent to sea-fennel: Meerfenchel, Sea Fennel also goes by the name of Herba di San Pietra (contracted to Sanpetra) its Italian name. It is dedicated to the fisherman saint, because it likes to grow on sea-cliffs.
- Sea Fennel, or Rock Samphire is a perennial, frost hardy and easy to grow.
- It grows in its native environment from rocks and shingle and on cliffs to rocky shores, and is the last dry-land plant exposed to strong wind, salt, sea waves, drying sun... it survives extreme weather conditions.
- From that if you thought that it likes sandy gritty soil that’s always moist, you’d be right.
- Samphire grows to anywhere between 15 and 45cm in the home garden, depending on local conditions.
- Being a halophyte, it can withstand very dry conditions as well, so there’s no reason why it can’t grow anywhere in Australia.
- However, Rock Samphire can tolerate being always moist as well as drying out between waterings, but not for long.
- It can even tolerate frost.
- The whole plant is aromatic and has a powerful scent.Some say it has a strong smell of furniture polish, but I think that’s a bit harsh and think it’s more like aniseed.
- Don’t confuse this plant with Sea Asparagus or Marsh samphire, also known as glasswort (Salicornia europaea), that grows in coastal areas of Australia during the summer months.
- For those listeners with clayey soils, I would recommend growing them in pots at first, but seeing as they also grow in marsh land, you may be lucky if you tried it directly in the ground.
- Sow seeds in autumn or spring, lightly cover the seed, grow on in pots and plant out in the summer.
- Prefers a dry well drained soil in full sun sheltered from cold winds, benefits from a salty soil.
Sea Fennel or Rock samphire used to be cried in London streets as "Crest Marine".
- The plant is quoted by John Gerard in his Materia Medica and Herbals (1597): “The leaves kept in pickle and eaten in salads with oil and vinegar is a pleasant sauce for meat, wholesome for the stoppings of the liver, milt and kidnies. It is the pleasantest sauce, most familiar and best agreeing with man’s body”.
- Crithmum maritimum or Rock Samphire, is a strongly aromatic, salty herb; it contains a volatile oil, pectin, is rich in vitamin C and minerals, has diuretic effects, cleanses toxins and improves digestion, and helps weight loss-possibly because of the diuretic part.
- The easiest way to use Samphire, is to steam the stems, minus the leaves, and dress with lemon juice and some extra virgin olive oil. Use it as a side vegetable. It’s saltiness goes well with seafood and eggs.
Seal down securely in hot jars
What is on offer for the hot dry sub-tropics. Let’s find out.
Temperate coastal and inland mediterranean are zones that would suit many a location around
Peter mentioned these plants
Shrubs and small trees:
- Carpentaria californica-white flowers.
- Alyogyne heugeli-mauve flower, also in white.
- Nerium oleander-cut them any which way and they respond.
- Arbutus unedo-Irish strawberry tree.
|Romeya coulteri photo M Cannon|
- Perlagoniums, peltatum, sidioides, Sims carnations, hate humidity
- Salvia spathaceae-pinky red flowers
- Monarda didyma-heaps of hybrids
- Phlomis italicum-sage like in appearance
- Romneya coulteri with very large poppy like flowers.
- Mimulus or Diplacus, both are monkey flowers-semi-shade location.
- Acca sellowiana-fejoa, prefers low humidity.
- Caeselpina ferrai-Leopard tree
- Iochrama-violet tube flowers
- Artemisia arborescens-wormwood.
- Is it grown for the foliage or the flowers?
- Mercedes says that "slip on the heels" if you want to use the stems in a flower arrangement. That means of course that you need to cut the bottom of the stem on a diagonal.
- Easily grown from seed but cold stratification will help with germination.
- Don't just place the seed packet in the refrigerator.
- Sandwich seeds between moist coffee filters or paper towels in the refrigerator, followed by planting in soil.
- Experts say this moist stratification results in a higher germination rate than simply exposing dry seeds to cold temperatures.