Thursday, 8 May 2014

Drumsticks

Plant of the Month


What's so special about it?

Isopogon divergens; Photo by Brian Walters
Over the past few decades, native Australian shrubs have increased their mainstream appeal to the general public, so that beauties like the Grevillea or Banksia are now common garden and street plants. The spotlight of fame can be a fickle business however, and there is a closely related and equally beautiful group of plants that have not found the same recognition as the above varieties - the Drumsticks (Isopogon species). The thirty-five species of Drumsticks are all low-growing hardy shrubs that are named after the strange appearance of their seed cones.



Where can I see one?

If you are interested in wildflowers, you may already know that one of the best regions in the world to see them is in South-Western Australia. This area is home to twenty-seven Isopogon species, though the sandstone country of New South Wales features a few more also. One of the latter species - the Broad-leaved Drumsticks (Isopogon anemonifolius) - has been cultivated into an ornamental plant that is occasionally seen adding some colour to southern gardens.


Is there anything similar near Brisbane?

Long-stalked Drumsticks;
Photo by Brian Walters
Only Long-stalked Drumsticks (Isopogon petiolaris) grow in the wild around South-east Queensland, and even then, only in a few scattered locations. The best place to find them is out in the Granite Belt out near Stanthorpe, though there are twenty year old records from open forest in the Mount Mee area. Next time you walk along one of the D'Aguilar National Park trails there, keep an eye out for this uncommon yellow beauty!

Both images courtesy of the Australian Native Plants Society.

6 comments:

  1. the 'pom poms' are very neat looking!

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    1. Haha! 'Pom Pom Plant' does have a nice ring to it!

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  2. another really nicely written article/post from you Christian; I don't think I've seen the pink Drumstick before. Gosh, it's hard enough learning the birds names, then when you come to 'botanicals' in the bushland, it seems much harder

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    1. Thanks Carole, plants have been capturing my interest more and more lately because they are so unknown to me.

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  3. Just had a look on Google for other examples - what an amazing group of plants. I used to grow Alliums in a previous, more temperate garden and they could look quite similar en masse.

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    1. Glad I could broaden your floral horizons! :)

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