Term 1 – Week 4 – Plant ID & Seed collection

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Sunset over Alexandra

The weather is definitely starting to turn to autumn. We’ve had a few colder days and nights and deciduous plants are starting to yellow.

This week we continued adding to our plant knowledge and got on with our plant collections. I’ve got all ten plants I need for my specimen book and they are in the press drying out.

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Plants for specimen book

Here’s an example from the specimen collection:

Common Name: Irish strawberry tree
Botanical Name: Arbutus unedo
Family: Ericaceae

Cultural requirements: Full sun, sheltered, well drained soil, neutral PH

Plant description:
Evergreen
Tree or large shrub
Simple leaves, dark green and glossy
Leaf shape is lanceolate with a serrated margin
Inflorescence is a compound panicle, white flowers, flowers in autumn

Identifying features: Red coloured fruit, similar to strawberries. Bell shaped strawberries. Bushy.

Landscaping using / amenity uses: In dry gardens, use fruit in jam or baking, specimen tree

straw

Arbutus unedo – Irish strawberry tree

We have started a new topic in propagation – seed collection. We went out to Bendigo and collected several different types of seeds; eucalyptus, flax, kanuka.

You can collect seed from nearly all plants. Some easy ones to collect that self pollinate are lettuces, beans, peas, herbs and heirloom tomatoes. You just need to make sure they aren’t an F1 hybrid or you will probably end up with some strange genetic variations.

Phormium tenax (flax) seed pod

Last week’s weather:

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