Saturday, 2 September 2006

Ask not what your garden can do for you ...

Here's the plant of the day—Kennedia prostrata, the running postman. It's the grey leaf form, which is more exuberant than the usual type. Running postman is widespread across southern Australia and is an absolute joy when the loose-woven green carpets are patterned with these scarlet flowers.

Not surprisingly, running postman is a popular subject for botanical artists. It's equally popular with nectar-feeding birds and insects. The white-plumed honeyeaters are regular visitors to this plant in my garden.

Caterpillars of the long-tailed pea blue butterfly, Lampides boeticus, feed on Kennedia prostrata and other peas. The adults lay their eggs on the buds and the tiny caterpillars gorge on the flowers. Now I'm going to be out there with the hand lens every day, checking the buds, hoping that they choose my garden for the next generation. Fingers crossed.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi!

I like the unusual shape and bold bright color of the running postman. (Why is it called such ? Is it because it is like the color of OZ Post and is a vine ?) What more do you do for your diverse garden ?

Ann