Sunday, 1 October 2006

Flying the standard

Flowers that are pollinated by insects and birds often have coloured markings to guide the animals in. In Kennedia, these landing lights take the form of contrasting patches on the biggest petal, which is known as the standard. Here's a selection of standards from some of the Kennedia species in my garden. I'll let them speak for themselves.

Kennedia retrorsa, a short range endemic from New South Wales

The Kennedia nigricans cultivar 'Minstrel'

Kennedia beckxiana from the Esperance region of Western Australia


tapperboy said...

Ok, now I'm asking and I know I could easily google for stuff about growth habit and such but I'm not going to.
You have a collection of these it seems. Do they want to take over the place, run rampant, or are they nicely behaved plants staying and playing where you plant them?

They're not just local things to your immediate area so climate must have a part to play with them either thriving, getting out of hand or just plodding along.

I got hold of some teak seeds once, the stuff they grow in thailand apparantly. It shot up almost before I could plant it. Overnight it got to about 6 cms high then, it took about 12 months to sit and nothing other than slowly die without growing a smidgeon more. Reason was it was simply too cold in Coffs Harbour for them to thrive without some major assistance.

Are these plants like that or are you providing the environmetal conditions they require specifically? That would make a world of difference.

Snail said...

Hi Tapperboy

They are getting out of hand! Both Kennedia nigricans and K. retrorsa are going crazy. I have to cut them back to a few twigs each year to keep them (sort of) under control.

Kennedia rubicunda and K. beckxiana are heading the same way. But so far K. microphylla, K. prostrata and K. coccinea are behaving themselves.

I haven't made any effort to pander to them. Despite the tales, Melbourne has a fairly mild climate. Because my garden is small and is enclosed with a 2m wooden fence, that probably helps the microclimate. I use lots of mulch but I rarely water the plants. (I did today because it's a bit hot. By hand, I might add, with a watering can.)

They all flower and some of them set viable seed. (I can send you some at the end of the season, if you like.)

And now I've gone on so long, I've forgotten what the question was!

tapperboy said...

Thought I had a handle on them, funny how much general stuff one can have ferreted away in a pair of ordinary brains!
You can have send what you wish when you wish, I've a spot I can plant them and they'd do a great job of livening it up itls otherwise a pretty ordinary spot and it needs it.