Thursday, 5 November 2009

Millaa Millaa vine

I am adding species to my mental herbarium. The process is very slow.

Millaa Millaa vine (Elaeagnus triflora) grows along the forest edge, where it can catch the sun while still having a scaffolding of trees on which to grow. The red berries are edible. Not mouth-wateringly delicious, but quite moreish. That's if you can get to them before the birds, bats, rats and possums. The leaves are eaten by caterpillars of the indigo flash butterfly (Rapala varuna). Tree kangaroos and green ringtail possums are also partial to them.

The vine is widespread in eastern Queensland and also occurs in Asia, where related species are cultivated for their fruit.

The southern Atherton Tablelands town of Millaa Millaa is named after the vine.


Anonymous said...

Brilliant! And here I was thinking vicky verka.

I think we went to the coffee tourist trap at Millaa Millaa? Is that correct? If so, don't bother except for appalled-ness.


Boobook said...

I'm going to pinch your first sentence to use myself:)

Snail said...

M, I think it indicates the relative importance of town and vine! (I am leaving the Falls circuit to the tourists and sticking with the lakes.)

Feel free, Boobook! I was going to say that it was more mental than herbarium at the moment, but I'm sure it'll all settle down.

Anonymous said...

Oh yes, you're completely and politely correct as always.
It was Mareeba with the coffee, and Millaa Millaa with the falls. Otherwise much in common.

Such a lot of m's on the tablelands.

Even so, I am glad to learn of the eponymous vine. Thanks!

Denis Wilson said...

I had no idea we have any members of the Eleagnus family. I know a very spiny shrub Eleagnus pungens (native China and Japan) which my father grew (variegated form). When I was required to r=prune it, I always managed a long thorn straight through my gloves.
Also, it had a sweet perfume, but annoying "dusty/meal" powder on the leaves and new growth would make one sneeze.