Thursday, 22 August 2013

Time to visit "new" climbs

  Plants are much like people..some like to stand strong, alone and proud. Others like something (or someone) to crawl all over.  Climbing plants do a wonderful job of disguising ugly structures or shielding you from the gaze of over attentive neighbours.  
 The horticultural industry has been bountiful in providing us with gorgeous climbers such as star jasmine, golden trumpet vine, white potato creeper and wisteria. These plants  are tediously ubiquitous in backyards, coast to coast across Australia.  The trouble is, none of them are native to this land and, just like cuckoos they’ve pushed our endemic species right out of the “nest”.

 If you live in Sydney sandstone country, there are some spectacular native climbing plants, many currently in flower that are not only a joy to behold but are an important component of our local eco system. Here is a quick glimpse of a few which deserve to be seen more. You can purchase  them at an indigenous plant nursery such as  Indigo 

Kennedia Rubicunda (Dusky Coral Pea)
 Aborigines used the vine as string and sucked nectar from the flowers.
 Clematis (Old Man’s Beard)
Aborigines cured headaches by crushing the leaves and inhaling the strong aroma.
A sweet tea can be made from boiling the leaves
Hibbertia Scandens (Golden Guinea Flower)
Eustrephus Latifolius ( Wombat Berry)
Smilax Glyciphylla  (Native Sarsaparilla)
 The new leaves have a sweet sarsaparilla flavour and made a popular “Bush” tea in pioneering days
 Pandorea Pandorana (Wonga Wonga Vine)