“Autumn … the year’s last, loveliest smile.”
—William Cullen Bryant
While less dramatic than some parts, the crisp blue days of a South East Queensland autumn offer many quiet changes to ponder, and reassuring signs of what will follow in the fullness of time.
Our special autumn post points out some of the colour and interest you can enjoy in our little corner of the world at this time of year … So, let’s take a stroll and find out what’s flowering, changing colour, thriving, seeding and just being plain beautiful right now.
Wax Flower Vine (Hoya Australis)
In the cooler months, the Wax Flower Vine erupts clusters of perfumed, waxy white flowers with delicate pink markings. Equally happy in sun or shade, the WFV will flower best with some sun and — if the soil is well-drained — will do very well in containers and hanging baskets, attracting butterflies such as the Common Crow butterfly for which it is a foodplant.
Note: As with some other poisonous plants, be wary of the WFV’s milky white sap.
See Wax Flower Vine on the Ecotone stocklist.
What’s changing colour?
Bolwarra (Eupomatia laurina)
A lush shade-loving plant with glossy young foliage and arching branches, Bolwarra’s leaves can change colour in cold temperatures, lending it the pseudonym of ‘Copper Laurel’.
Pruning Bolwarra for a more compact form also turns it into a beautiful container plant for shady balconies, so that you can look forward to the warmer month’s perfumed white flowers, followed by fruit which is widely recognised as a bushfood and referred to as ‘Native Guava’.
Note: For safety’s sake please research all bushfood before consumption.
See Bolwarra on the Ecotone stocklist.
Wombat Berry (Eustrephus latifolius)
An evergreen scrambler which grows vigorously as a vine or groundcover without taking over, Wombat Berry continues to thrive in autumn and is tolerant of some sun with its shade. The Wombat Berry’s small star-shaped flowers appear in spring, followed by bright orange berries which dot their sunshiney colour throughout the garden before opening to show black seeds.
See Wombat Berry on the Ecotone stocklist.
Brisbane Laurel (Pittosporum revolutum)
The Brisbane Laurel requires little water, making it low maintenance in the drier months when its bright red bird-attracting seeds are ripening (March to May). Less water keeps the shrub smaller, making it perfect for pots in full or filtered sunlight.
In spring, the Brisbane Laurel’s yellow flowers put forth sweetly scented blooms followed by interesting orange fruit that open on the plant to again reveal the autumnal seeds.
See Brisbane Laurel on the Ecotone stocklist.
Velvet Leaf/Beauty Berry (Callicarpa pedunculata)
When in fruit this shrub is very decorative; at other times it blends in to the vegetation. Plant now to establish and look forward to seeing a summer transformation when the Velvet Leaf decorates itself with small pale pink flowers followed by bunches of lustrous purple bird-attracting berries that last into early autumn.
See Velvet Leaf on the Ecotone stocklist.