Thursday, June 2, 2011

Coastal Birdwing Vine

Coastal Birdwing Vine
Finally I have a Richmond Birdwing Vine (Pararistolochia praevenosa) that is actually growing. This one is my third attempt and it seems I hit on the right conditions when I planted it, seen here surrounded by tree barrier against animals climbing fence. This vine is a host to the Richmond birdwing butterfly, a locally endangered species.

When I told my ecologist friend of my trials trying to grow this vine, she told me: a rainforest vine needs to have its head in the sun and its roots in the shade.

There it was. So simple and making so much sense. Finally one of my ideas, insisting on a three metre wire section in my east facing paling fence, has come to some good.

And now I will be able to build on that with more vines. The butterfly that inspired me to start growing butterfly hosts was the four-barred swordtail, a striking medium-sized black and white butterfly that was hill-topping on the Ocean Shores Lookout the same time I was there to check on the then-roadworks.

My ambition is also grow the zig zag vine, (Melodorum leichardtii) which in every article I've read, tells me it can be pruned to stay low. Unfortunately I have not yet tracked down a plant to prune or otherwise.

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