The cabbage-tree palm, Livistona australis, is in the Arecaceae family. It is a slender palm growing up to about 25 m in height and 0.35 m diameter. It is crowned with glossy green leaves on petioles 2 m long, it has leaves plaited like a fan. In summer it bears flower spikes with sprigs of cream-white flowers; the trees accumulate dead fronds or leaves, which when the plant is in cultivation are removed by a arborist. Seeking protection from the sun, early European settlers in Australia used fibre from the native palm to create the cabbage tree hat, a distinctive form of headwear during the colonial era; this plant is found in moist open forest in swampy sites and on margins of rainforests or near the sea. It is spread along the New South Wales coast and extends north into Queensland and southwards to eastern Victoria, growing further south than any other native Australian palm; the Cabbage-tree Palm grows best in moist, organically-rich soils, thrives in both sheltered and well-lit situations.
It is salt and wind tolerant, with populations occurring in exposed coastal situations along the east coast of Australia from Queensland to Victoria. The most southerly stand is near Cabbage Tree Creek 30 kilometres east of Victoria. Reproduction is by seeds. At first the fruit is red turning black, at which point it is ready to be peeled and planted; the cabbage-tree palm was called "Dtharowal". New growth of the tree could be cooked or eaten raw and the heart of the trunk could be cooked as a medicine to ease a sore throat. Leaves of the cabbage-tree palm were used for shelter and fibres for string and fishing lines. Australasian Virtual Herbarium: occurrence data for Livistona australis PlantNET: Livistona australis description
A fern is a member of a group of vascular plants that reproduce via spores and have neither seeds nor flowers. They differ from mosses by being vascular, i.e. having specialized tissues that conduct water and nutrients and in having life cycles in which the sporophyte is the dominant phase. Like other vascular plants, ferns have complex leaves called megaphylls, that are more complex than the microphylls of clubmosses. Most ferns are leptosporangiate ferns, sometimes referred to as true ferns, they produce coiled fiddleheads that expand into fronds. The group includes about 10,560 known extant species. Ferns are defined here in the broad sense, being all of the Polypodiopsida, comprising both the leptosporangiate and eusporangiate ferns, the latter itself comprising ferns other than those denominated true ferns, including horsetails or scouring rushes, whisk ferns, marattioid ferns, ophioglossoid ferns. Ferns first appear in the fossil record about 360 million years ago in the late Devonian period, but many of the current families and species did not appear until 145 million years ago in the early Cretaceous, after flowering plants came to dominate many environments.
The fern Osmunda claytoniana is a paramount example of evolutionary stasis. Ferns are not of major economic importance, but some are used for food, medicine, as biofertilizer, as ornamental plants and for remediating contaminated soil, they have been the subject of research for their ability to remove some chemical pollutants from the atmosphere. Some fern species, such as bracken and water fern are significant weeds world wide; some fern genera, such as Azolla can fix nitrogen and make a significant input to the nitrogen nutrition of rice paddies. They play certain roles in mythology and art. Like the sporophytes of seed plants, those of ferns consist of stems and roots. Stems: Fern stems are referred to as rhizomes though they grow underground only in some of the species. Epiphytic species and many of the terrestrial ones have above-ground creeping stolons, many groups have above-ground erect semi-woody trunks; these can reach up to 20 meters tall in a few species. Leaf: The green, photosynthetic part of the plant is technically a megaphyll and in ferns, it is referred to as a frond.
New leaves expand by the unrolling of a tight spiral called a crozier or fiddlehead fern. This uncurling of the leaf is termed circinate vernation. Leaves are divided into a sporophyll. A trophophyll frond is a vegetative leaf analogous to the typical green leaves of seed plants that does not produce spores, instead only producing sugars by photosynthesis. A sporophyll frond is a fertile leaf that produces spores borne in sporangia that are clustered to form sori. In most ferns, fertile leaves are morphologically similar to the sterile ones, they photosynthesize in the same way. In some groups, the fertile leaves are much narrower than the sterile leaves, may have no green tissue at all; the anatomy of fern leaves can either be simple or divided. In tree ferns, the main stalk that connects the leaf to the stem has multiple leaflets; the leafy structures that grow from the stipe are known as pinnae and are again divided into smaller pinnules. Roots: The underground non-photosynthetic structures that take up water and nutrients from soil.
They are always fibrous and structurally are similar to the roots of seed plants. Like all other vascular plants, the diploid sporophyte is the dominant phase or generation in the life cycle; the gametophytes of ferns, are different from those of seed plants. They are free-living and resemble liverworts, whereas those of seed plants develop within the spore wall and are dependent on the parent sporophyte for their nutrition. A fern gametophyte consists of: Prothallus: A green, photosynthetic structure, one cell thick heart or kidney shaped, 3–10 mm long and 2–8 mm broad; the prothallus produces gametes by means of: Antheridia: Small spherical structures that produce flagellate sperm. Archegonia: A flask-shaped structure that produces a single egg at the bottom, reached by the sperm by swimming down the neck. Rhizoids: root-like structures that consist of single elongated cells, that absorb water and mineral salts over the whole structure. Rhizoids anchor the prothallus to the soil. Ferns first appear in the fossil record in the early Carboniferous period.
By the Triassic, the first evidence of ferns related to several modern families appeared. The great fern radiation occurred in the late Cretaceous, when many modern families of ferns first appeared. Ferns were traditionally classified in the class Filices, in a Division of the Plant Kingdom named Pteridophyta or Filicophyta. Pteridophyta is no longer recognised as a valid taxon; the ferns are referred to as Polypodiophyta or, when treated as a subdivision of Tracheophyta, although this name sometimes only refers to leptosporangiate ferns. Traditionally, all of the spore producing vascular plants were informally denominated the pteridophytes, rendering the term synonymous with ferns and fern allies; this can be confusing because members of the division Pteridophyta were denominated pteridophytes. Traditionally, three discrete groups have be
The crimson finch is a common species of estrildid finch found in New Guinea and northern Australia. It has an estimated global extent of occurrence of 100,000 – 1,000,000 km2, it is found in moist savannah, subtropical/tropical moist shrubland. The IUCN has classified the species as being of least concern; the crimson finch has the black-bellied and the white-bellied. The black-bellied is the more common in captivity and therefore is reflected in its pricing; the blood finch is known by this name due to the predominantly blood red colouration of the plumage. This bird is erroneously accused of being a "killer" in captivity, it is no more aggressive than any other Australian finch. This finch comes from the northern part of Australia in the Northern Territory. Australian Government: Department of the Environment BirdLife International species factsheet
Corymbia terminalis known as tjuta, bloodwood, desert bloodwood, plains bloodwood, northern bloodwood, western bloodwood or the inland bloodwood, is a tree native to Australia. The tree grows to a height of 18 metres and will form lignotubers, it has tessellated light brown to light grey bark, rough on part or all of trunk, sometimes extending to the larger branches. The leaves are grey-green, with a lanceolate blade, 8 to 20 centimetres in length and 1.2 to 3 cm wide. Adult leaves are pale green to yellow-green with sparse oil glands; the leaves are alternate concolorous, dull or glossy when mature. It will bloom between March and October producing inflorescences with terminal panicles and peduncles 0.5 to 2 cm long and white flowers. Mature buds have an ovoid to pyriform shape and are 0.6 to 1.7 cm long and 0.5 to 1.3 cm wide and greenish to brown or cream in color and absent of scars. Pedicellate fruit will form, 1.5 to 3.1 cm long and 1.2 to 2.2 cm wide containing light brown or reddish brown seeds that have an ellipsoidal shape and are 9 to 12 mm long.
The species was classified as Eucalyptus terminalis by the botanist Ferdinand von Mueller in 1859 in the Journal of Proceedings of the Linnean Society from samples collected from Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory in 1856. Botanists Ken Hill and Lawrie Johnson were the first to define the genus Corymbia in 1995, identifying the bloodwoods, ghost gums and spotted gums as a group distinct from Eucalyptus. C. Opaca and C. tumescens, along with several other species, were considered to be part of C. terminalis, but were split off in 1995. This split remains controversial, with some authors and herbaria accepting the new species and others considering them to be inseparable from C. terminalis. To the extent that the species can be reliably differentiated, C. terminalis has thinner leaves larger buds and fruit and thicker pedicels than C. opaca. In the broadest sense, C. terminalis is widespread in the arid central and seasonally dry northern parts of Australia, extending from the northwestern New South Wales to North Queensland, across most of the Northern Territory and the Northern half of Western Australia.
In the stricter sense, C. terminalis is only found in the northeastern Northern Territory and North and Central Queensland. The tree grows on river flats, scree slopes and dune swales It prefers well drained soils and is both drought and frost tolerant. Indigenous Australians used the tree for traditional medicine; the exudate from the truck or branches was diluted and used as an antiseptic treatment of facial cuts and sores. Larger leaves were useful for staunching wounds; the red bark kino can be stripped from the tree and mixed in water consumed for diarrhoea as well as for indigestion and chest pain. The wood from the tree was used by Indigenous peoples to make spear-throwers, digging bowls and carrying vessels. Europeans used the wood to make fence-posts, joists slabs and buildings as well as using it for firewood; the tree produces drops of nectar the flowers which provide a high energy food source for many desert animals including honeyeaters and possums. It is host to an unusual female insect called a coccid.
Once the coccid burrows into the bark it forms a gall. Hidden away it sucks sap from the trees veins; the gall that grows on the tree is the coconut, once broken open the insect on the inside can be eaten and contains a lot of moisture and is a disinfectant. List of Corymbia species
The Cyperaceae are a family of graminoid, monocotyledonous flowering plants known as sedges, which superficially resemble the related rushes and the more distantly related grasses. The family is large, with some 5,500 known species described in about 90 genera, the largest being the "true sedges" genus Carex with over 2,000 species; these species are distributed, with the centers of diversity for the group occurring in tropical Asia and tropical South America. While sedges may be found growing in all environments, many are associated with wetlands, or with poor soils. Ecological communities dominated by sedges are known as sedgelands. Features distinguishing members of the sedge family from grasses or rushes are stems with triangular cross-sections and leaves that are spirally arranged in three ranks; some well-known sedges include the water chestnut and the papyrus sedge, from which the writing material papyrus was made. This family includes cotton-grass, spike-rush, nutsedge or nutgrass, white star sedge.
Cyperaceae at The Plant List Cyperaceae at The Families of Flowering Plants Cyperaceae at the Encyclopedia of Life Cyperaceae at the Angiosperm Phylogeny Website Cyperaceae at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew Cyperaceae at the online Flora of North America Cyperaceae at the online Flora of Michigan Cyperaceae at the online Flora of Northern Ireland Cyperaceae at the online Flora of Zimbabwe Cyperaceae at the online Flora of Western Australia Cyperaceae at the online Flora of New South Wales Cyperaceae at the online Flora of New Zealand Cyperaceae at Flowers in Israel
The great bowerbird is a common and conspicuous resident of northern Australia, from the area around Broome across the Top End to Cape York Peninsula and as far south as Mount Isa. Favoured habitat is a broad range of forest and woodland, the margins of vine forests, monsoon forest, mangrove swamps; as with most members of the bowerbird family, breeding considerations dominate the lifecycle: females nest inconspicuously and raise their young alone, while the males spend most of the year building, improving and above all displaying from their bowers. Only a male with a successful bower can attract mates; the great bowerbird is the largest of the bowerbird family and is 33 to 38 cm long and fawny grey in colour. Males have a conspicuous pink crest on the nape of the neck; the bower is a twin-walled avenue-type bower 1 metre long and 45 cm high. It is located under a shrub or leafy branch; the ends of the bower are scattered with white and green objects - stones, bones and leaves and small man-made objects such as plastic and bottle caps.
Within the bower itself is sometimes placed clear glass. Uniquely among bowerbirds, groups of young males will attend a single bower concurrently, "practising" their bower-building skills prior to establishing their own bower for mating purposes. BirdLife Species Factsheet