Time to grow your biodiversity?

Kangaroo Island is home to many vulnerable species of native Australian plants and Natural Resources Kangaroo Island has been working hard to increase the populations of some of these often overlooked beauties.

The Natural Resources Kangaroo Island (NRKI) nursery offers a broad selection of tube stock species to assist landholders to increase the biodiversity on their properties, whether it be a thousand acre farm or a few square metres of garden space around your home in one of our towns.

Veronica Bates, Habitat Restoration Officer at NRKI, says that to ensure the plants have the best chance of survival and reflect what is naturally found here, no plants are sourced off island.

“Sourcing all seeds and cutting material for our tube stocks on the island ensures that the plants are aligned with our island’s soils, rainfall and temperature before going into the ground, giving them the very best chance to survive planting conditions and maintain successful growth.

“It also ensures that weedy species of plants are not introduced, only to become control problems in the future. This particularly applies to garden plants so we are always on the lookout for new species to increase the range of tube stock available to beautify gardens with local Kangaroo Island plants.” said Ms Bates.

Kathie Stove, Natural Resources Management (NRM) board member, says If you are thinking of putting a windbreak around your house or a shelterbelt to protect your stock, there’s still time to order your tube stock through the NRKI Native Plant Nursery or gain some free advice from experts.

“A free advisory service is available to ensure that what you plant will grow on your patch and for larger landholders, NRKI staff are able to visit your property and give advice dependent on issues such as rainfall, soil type, salinity and need.” said Ms Stove.

“All the plants in my home garden, apart from fruit and vegetables, are KI natives from the nursery, and some are endangered. They make a gorgeous display of many colours, shapes and sizes for much of the year.”

 Ms Bates added that this year NRKI have been successful in sourcing a small number of seeds from a nationally vulnerable plant, Olearia pannosa ssp pannosa, commonly known as ‘Silver Daisy Bush’. 

Silver daisy bush

“From a very small population of plants on the north eastern coastline of the Island and with much appreciated co-operation from the landholder we have protected and monitored these plants for a year and been able to source seed.” added Ms Bates.

“Young seedlings are now growing in the NRKI nursery and will be available from next May.

“Silver daisy bush will grow to 1.5 metres in height, has a dark green shiny leaf between 3-9cms long and the underside has short soft matted hairs giving it a furry look. 

“In ideal conditions the shrub will sucker (basal shoot that grows from the base of a tree or shrub) and provide several more plants over time. 

“As the name implies this plant has a spectacular large white daisy-like flower, giving a delightful display of blooms between August and October.”  

If you are unable to place an order soon, NRKI may still be able to help you as we grow many thousands of tube stock for sale during our winter opening period between May and August. 

Check the Natural Resources Kangaroo Island website for our core species list or call the Natural Resources Centre (08) 8553 4444 for further information.

NRKI is committed to protect the Island’s vulnerable plant species from extinction.

 


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