Wednesday, 30 May 2018

New page on this website - growing Illawarra natives to attract wildlife!

This website has a new page! Why? As part of the long and complicated process of making the Growing Illawarra Natives website a reality, I and many other people involved with the project have been working on content. 

Rather than have all that material just waiting unused on the shelf, we are releasing some of it early. One key piece of work is about growing Illawarra natives to attract wildlife, written by Garry Daly, an ecologist with a profound knowledge of and love for the fauna of the region. 

There was so much interest in Alison Mellor's and my recent co-post on native bees, I'm sure that the information and suggestions in Garry's piece will be widely read and applied. 

In case you're wondering, it is a 'page' rather than a 'post' because it has its own permanent link - check the sidebar on the right of this post, under 'Pages on this blog'. Or you can click straight through here


Even a tiny courtyard garden can attract interesting fauna,
like this Case Moth that has used leaves from a Coffee Bush
 (Breynia oblongifolia) to make itself a case.

Monday, 21 May 2018

Try growing: Branching Grass-flag (Libertia paniculata)

It's about time I featured another small plant. Most gardens don't have space for a(nother) tree - though some of us keep trying! - and there are plenty of lesser-known shrubs, forbs, herbs, grasses and so on that are worth growing. 

One of my favourites is Branching Grass-flag, a clumping perennial with strappy leaves and and white iris-like flowers in spring. Plants grow from an underground rhizome, which can grow quite large in mature specimens. They look great in pots or in garden beds, grown en masse or combined with other species. Try mixing in Yellow Buttons (Chrysocephalum apiculatum) with its contrasting yellow-orange flowers or the low-growing Native Violets (Viola hederacea or even V. betonicifolia if you can get hold of plants).

An established Branching Grass-flag like this one can
flower profusely in spring. Image by Elena Martinez.

Branching Grass-flag likes part or dappled shade, and a more or less permanently moist position. From what I've seen, it isn't too fussy about soil type as long as it gets regular moisture. 

This plant is growing happily in a pot.
 Image by Elena Martinez.

One challenge with this species is getting hold of the plants. It can sometimes be found at Wollongong Botanic Garden's GreenPlan sales, and I've seen it at Sutherland Shire Community Nursery now and then. Let me know if you are aware of a regular supplier! 

Here Branching Grass-flag is being used as an edging
plant alongside rough paving. This shot was taken at
Wollongong Botanic Garden, where you can go and see
the plant for yourself. Image by Leon Fuller.

Friday, 4 May 2018

Garden inspiration: Bold Park

Well, I'm in Perth Western Australia and have been exploring the vegetation in Bold Park, one of the local nature reserves located on the dry sandy coastal plains of the region. It is a very long way from the Illawarra. And the soil and conditions are very different too: limestone soil rather than clay or sandstone, and a dry Mediterranean climate that is tough on many plants and keeps maximum tree height well below that of the mighty Blackbutts and Red Cedars. 

Yet there is a surprising amount of similarity when you cast your eye around. Eucs of course are ubiquitous. A walk in Bold Park turned up a range of other familiar-looking plants. Few of these would grow well in Wollongong, but for the dreamers, here are some familiar, beautiful or just plain interesting species. 
One of the most spectacular local Banksias
is the Firewood Banksia (B. menziesii).
Both the foliage and the flowerheads are
stunning, and they grow so well here! 
Another local banksia, Acorn Banksia
(B. prionotes) is also spectacular, though
this photo doesn't do it justice. 
Parts of Bold Park are blanketed in a sedgy-looking plant that was very familiar to me from years of living round here, but I'd never known what it was. Turns out it's Coast Sword Sedge (Lepidosperma gladiatum), but much sturdier than the Lepidosperma species characteristic of the Illawarra!
A swathe of Coast Sword Sedge growing happily at
Bold Park. 
Now this one's definitely confusing for the uninitiated. I figured it was a peculiar grass and turned to Facebook for help. Had a few suggestions but I'm still none the wiser. Any ideas?
A beautiful and unfamiliar plant, but one that would
make a great accent plant if I could work out where and
how to grow it. And what it is!
This is more like it! A Zamia Palm! This species
is Riedle's Zamia (Macrozamia riedlei), quite
similar to the local Burrawang (M. communis).
This Saltbush would look very at home in an
Illawarra garden. It's Rhagodia baccata, and
Illawarra hosts the related R. candolleana. 
And finally, a truly inspirational WA plant, known mostly for its pendulous growth and pretty pink flowers, the Silver Princess (Eucalyptus caesia subsp. caesia) is grown in gardens and on verges around Perth. For mine, its most distinctive feature is its bark, which has distinctive long stripes of pinks, browns, reds, greens and oranges. 
The pattern formed by bark on the Silver Princess
Gum is known as minni richi, with lots of small
curling pieces that split away from the trunk.
Some of these species would do well in the Illawarra - the Silver Princess Gum is surprisingly common around the place. Are you growing Perth plants at your place? How are they going? 

Monday, 26 March 2018

Gardening to attract native bees

A partnership post with local native bee enthusiast Alison Mellor
Native bees are some of the most rewarding insects to have in your garden. They come in many colours, shapes and sizes, from tiny black stingless bees to large orange Teddy Bear Bees and striking Blue Banded Bees. They appreciate a wide range of flowering plants for sourcing nectar or pollen, and will pollinate some plant species in return. Nectar is a high energy source which fuels busy adult bees, while pollen is a high protein food source important for growing bee larvae.

Bees interact with plants in a range of interesting ways besides collecting and consuming food. While there are more than 200 different species of native bees in the Illawarra, only one species, the stingless Tetragonula carbonaria, nests together in a hive, has queen bees, and produces honey (though in small amounts). Mature and dead trees can provide hollows for these colonies of ‘social’ bees, which live together in groups of around 10,000. 

The vast majority of native bee species are ‘solitary’ bees, meaning they live their lives independently, do not live in hives, and do not produce honey. Female solitary bees make their own individual nests where they lay their eggs. Many species make their nests in the ground by digging small tunnels into the soil. However some types of bees use plant stems, small holes in trees, or crevices under bark or fallen trees as nesting locations. Some bees, such as Resin bees, collect resin and use it to create and seal their nests, while Leafcutter bees exhibit the fascinating behavior of cutting and wrapping together soft leaves to form their nests.
A Leafcutter bee with a piece of Lilly Pilly leaf.
Male bees can often be seen roosting on twigs or plants stems. Sometimes a number of male bees roost tightly together in the same spot, jostling for what they see as prime position.
Male Lipotriches bees congregating
on a Basil stalk.
Most native bees are generalists, meaning they will forage from a wide range of plants, and do not rely on one particular kind of plant. Eucalypts are great at bringing in native bees, with their profuse flowering and plenteous nectar, but unfortunately most are too large for most suburban gardens. The smallest localeucalypt is the Swamp Mahogany (E. robusta), which reaches 8m to 10m in cultivation.Many otherlocal speciesof trees and shrubs appeal to native bees, including Lilly Pilly (Acmena smithii), Paperbarks (Melaleuca styphelioides), Banksia (Banksia integrifolia), Bottlebrush (Callistemon salignus), Tea Trees (e.g. Leptospermum laevigatum), Grevillea (Grevillea oleoides) and Grey Myrtle (Backhousia myrtifolia). If your garden is too small for a tree, maybe there’s room for one on the verge?
Lilly Pilly (Syzygium australe) is a great little
tree that also provides excellent bee habitat.
Image by Mithra Cox.
To attract native bees to your garden, it’s ideal to have a range of different plants that flower at different times throughout the year. It is also helpful to cluster plants of the same spices together, as a visit is more worthwhile if there are plenty of flowers present in one spot.Smaller plants with a long flowering period are ideal for this. Flax-lilies (Dianella species), Cockspur Flower (Plectranthus parvifolius), Guinea Flowers (Hibbertia species) and Fairy Fan Flower (Scaevola aemula) and are all good choices. Many native bees also like pea plants such as Pultenaeas, Golden Tip (Goodia lotifolia),Australian Indigo (Indigofera australis) and False Sarsaparilla (Hardenbergia violacea). Bees and other insects see more ultraviolet colours, and are strongly attracted to flowers that are blue, purple and white.
A well-designed 'bee hotel' can attract a range of bees
to your garden. Be careful though - these hotels may
also attract bee predator species such as Cuckoo wasps.
Meet some local bees  
There is an incredible diversity of native bees in Australia, with an estimated 2,000 different species. Only around 1,660 have been scientifically named, and, as with many insects, there is still much more to be learned about their fascinating lives.

It is estimated there are over 200 different species of native bees in the Illawarra, with representatives a number of different bee families and sub-families. The warmer months from September to April are the peak time for seeing adult bees flying around and visiting flowers, though a few species can be seen out foraging all year round. Over the cooler months from May to August, most solitary native bees are in nests, developing through the stages of egg, larva or pupa and preparing to emerge as adults in the warmer weather.

Below is a little more about just some of the many different types of native bees you can observe in bushland, parks, gardens and backyards in the Illawarra.

Stingless bees
Stingless bees that live together in a hive are often the first bees people think of when they think of native bees. There are 11 species of stingless bees in Australia, but only one species,Tetragonula carbonaria, is found in the Illawarra. If you know of anyone who has purchased a native bee hive for their garden in the Illawarra, they would be Tetragonula carbonaria bees.The south coast however is the southern limit of the range for these subtropical, honey-producing bees, and our marginal climate can be challenging for them. These small (3mm to 4mm) stingless bees can only forage about 500m from their hive, and they are active all year round, making them one of the few native bee species you will see in winter.
 
Tiny native stingless bees going about their business.
Blue Banded bees
Blue Banded bees are one of the most commonly observed native bees in the Illawarra, being large (1.5cm) and with quite distinctive coloured bands that range from bright blue to almost white. These noisy bees can perform a special kind of pollination – buzz pollination. Scientists have observed that during buzz pollination, Blue Banded bees bang their head against the flower a mind-blowing 350 times a second, releasing pollen held tightly within the flower. These ground-nesting solitary bees are quite fond of tomato flowers, and are often seen around veggie patches.
Blue Banded bees are some of the most recognisable,
and appealing, of the local bee species.
Teddy Bear bees
These gorgeous, noisy, furry-looking bees are quite large (1.5cm), and can be bright orange to paler golden/brown. They are sometimes confused with Bumblebees, but Bumblebees are not established on the Australian mainland (although they have been introduced to Tasmania). As a solitary bee, female Teddy Bear bees make their individual nests in the ground. Leaving some areas of bare soil (not mulched) in your garden can provide nesting opportunities for ground nesting bees.
A Teddy Bear bee on an Anise Hyssop plant.
Cuckoo Bees
It’s always special to be lucky enough to observe a cuckoo bee. They are fast fliers, and stop on flowers less regularly than other bees because they do not have to collect pollen for their young – just like cuckoo birds, these cheeky creatures sneak their eggs into the nests of other bees. The black and white Domino cuckoo bee predates Teddy Bear bee nests, while the striking Neon Cuckoo bee and beautiful Chequered Cuckoo bee predate Blue Banded bee nests.   
Chequered Cuckoo bee (Thyreus caeruleopunctatus).
Domino Cuckoo bee (Thyreus lububris) on a Zinnia flower.

Leafcutter bees
As their name suggests, Leafcutter bees are known for cutting bits of soft leaves, such as Lilly Pilly leaves, from plants to use in making their nests. They have a liking for young leaves on roses - if someone complains about perfectly shaped semi-circles taken from the edges of their rose leaves, tell them they don’t need to do anything and are very lucky to have these special native bees in their garden! These bees cut off bits of leaf with their strong jaws, and then carry them back to their selected nesting location, often tucked away in a crevice. The eggs are laid in ‘cells’ created with the pieces of leaf, and each cell is provisioned with a mix of pollen and nectar for the young larvae to consume. They will nest in hollow bamboo canes in native ‘bee hotels’ that are becoming popular for gardeners to make.
A Leafcutter bee resting on the
flowers of a Basil plant. 
Resin bees
Resin bees are so called because they like to collect resin from trees to use in creating their nests. They nest in old borer holes in trees, and will use artificial drilled holes in hardwood blocks that are a centimeter or less in diameter, and at least 10cm deep.
A Resin bee (Megachile punctata) using a bee hotel
installed at Wollongong Botanic Garden.
Masked bees
Masked bees can sometimes be confused with wasps, and they are generally black in colour with bright yellow or orange markings. Many Masked bees nest in the ground, but some nest in hollowed out plant stems, and some will use human-made native bee habitats such as bamboo canes and small holes drilled into hardwood.
A Masked Bee on dried Lilly Pilly leaves, showing
the distinctive brightly yellow markings.
Reed bees
Reed bees of the Exoneura species are one of the most abundant types of native bees in the Illawarra. Being small in size though (3-8mm), they often go unnoticed, or can be mistaken for small flies. These bees are interesting in that they do not live in a hive or have a queen, but are ‘semi-social’ with several female bees living in the same nest, helping to provide food for the young and guard the nest entrance. They make their nests by excavating the soft material out from pithy stems, such as in pruned stems of the local Small Leaved Bleeding Heart (Homalanthus stillingifolius). They also quite like lantana stems – if you notice a nest while you are removing these weedy plants, you can help the bees by pruning the stems with plenty of length, bundling them together with thin wire and securing them to a nearby tree. You can also make native bee habitats in your garden for Reed bees by bundling pruned stems 20cm to 30cm long from plants with a soft pithy centre like Bleeding Heart, lantana or even mulberries, grapes and Tibouchina, and hanging them from a branch, or placing them in a bee hotel. 
Reed bee feeding on a native daisy (Olearia species).
This shot shows a Reed bee nesting in the cut-off stem
of a Bleeding Heart (Homalanthus populifolius) plant.
There are many other native bee species around, but this should be enough to get you started exploring the bees that occur in your garden or local bushland reserve.

Safety
A word on safety – many people assume that native bees do not sting, but out of the 2,000 Australian native bees, only 11 species are stingless bees. That means 99.95% of Australian bee species can sting! However, only female bees possess a stinger, and they are not aggressive as they do not have a hive to defend like European honeybees. They will only sting if accidentally trodden on or picked up. The risk is so minimal, it has become popular for community gardens and schools to install ‘bee hotels’ that attract native solitary bees. However, especially if you have a known allergy to bee stings, it is important to be aware that most female bees do have the potential to sting.

Resources
The internet is full of resources on attracting native bees, including the following. Be careful though, - most are from other parts of Australia and may recommend plants not local to the Illawarra area:

Thursday, 8 March 2018

Get active: comment on Wollongong City Council's draft policies on trees in public places

This is just a quick (text-heavy!) post to let Wollongong residents know that there is an opportunity to comment on some draft policies that Wollongong City Council currently has on exhibition relating to trees in public places. It's is a great opportunity tell Council how much you value local native trees on public land, and help improve their policies.  

The draft Public Tree Management Policy covers (in relation to public land):
- tree protection
- tree planting and species selection (though species lists are not included) 
- tree replacement and removal
- tree asset management and
- community consultation and engagement.

The overall objectives are commendable, and include increasing the City's canopy cover, improving the ecological function of urban areas, and protecting significant trees. 

But key issues are yet to be resolved  - lists of suitable tree species are yet to come, in a foreshadowed Urban Greening Technical Manual. And the policy is ambiguous in its promotion of species diversity - does it mean just a wider range of species from around the world, or greater diversity of local native species?  

Key takeaway: if you have the time and energy, write to Council and support the policy, but ask for a stronger emphasis on prioritising local native tree species for plantings in public places. 

The draft Tree and Vegetation Vandalism Policy covers: 
- Council's strong objection to tree and vegetation vandalism on Council owned or managed land
- policy responses (education, prevention, monitoring and regulation/enforcement), and 
- resources to implement the policy

This policy articulates a stronger approach than is currently in place, and may help shift residents' attitudes if vigorously applied. In particular, the approach to regulation and enforcement allows for a range of strong options that do not appear to have been applied to date. 

These are important improvements, but they are being introduced at a time when there have been several major attacks on trees and vegetation in public areas, particularly in beachside areas with vegetation that is between housing and the sea. Serious backup is necessary in order for this policy to take effect and change culture. 

Key takeaway: please let Council know that this is a big improvement, but needs to be properly resourced and backed up by attitudes at the top (Councillors and senior council employees) to have a chance of success. 

Sorry, there's not been a single picture yet. Here's a gratuitous shot to thank you for reading this far!!!
Yes this is a verge! (Plus a bit of garden.) It hosts
some beautiful large habitat trees that bring in birds
and bats, plus various shrubs and understorey plants. 
Both policies are available at http://www.haveyoursaywollongong.com.au/trees-in-public-spaces-2018. Comments are due by Wednesday 21 March.

And bonus gratuitious shot: grow natives and you might get Yellow-tailed Black-cockatoos in your garden!


Thursday, 15 February 2018

Try growing: happy, well-adjusted trees!

Until I actually started gardening my thinking about trees, and plants in general, while full of affection and interest, was that they were basically green furniture, things you planted in the appropriate spot and left to grow into whatever was shown on the label. 

A few failed gardening experiments later and I've been much chastened by trees running rampant, falling over, dying and generally not behaving as expected. Gardening books probably explain this stuff much better than I can, and I should have engaged with them much earlier, but the main lesson I've learned is that plants are living creatures with their own interests, preferences and (in)tolerances. These need to be understood and respected in any garden or landscaping context.

One key factor is trees' response to light. The amount and direction of light a tree receives have a profound effect on its height, shape and health. Leon Fuller, author of Wollongong's Native Trees, recently did some line drawings showing trees' behaviours with different amounts of sunlight, which I've reproduced here. (I am guilty of turning them into these dreadful digital things!)

In general, a tree with unrestricted light from the sun will grow into a naturally broad and spreading shape. 
A happy and well-adjusted tree growing in full sunlight - perhaps a Native
Celtis(Celtis paniculata) or Native Quince (Alectryon subcinereus)?
Even a naturally tall and narrow tree will still grow broader in full sunlight than if it has only restricted access to sun. 
Our friend on the left has full sunlight, while the chap
on the right has (you need to imagine) been growing
surrounded by other trees that limit its access to sunlight.
A tree growing in a forest, surrounded on all sides with other trees, will grow taller and narrower than one in a clearing away from the shade of surrounding forest.
With a fair amount of sunlight, this small tree will grow
relatively short and bushy.
Closely hemmed in by tall surrounding trees, this
one has grown tall and slender as it reaches towards
the limited sunlight.
Similar principles apply to trees that are grown in gardens where their access to sunlight is limited for part of the day. A special case is that of trees grown near tall fences or walls. These trees are in effect shaded on one side, and will grow sideways towards the light. They may end up leaning out from the wall towards the sun, and if their roots are prevented from spreading out to support the plant, they may eventually fall over.  
It is pretty tempting to plant trees and shrubs right
up against a wall, but it does compromise their
growth and make it very one-sided.
Eventually such plants may lean way over and become
vulnerable to collapse during windy or rainy periods,
or simply under their own weight.
The classic native trees that illustrate this behaviour are eucalypts, fast-growing species most of which need a lot of sunlight. In even part shade conditions they tend to leap up very quickly to form tall, narrow spar-like shapes, and only start thickening out once the crown has found its own place in the sun. Grown in gardens with shade for part of the day, most eucalypt species will develop a pronounced or even alarming lean towards the sun. 

The role of soil, nutrients, rainfall and other variables are also essential, but much harder to illustrate with my basic skills, so they'll have to wait for another time. 

Try growing a tree or two, and see if they conform to what's on the label!   


Thursday, 25 January 2018

Permaculture with Illawarra native plants

Many Australian and Illawarra native plants are used in permaculture, and many more have the potential to be used. The area has plenty of edible and habitat plants, as well as ones that attract insect pollinators. So I thought I'd do a post on a few of my favourites!

Several of the introduced weed species that are popular for foraging also have local native relatives, including Swamp Dock (Rumex brownii), Forest Startwort (or Chickweed) (Stellaria flaccida) and Variable Plantain (Plantago varia). They are all easy enough to grow. Why cultivate weeds when you can grow local instead? Harvest those introduced species one last time and let the natives take over!

Below are some of the more useful and widely available species. I'm not saying that these are all perfect permaculture plants and that they should be used exclusively instead of introduced species. But they have their uses and would be worth a try in the right spot.
Trees for shade and food
Notes
A small tree to around 6m high. The leaves have a pleasant, cinnamon-like scent and can be used in cooking. Some people use them like bay leaves.

This plant grows well in full sun or part shade and copes with long dry periods, though will be more bushy and provide better shade for plants underneath if it gets regular water. Pruning of lower branches can be used to create a more tree-like form and create more space for under-planting.
A slow-growing tree that will reach 6m to 12m in cultivation, but can be kept pruned. It's hardy and handsome, with closely-spaced glossy green leaves and juicy, edible fruit that can be made into preserves or sauces. It will grow in sun or shade, and copes with coastal winds and salt spray.

Brush Cherry (Syzygium australe)
Photo by Mithra Cox.
In cultivation, this is a small tree to around 8m high with a rounded or 'lollipop' shaped crown. It bears masses of edible pink fruit which are also enjoyed by animals such as possums.

It grows well in full sun but will also cope with part shade.

Black Apple (Planchonella australis)
Photo by Leon Fuller.
An attractive small to medium tree that usually reaches around 6m to 10m high. It can be bushy in form, but lower branches can be pruned off. It has tasty fruit around the size of a plum, and a flavour between a plum and a custard apple. Each fruit contains 2-3 large shiny seeds.

This tree grows best in full sun or part shade and copes with most soil types.
Support trees

A small, sometimes shrubby and weak-limbed tree to around 5m high, with appealing soft, heart-shaped leaves. It improves soil, provides protection for young or small plants, and provides habitat for native birds and insects.

It grows best in part shade and benefits from additional water during dry periods.
A fast-growing large shrub or small tree to around 5m tall; improves soil (by fixing nitrogen), and provides protection for lower plants. Grow it in full sun or part shade.
This tall shrub or very small tree (to around 2.5m high) improves soil by fixing nitrogen, and provides protection for lower plants. It will grow in full sun or part shade.
Native Peach (Trema tomentosa var. aspera)
Photo by Byron Cawthorne-MacGregor.
A small bushy tree that improves soil structure and provides protection for low plants. It brings in masses of birds for its small black fruit and these will leave behind droppings as they feed.

Full sun is best for rapid growth and early fruiting.



Native Rosella (Hibiscus heterophyllus)
Photo by Byron Cawthorne-MacGregor.
A robust and fast-growing tree that improves soil structure and provides protection for low plants. Its flowers bring in pollinating insects. It can be grown in full sun or part shade, but will grow much faster in full sun.
Support shrubs

A bushy rounded shrub to around 3m high that fixes nitrogen in the soil. It often grows wider than it is high, and lower branches may need to be kept pruned back if a tree form is desired. It can be grown in full sun or part shade.
Photo by Leon Fuller.
A dainty shrub to around 1.5m high that improves soil (by fixing nitrogen), and provides protection for lower plants. The purple flowers flowers attract bees and other insect pollinators.

Plants can be grown in full sun (where they will flower best but may need extra water) or in part shade.

Golden Tip (Goodia lotifolia)
Photo by Leon Fuller.
A bushy shrub to 4m that improves soil (by fixing nitrogen), and provides protection for lower plants. Its yellow pea-style flowers attract bees and other insect pollinators. Plants can be pruned or coppiced.

Best grown in part sun, though it will grow in full sun with plenty of water. It likes rich, well-drained soil.

Lantern Bush (Abutilon oxycarpum)
Photo by Carl Glaister.
A shrub to around 2m that flowers much of the year and attracts bees and other insects. In natural conditions it is often twiggy and sparse, but with good sunlight and extra water it is denser. It is useful as a 'chop and drop' plant. Best grown in part shade.
Supporting groundcovers

A pretty, fast-spreading groundcover that may scramble up some plants but helps prevent erosion or evaporation in bare areas. The flowers are insect attracting. It grows best in full sun or light shade.
A spreading and dense-growing groundcover. The leaves are edible once steamed, and taste a bit like spinach or silverbeet. Grows in full sun with extra water or in part shade.
A low and dense-growing groundcover with edible leaves and flowers. It is also known as Scurvy Weed. It grows best in full sun or part shade. May require some management to prevent excessive spreading.
Photo by Kirsten Vine.
A super-tough succulent for sunny, sandy sites. The fruit are tasty, though they contain a large seed, and the young leaves can be blanched and eaten.

Grow this plant in full sun. Sandy soil is best, but it will also grow on other soil types.

Photo by Mithra Cox.
An edible light groundcover or twiner reported to be a ‘dynamic accumulator.’ It can spread quite rapidly in good conditions and scramble up other plants, and may need active management. It grows well in part shade or full sun.
Water plants

Very fast-growing water plant that fixes nitrogen and is useful for enriching soil or compost. Be aware that it can cover the water surface very densely and tend to make life difficult for frogs, as the tadpoles can't get enough oxygen. Can be grown in full sun or part shade.

References
Some of the information on this page is drawn from Grow Local: Illawarra Edible Garden Guide (Happy Earth, Wollongong, Shellharbour and Kiama Councils and Environment Trust NSW).