Climate Change Flora

Climate change ready border

Climate change ready border, December 2019

GARDENS ON THE MOVE

Global Warming is having the same effect as putting Brisbane on a trailer and slowly dragging it to Townsville during drought. We’ll arrive in that climate around 2030. Planted in 2004, these are some of the 135 different plants growing in my front garden that will cope with the climate change predicted in the report ‘Climate Change: An Australian Guide to the Science and Potential Impacts’, published by the Australian Greenhouse Office, in December 2003*.

Are you planting native trees in Brisbane? If their natural distribution extends north to Townsville, collect seed from there, or further north if possible. The seed will already be adapted to a more extreme climate and will be primed and ready for the stresses and strains of Brisbane’s emerging new climate.

In 2019, ABC News published a good illustrative guide showing how global warming has already and will continue to affect horticulture, food production and the liveability of our country if we fail to act.

The Chilean wine palm, Jubaea chilensis, is vulnerable to extinction. Here, it produces miniature coconuts all year round and fruit after heavy rain.

Some of the plants illustrated below were removed because even during the Millennium Drought, they grew too big too fast. Others did too well during the floods in 2011, 2012 and 2013.

The Jubaea chilensis, the Chilean wine palm, was purchased in 1995 and planted in 2004. Since 2009, it started flowering and it has never stopped growing, flowering or producing miniature coconuts since then. In Sydney, this palm fruits each autumn. Here it requires a flood year to fruit. Fruit taste something between a sweet apricot and a slightly under ripe peach; quite delicious if de-seeded and cooked with pandan leaves and sugar before bottling.

Clicking on each image opens the notes.

* The Australian Greenhouse Office was initially independent of government interference, but subsequent reshuffling brought it under direct control and its functions have now been diluted by other government departments.