Berrigan

Description

Common names

Berrigan, Emubush, Native Plum Tree, Berrigan Emubush, Berrigan., Dogwood, Emu Apple, Emu Bush, Juniper Tree, Long Leaf Emu Bush, Long-leaved Eremophila, Native Plum, Native Plum-tree, Weeping Emu Bush, Weeping Emubush.

Scientific names

Eremophila longifolia.

Family

Myoporaceae.

Genus

Eremophila.

Name origin

Eremophila, from Greek eremos, a desert, and philos, fond of, referring to dry country habitat. Longifolia, Latin for long-leaved.

Rainfall

250-500mm.

Growth rate

Moderate.

Growth height

Up to 8m.

Presence in Australia

Locally common in the west, including the areas Urana-Rand-Corowa; Boree; Brookong and Urangeline.

This specie has been identified in the following Australian states: Qld, NSW, Vic, SA, NT, WA.

Habitat

Various communities, including plains country, on most soil types. Mainly sandy or loam soils, in Grey Box, White Cypress Pine, Boree and Mallee communities.

Habit

Shrub to small tree to 8m high. Narrow drooping leaves 3-20cm long on drooping branches. Mature bark dark-grey, rough and divided into squarish segments.

Site preference

Well-drained soil in full sun.

Characteristics

Usually occurs as single trees or clumps of suckers of decreasing size out from parent tree.

Flowering

Pinkish to reddish-brown and spotted white, most of year. Very attractive tubular flowers.

Seed collection

Early Jan to late Mar. Seeds released 3-14 days after maturity. Fruits can be collected from beneath plants.

Propagation

From seed or stem or root cuttings. Most Eremophila species very difficult to germinate. Hard woody fruits prevent germination and contain chemical inhibitor. Stem cuttings can be very slow to root. Promote suckering by disturbing roots. Transplant resulting root suckers.

Regeneration

Prolific, from seed and root suckers. Recovers well from fire, including juvenile plants. Best established by transplanting root suckers in moist conditions, or by fencing out stock and ripping to cause root suckering.

Shade and shelter

Excellent low-level cover in windbreaks.

Land protection

Useful in controlling soil erosion due to soil-binding fibrous roots.

Timber

Dark brown and brittle. Not used.

Wildlife

Excellent habitat. Emus eat fruit. Almost all Eremophila species are attractive to honeyeaters. Particularly useful bird attracter in drier areas. Beneficial nectar and pollen for bees.

Koori

Bruised leaves used for tanning skins. Reputed medicinal use.

Ornamental

Ornamental for low garden shelter.

Other

Probably the best Eremophila fodder species. Constantly trimmed by livestock, and sometimes used for emergency feed.