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In Flower This Week

A weekly news-sheet prepared by a Gardens volunteer.
Numbers in brackets [ ] refer to garden bed 'Sections'. Plants in flower are in bold type.

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12 December 2003

flower image
Ptilotus manglesii - click for larger image

This walk may be a little longer, describing plants in groups or those which may be missed but worth viewing.  Outside the Visitor Centre, in a pot, a mulla mulla, Ptilotus manglesii displays its exuberant loosely arranged pink and white flowers.  Cheiranthera linearis [Section 223] scattered in the garden below the bookshop windows, is a small slender plant with deep blue flowers held above the foliage.

At the end of the Café building, one of many bottlebrushes now in flower, is Callistemon ‘Splendens’ [Section 10] with bright red bottlebrush flowers and a tea-tree cultivar, Leptospermum ‘Aphrodite’ [Section 10] with striking green centred pink flowers.  Across the road a kangaroo paw, Anigozanthos flavidus [Section 127] with long strappy leaves, has matt coloured green ‘paw’ flowers on long bare stems.  At the next stop Thelionema grande [Section 8] displays a sea of blue flowers on bare divided stems amid its strappy foliage, and Patersonia occidentalis [Section 8] with shorter strappy leaves has three petalled purple flowers.  A collection of kangaroo paws of differing colours including Anigozanthos ‘Bush Baby’ [Section 7] with bright yellow flowers, Anigozanthos ‘Bush Ruby’ [Section 7] and Anigozanthos ‘Red Cross’ [Section 8] with claret coloured flowers.  Grasses here including Kangaroo Grass, Themeda australis [Section 100] is tussock-forming, with soft upright leaves and nodding flower heads.

Now we head to the glass-house.  On the way, Banksia blechnifolia [Section 30] is a dwarf shrub with dusky red flower spikes appearing from underground branches. Grevillea pilosa [Section 112] seen opposite the Sydney Flora Basin, is a low spreading shrub with sharp holly-like foliage loosely arranged with pale pink curvaceous flowers.  In the glass-house,there is much colour. Cymbidium madidum var madidum with pendulous greenish-brown flower spikes found amid the foliage. Clinging to the frame above the pool Dendrobium harveyaum, from Burma, has small spikes of bright yellow flowers while Ascocentrum miniatum from Java, has sprays of bright orange orchids.  At the far end of the room Dendrobium thyrsiflorum from India is magnificent with pendulous sprays of white flowers with yellow lips. Opposite, in a pot, Proiphys amboinensis, a lily, has large white flowers rising above its large heart-shaped leaves.

Returning to the main path, a group of Christmas Bells, Blandfordia grandiflora [Section 191U], tufted plants with tubular flowers coloured orange-red with yellow tips gathered on tips of bare upright stems.  A crowd of flannel flowers, Actinotus helianthi, [Section 191U] with flowers of velvety white with soft grayish foliage, completes this picture.

Time now to visit the Mallee Section up above the Nursery to view the Scarlet Banksia, Banksia coccinea [Section 100] seen along the far boardwalk.  It is an open upright shrub with few squat cylindrical flower spikes coloured grey and scarlet – really striking.  Likewise Banksia caleyi [Section 100], a smaller dense shrub with bright rust-red flower spikes emerging from the base.  At the curve the brilliance of Verticordia chrysanthus [Section 100] massed with small fluffy flowers could not be missed.

A longer walk but such colourful diversity …                                             Barbara Daly.


Updated Thursday, 11 December, 2003 by Jan Wilson (