Australian National Botanic Gardens
A weekly news sheet prepared by a Gardens' volunteer.
Numbers in square brackets  refer to garden bed Sections. Plants in flower are in bold type.
30 January 2004
Banksia pilotstylis - click for larger image
On the way to the start of the walk through the Sydney Region Flora notice the deep red flowers of Rhododendron lochiae in a pot outside the Visitors Centre. Look too, for three yet small banksias along the Main Walk; they are Banksia burdetti [Section 30] with upper branches tipped with pale green juvenile flower spikes, Banksia baxteri [Section 30] with greener dome shaped flower spikes and Banksia pilostylis [Section 25] with deep lemon flower spikes over a small shrub.
Entering the Sydney Region Flora, take the path on the far side of the Gully where the bright red and white tubular flowers on long spindly branches of Epacris longiflora [Section 191F] are seen. They can be seen all along this winding path. The Blackthorn, Bursaria spinosa [Section 191F] with long arching spiky branches has bunches of small white fragrant flowers. The lovely Crowea exalata [Section 191K] has many pink star flowers over the neat shrub while the Smooth-barked Apple, Angophora costata subsp. costata [Section 191F,191W] is shedding its dark bark and revealing the smooth silky tan trunk of this tall erect tree. A tea-tree, Leptospermum petraeum [Section 191F] spreads its open branches with solitary white open flowers along the stems.
The path, edged with a variety of green shrubs, is then interrupted by the rich blue flowers of Dampiera stricta [Section 191F], a low suckering plant spreading under the taller shrubs. A bench is a relaxing place to enjoy the large tree ferns, Dicksonia antarctica down the slopes, and to see and hear the Crimson Rosellas slumbering in the trees above. In the distance the cream flowers of the tree, Backhousia myrtifolia [Section 191J] can be seen. Later, Persoonia mollis [Section 191F] is a small upright shrub with short narrow leaves and small yellow curvaceous flowers along the stems. The valley slope is covered with the wiry Bauera rubioides [Section 191J] its long entanglement dotted with soft pink flowers almost mixing with the tiny white flowers of Baeckea linifolia [Section 191J]. At the road junction, Hibbertia pedunculata [Section 191F], a ground-cover, has dark green foliage brightened with bold yellow open flowers.
Around the corner Prostanthera cryptandroides [Section 191F] is a dwarf shrub with pale lilac bugle shaped flowers along the lateral stems.
Take the left road to view the beauty of the NSW Christmas Bush, Ceratopetalum gummiferum [Section 191C] now so very showy with the renowned sprays of reddened swollen calyces which followed the small white star-shaped flowers. Visit the Glass-house to view the contents welcomed by a bouquet of cream orchids [not named] opposite the door, Dendrobium sp. on the branch over the pool, with orchids a shade of pink, and the magnificent display of the exotic Cattleya maxima with large orchid flowers shaded purple-mauve beside the path and others.
Leave time, back at the cross-roads to continue the original path to view the Christmas Bells, Blandfordia grandiflora [Section 191C] so picturesque with sprays of large waxy orange-red flowers with yellow tips, like bells, on top of long stems surrounded by grasses to see is to admire. Continue along this path and finally see the Flannel Flowers, Actinotus helianthi Federation Stars [Section 191L] with velvety grayish foliage and soft white daisy-like flowers.
Really a leisurely walk... Barbara Daly.