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.
26 December 2008
Tis Christmas time and there’s many a flower to admire. This walk takes us along the Banks Walk among striking white-trunked eucalypts, to the Sydney Basin Flora, to the Rock Garden with its many floral treasures and then to the Rainforest.
Along the Banks Walk and past the café are large pots of Sturt’s Desert Pea, Swainsona formosa [Sections 210, 174, 240], bright with large red pea-shaped flowers with dark centres. Walk below the large white papery-barked limbs of Melaleuca linariifolia var. linariifolia [Section 11] crowned with small cream bottlebrush-like flowers, mostly seen up high, and up a little side path to the left, the Grey Myrtle Backhousia myrtifolia [Section 10] shows its cream feathery flowers above other foliage.
The garden of daisies is yellow mainly with Chrysocephalum apiculatum [Section 303] with small button-sized flowers over the low growing plant. To the left is a colourful display of yellow, burnt-red and matt-green kangaroo paws, Anigozanthos flavidus [Section 7]. See the patch of ground cover, Scaevola albida [Section 30], a prostrate plant with pale blue flowers. Behind the notice board Banksia pilostylis [Section 25] shows its many lemon-coloured cylindrical flower spikes while in front, Banksia blechnifolia [Section 25] is a dwarf spreading shrub. Its dusky red flower spikes and deeply lobed leaves (rust coloured when young, and green when mature) emerge from branches which run just below or along the soil.
Across the road the path wanders among plants of the Proteaceae family, including Banksia caleyi [Section 24] where the lovely down-turned maroon flower spikes are below the foliage of this fairly open shrub. Grevillea irrasa subsp. didymochiton [Section 26] is a large shrub with powdery red spider flowers. A Geebung, Persooniamicrophylla [Section 26, 191h] is a dense ground cover speckled with tiny yellow tubular flowers.
From the path through the Sydney Basin you can see Jacksonia scoparia [Section 191h], a dense shrub clad in profusion with small yellow pea-shaped flowers. In front, Crowea exalata [Section 191] is a much smaller shrub bearing pink star flowers. Almost opposite, Scaevola hookeri [Section 191s] is another dense ground cover with white fan-shaped flowers in profusion. Babingtonia pluriflora [Section 191s] makes a good dense screen plant, clad with small white-petalled flowers. Almost opposite and concealed by large shrubs, are patches of Christmas Bells, Blandfordia grandiflora [Section 191g, 191u], tufted plants with large orange-red bell-shaped flowers with yellow-red mouths. Flannel flowers, Actinotus helianthi‘Federation Stars’ [Section 191u, 191l], seen mostly in clusters, have soft felt-like leaves and white flannel-petalled flowers.
Cross the Eucalyptus Lawn down to the Rock Garden, and see the purple daisies, Brachyscome iberidifolia [Section 4]. In front of the waterfall, where many water dragons sun on the rocks and tiny blue wrens dance on the footpath, grow emu bushes including Eremophila dalyana [Section 15v] with soft grey-green foliage and pale tubular flowers. The fascinating Ptilotus manglesii [Section 15v] is attractive with its globular electric pink and silver flowers seen snug against rocks.
Into the Rainforest where the Dorrigo waratah, Alloxylon pinnatum [Section 147] grows half-way down the stairs but is better seen from the Main Path. Its flowers are loose pale red of medium size. The Victorian Christmas Bush, Prostanthera lasianthos [Section 147], is clad with terminal sprays of white flowers. Other plants can be seen up the stairs off the ramp, including Rhododendron lochiae var. macgregoriae [Section 210], clad in a profusion of orange-red trumpet shaped flowers.
Pleasant walking, great flowers and Season’s Greetings to all … Barbara Daly.