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 2009
This New Year’s walk will follow the Main Path but first, the floral colour outside the Visitors Centre is worth an inspection. In pots, the native Rhododendron lochiae has large trumpet-shaped salmon coloured flowers and the Sturt’s Desert Pea, Swainsona formosa edging Banks Walk continues to bear the large pea-shaped flowers with dark centres. Banksia serrata [Section 174] seen behind Joseph Banks sculpture, is covered in profusion with large upright grey-on-lemon cylindrical flower spikes. The brilliance of the Eucalyptus ficifolia [Section 174, 210] could not be missed. These small trees are covered with their orange-red fluffy flowers.
Walk to the far the end of the café building and then continue along this path, past the paperbark trunks of melaleucas to the daisy section, which is a field of yellow including Chrysocephalum apiculatum [Section 303], a low growing suckering plant with tiny heads of yellow-orange flowers. Opposite, a stretch of kangaroo paws, Anigozanthos flavidus [Section 8] coloured yellow and burgundy is so attractive. Edging the path, Thryptomene saxicola [Section 30] is a low arching plant with branches clad with tiny pink flowers. Stenocarpus angustifolius [Section 30] is a shrub of medium size, catchy with loose globular heads of lemon lacy flowers. Opposite is Banksia ‘BirthdayCandles’ [Section 30], a dense dwarf spreading shrub now producing its upright green juvenile flower spikes. The mature cream flower spikes of Banksia pilostylis [Section 25] can be seen above the notice board.
Edging this next section with many mottled grey tree trunks, are plants to enjoy. They include a Geebung, Persoonia acerosa [Section 26,24], here a small spreading shrub dotted with tiny tubular flowers. Behind the double seat Grevillea tripartita subsp. macrostylis [Section 26] is an open upright shrub with prickly leaves and attractive open red, yellow-tipped flowers with a long curved style.
Continue to the Sydney Basin where a very small shrub, Crowea exalata [Section 191h] is clad with small pink star-like flowers. Opposite, Blackthorn, Bursaria spinosa [Section 191s], upright tall shrubs clad with clusters of lacy daisy-like flowers. Leptospermum crassifolium [Section 191s] has a covering of white-petalled flowers over the low arching branches. Above the Information Board, Hibiscus heterophyllus [Section 191s] is displaying its large flowers coloured white with pink splashes. Hibbertia pedunculata [Section 191s] is a dense groundcover bright with open yellow flowers amid the dark green leaves. Platysace lanceolata [Section 191e] fills this corner with its clusters of white flowers over the medium shrubs. Melaleuca thymifolia [Section 191m] has small clusters of pinkish lacy flowers stealing through other shrubs and at the curved seat the renowned Christmas Bell, Blandfordia grandiflora [Section 191u] displays its large bell-like red and yellow flowers atop a long upright stem surrounded by grass-like foliage. Crowea saligna [Section 191u] displays its bright pink star flowers over a low spreading shrub, just above the seat.
At the exit, Acacia longissima [Section 191l] is a tree of medium size with arching branches clad with cream rod-like flower heads.
Cross the Eucalyptus Lawn down to the Rock Garden which contains many small interesting plants including Sollya heterophylla [Section 15R], a dense compact twining vine with a profusion of blue bell-like flowers. Scaevola albida var. albida [Section 4] edges the path with its white fan-shaped flowers while Lythrum salicaria [Section 191q], pink flowers tipping the upright stems, bathe their roots in the shallow water between the rocks of the pool below the waterfall. Sit awhile, enjoy the beauty of this area with waterdragons of all sizes and tiny blue wrens dancing about the path.
Then to the so pleasantly cool Rain Forest so green, where the Dorrigo Waratah, Alloxylon pinnatum [Section 148] grows close to the downward stairs, the small tree topped with loose red ‘waratah’ flowers. And so to the ramp down to the café.
Summertime flowers are great … Barbara Daly.