Australian National Botanic Gardens

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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'.

9 May 1997

Banksias and callistemons are well in flower and can be seen along this walk. Passing by the cafe building Crowea `Cooper's Hybrid' [Section 131] and Crowea `Festival' [Section 131], both have deep pink flowers while Crowea `Pink Blush' [Section 131] is appropriately named. Towards the Education Centre, Grevillea `Boongala Spinebill' [Section 240] is a low, spreading plant with deep green, deeply toothed leaves and deep red toothbrush-shaped flowers. Following this mossy green path which veers off the main path see Callistemon citrinus [Section 11], a very old, woody plant alight with bright red bottlebrush flowers. Nearby a tea-tree, Leptospermum squarrosum [Section 11] is another very old, woody plant with a canopy of cheery pink blossoms densely clustered along the terminal branches ... really lovely! At the end of this path, Callistemon citrinus `Austraflora Firebrand' [Section 32] has low, arching branches decorated with sparkling red bottlebrushes. When viewing the banksias notice the diversity of leaf shape, the varying colours of the flower spikes and if the seeds are retained in the fruit cases. Banksia aemula [Section 32] is a dense shrub with flower spikes of all ages, varying from pale green to silky greenish-yellow to a chocolate colour before ageing to grey. Close by is Banksia robur [Section 32] which is more open, with large leathery leaves and olive green immature flowers maturing to greenish-yellow and then to a chocolate colour.

This area of banksias includes Banksia ericifolia x Banksia spinulosa [Section 28] with gold flower spikes ribbed with red styles. Banksia spinulosa var. spinulosa [Section 28] has two colour variations here, one with all-gold flower spikes and nearby another with gold flower spikes ribbed with dark red, almost black, styles. Banksia conferta var. penicillata [Section 28] is a large, rounded shrub bearing a multitude of old, grey spikes and many bright pale lemon-green maturing spikes.. Banksia paludosa [Section 28] is a low, spreading shrub bearing many pale yellow flower spikes, many with a brownish tinge. Banksia occidentalis [Section 28] is the only W.A. banksia mentioned here. It is tall and slender and at eye level an immature green flower spike plus a splendid red, mature flower spike can be admired. There is more colour at the top of this fine specimen. Banksia integrifolia var. compar [Section 27] is a small, graceful tree with dark green, silver-backed leaves and soft lemon flower spikes bl ending with the foliage. Throughout this area the graceful trees with mottled grey trunks are Eucalyptus mannifera [Section 27, 28]. Time now to find another exquisite plant ... Hakea crassinervia [Section 20] is again in flower. It is a low, spreading plant with semi-globular clusters of pink flowers along its trailing branches ... really worth finding.

So much to enjoy ...

Barbara Daly.

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