Australian National Botanic Gardens
In Flower This Week
A weekly news-sheet prepared by a Gardens volunteer
3 October 1997
This week's walk will be along the new Main Path.
Turn right as we leave the Visitor Centre. At the beginning of the main path on the left is Epacris impressa `Cranbourne Bells' [Section 212] with its pendent, white, tubular flowers along the stem. Next door is Pimelea spectabilis [Section 212], a Western Australian plant. Commonly called Rice Flowers, there are about 80 species of Pimelea, mostly Australian but some extending to New Zealand and islands to the north of the continent. Notice the large flower heads, white with pink tinged centres. Baeckea ramosissima `Pink Gem' [Section 212] is a spreading shrub, which has delicate magenta pink petals with crimson centres. Another Epacris in flower is Epacris hamiltonii [Section 212], flushes of white flowers clustered together on the stem. Thryptomene saxicola `Pink Lace' [Section 212] has small pink flowers. Thryptomene is another genus from Western Australia.
On entering the Rainforest, on your left is Zieria arborescens [Section 148b], with small white delicate four-petalled flowers and a slight aromatic perfume. Zieria is endemic to eastern Australia. Continue along the board walk, just opposite two seats is Blackwood, Acacia melanoxylon [Section 148], in flower. It is covered in creamy flower balls which blend well with the foliage so one has to look to see them. This tree is planted right through the Rainforest Gully which is one of its natural habitats. Citriobatus pauciflorus [Section 65], common in rainforests of NSW and Queensland has bright orange fruits. Soft Treeferns, Dicksonia antarctica [Section 65a] dominate throughout the gully as an understorey, the decorative young fronds beginning to uncurl are beautiful to see. Turn right, walk across the bridge, listen to the birds tinkle in the trees and the sound of running water.
Leaving the Rainforest Gully we pass though the Conifers and Cycads area of non-flowering plants, parrots abound. Just before the Rockery is Banksia aemula [Section 16] with its old flower heads and serrated leaves. The rounded woody fruits are protruding from the flower heads. A short detour to the main path on your left will the take you back to the car park.
To be continued next week.
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