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'.

13th March 1998

In the Gardens banksias are now bearing many buds and callistemons continue to show off their bright red bottlebrushes. The feathery flower heads of Pennisetum alopecuroides [Section 168] have almost lost their purplish tint but the light coloured flowers on top of the upright stems surrounded by long, narrow, arching leaves are still attractive. In the Display Garden Crowea saligna [Section 174] with light green, waxy leaves bears sparkling pink star flowers. Brachyscome multifida `Evan' [Section 174] forms small mounds of soft green foliage with an array of small, mauve daisies. It makes a colourful border plant. The grey-white foliage with similar flowers of Leucophyta brownii 'Cape le grande' [Section 172, 210] contrasts well with the above plants in any garden.

Towards the Rock Garden, Prostanthera sp. aff. linearis [Section 119] is neat, rounded and small with dark foliage and an abundance of small, purple flowers. The bank of colour, on leaving the Rock Garden, includes the myriads of small white daisies on the low-growing Olearia ramulosa [Section 16]. The backdrop of larger, dazzling yellow daisies are Bracteantha bracteatum [Section 16], a species which self-seeds throughout this area.

Across the road Acacia saliciformis [Section 2], so tall and slim, may still be coated with soft, cream flower-balls. Alphitonia excelsa [Section 2] is a tall tree with a canopy of cream flowers. Clinging to its trunk is Flavoparmelia rutidota, a lichen which forms an attractive greenish, lacey design. It obtains its nourishment from air and water. Although not flowering but most attractive, Callistemon formosus [Section 123] is of medium size with deep red young shoots on arching branches. Acacia subulata [Section 123] is broad with branches wandering anywhere, all with a covering of soft flower-heads glowing yellow.

Really a find, especially for banksia lovers! Banksia speciosa [Section 37] from WA, has a flower spike! It is matt green and will mature to a yellowish colour. The leaves are long, narrow, deeply toothed and dark green. Banksia spinulosa var. spinulosa [Section 37] is a dense shrub, showing off its many rich gold flower spikes. Banksia media [Section 37], also from WA, is old and gnarled with trunk hardly raised above the earth, yet it bears numerous really large, dense, matt yellow flower spikes. Banksia marginata [Section 37], beside the stairs, is a large shrub with quite small, almost irridescent green immature flower spikes which are maturing to a yellow shade. Banksia oblongifolia [Section 37], across the path, has green flower spikes...

Bird life up here is abundant. Banksia nectar attracts the honeyeaters and the parrots and rosellas too. The tiny blue wrens seek the offerings at ground level.

Oh what a pleasant place to visit ... Barbara Daly.

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