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'.

11 February 2000

The NSW Christmas Bush, Ceratopetalum gummiferum [Section 142], towards the Tasmanian Section has clusters of the renowned red calyces, which followed its tiny white flowers, scattered over the dark foliage. Beside the nearby bus shelter, Kunzea sp. nov. aff. ericoides [Section 170] with many trunks, is showered with small, white fluffy flowers. Continue down to the rock pools to enjoy the numerous Eastern Water Dragons, Physignathus lesuerii [Section 142,137], probably sunning on the rocks.

The ornamental clumping grass, Pennisetum alopecuroides [Section 168] with fine, arching leaves and feathery, purple-tinted flower heads on long, erect stems, beautifies the car park. In front of the Visitor Centre Grevillea diminuta [Section 222,223] is a low, spreading shrub bearing pendulous clusters of rust red flowers. Half way up the steps along side the Visitor Centre, admire the graceful, small Geebung, Persoonia pinifolia [Section 224] clad with pine-like leaves and coloured with pendulous, yellow flowers in terminal spikes.

Beside the ramp towards the Rainforest Gully, Hemigenia sp. [Section 210] is a small, ground-hugging plant with mauve bugle-shaped flowers. Nearby Scaevola phlebopetala [Section 210] is also ground-hugging and bears yellow-throated deep purple fan flowers. Not so small, the bright yellow straw daisies amid greyish foliage, Bracteantha sp. nov. [Section 210], lead one to the cool, scented greenery of the Rainforest Gully. About the beginning of the second boardwalk the large, open red flowers of the Dorrigo Waratah, Alloxylon pinnatum [Section 148] can be seen through the trees. Down the steps, along the stream, Helmholtzia glaberrima [Section 144,145] with long, flax-like leaves, displays graceful pale pink plume-like flower heads on upright spikes.

At the top end of this cool walk, the lovely Rhododendron laetum x lochiae [Section 62] is still flowering. These small shrubs with cheery red trumpet flowers and dark green leaves can be seen from the top road. Crossing the bridge, the upper part of the gully can be seen as it was before the 1970s, and on the lower side, the transformation into rainforest. On the upper side and edging the rainforest, the small tree, Backhousia myrtifolia [Section 140] is well covered with greenish-cream sepals which follow the small white flowers. Opposite, the ground spreading Solanum campanulatum [Section 123] is quite defensive for its large leaves, stems and branches are densely covered with savage looking spines. The open, mauve flowers are quite attractive. Nearby, Crowea 'Festival' [Section 123] is a small shrub with pretty, starry pink flowers.

Along this path, Banksia robur [section 37] adorned with bottle-green flower spikes and Banksia media [Section 37] with large bronze flower spikes can be admired. Banksia serrata [Section 37], in the background, is a large shrub prolific with its large greyish flower spikes. flower imageOut of season, a Braidwood Waratah, Telopea mongaensis [Section 37], has a few open red flowers to see.

Hot day, pleasant walking …

Barbara Daly


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