In Flower This WeekA weekly news-sheet prepared by a Gardens volunteer
Numbers in brackets [ ] refer to garden bed 'Sections'.
In this cold weather you would expect to see very few plants in flower, but this weeks walk takes you through parts of the Gardens which have a few floral surprises.
As you leave the Visitor Centre, turn left and go down the first flight of steps then follow the ramp to the left. You are in an area which contains several rare or threatened plants. Although plants are best preserved in their native habitats, many species at risk are cultivated in these Gardens. This helps to protect them against extinction and provides information which might assist re-introduction to their natural habitat. On your right is Grevillea diminuta [Section 222], with rusty red flowers in pendulous clusters. On your left is Westringia crassifolia [Section 221], a spreading shrub with small purple flowers. Continuing along the footpath with the car park on your right, you can see Callistemon subulatus [Section 221] with dark red flower spikes just beginning to emerge. A little further on is Grevillea iaspicula [Section 221], or Wee Jasper Spider Flower, with clusters of beautiful dark pink and cream flowers. This plant has a very restricted distribution in the wild and is at risk from grazing by domestic animals.
Continue up the steps on your left, then turn right onto Banks Walk, cross the bridge and go past the Cafe, then continue along the road past the Banks Centre, into the Myrtaceae area. On your left are several bushes of the spectacular Calothamnus quadrifidus [Section 12] with silvery green foliage and red flower spikes emerging at the base of the stems.
Turn right at the path just before the road junction, where you can find a large bush of Grevillea rosmarinifolia [Section 180] with clusters of tiny red flowers at the ends of the stems. On your right, just past the picnic tables, are some spectacular banksias in flower, including the orange flower spikes of Banksia ericifolia var. ericifolia [Section 180], and the stately Banksia robur [Section 180] with large, leathery leaves and yellow-green flower heads. In amongst the banksias is Callistemon citrinus[Section 180], with dark red flower spikes just emerging. Watch out for honeyeaters enjoying these nectar-rich winter flowers.
Enjoy the Gardens! Elizabeth Bilney
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'In Flower' Weeks