Australian National Botanic Gardens
A weekly news sheet prepared by a Gardens' volunteer.
Numbers in square brackets [ ] refer to garden bed Sections. Plants in flower are in bold type.
19 December 2008
Kangaroo paws are flowering well … water dragons are sunning on many rocks and paths and there are many flowers to enjoy. To start, the Plunkett Mallee, Eucalyptus curtisii [Section 221] is a slim small tree crowned with vivid clusters of white flowers. It is seen beside the stairs towards the Visitors Information Centre while just outside the Centre in a pot, Grevillea leptobotrys is a prostrate trailing plant with wiry foliage and small pink flowers in terminal sprays … really an attractive plant.
Edging the Banks Walk, the Wedding Lily, Dietes robinsoniana [Section 210] has long sword-like leaves and iris-like white flowers, each petal with a spot of yellow. Almost opposite, Old Man Banksia, Banksia serrata [Section 174] is tall with rippled bark and grey-green cylindrical flower spikes. Beside, in pots are Sturt’s Desert Peas, Swainsona formosa [Section 174] with dark-centred large red pea-shaped flowers. Kangaroo Paws include Anigozanthos ‘Bush Haze’ [Section 210] with yellow ‘paw’ flowers and with red stems. Others will be mentioned later. To see a spectacular sight, climb the stairs to the left where, at the top is a grouping of native rhododendrons, Rhododendron macgregoriae X lochiae [Section 210] a low spreading shrub dense with dark thick leaves and clad in profusion with red trumpet-shaped flowers.
Returning to Banks Walk follow the road edging the Rainforest. An orchid, Cymbidium suave [Section 125] has arching strappy leaves which almost conceal the long stems of tiny lemon-brown flowers, all flowing towards the road. Over the road, Melaleuca linariifolia ‘Snowstorm’[Section 124] is a large shrub white with lateral branches clad with feathery flowers. Nearby, Melaleuca thymifolia [Section 124] is much smaller, clad with small curly flowers. Edging the Rainforest, the native elderberry, Cuttsiaviburnea [Section 114] is a large, dense shrub, white with large clusters of small perfumed daisies. Just past the Main Walk crossing, a bed of native violets, Viola hederacea [Section 104] is dense with its small dark-centred mauve flowers. Along here are shrubs of Hibiscus heterophyllus subsp.heterophyllus [Section 104], a tall, fairly open plant with large open flowers, white with splashes of red. Hibiscus divaricatus [Section 104] is also an open shrub bright with yellow-coloured flowers and Hibiscus splendens [Section 104], now with tight pink buds opening to large pink flowers and with large hairy leaves.
The triangular garden is a picture with an assortment of kangaroo paws including Anigozanthos ‘Bush Ruby’ [Section17] with short foliage and with claret-coloured flowers, Anigozanthos flavidus [Section 17] with matt green flowers on long stems, and Anigozanthos ‘Bush Dawn’ [Section 17] with yellow flowers on long stems. Chrysocephalum apiculatum [Section 17] is a semi-prostrate herb with grey foliage and bright orange-yellow button flowers on upright stems. Edging the road, Brachyscome multifida ‘Breakoday’ [Section 17] is a dwarf plant with soft mauve daisies amid the soft divided foliage.
Not far up hill is Banksia speciosa [Section 36], a large shrub with long angular branches. The leaves are almost grey-green, long, narrow and deeply toothed. The flowers spikes resemble acorns, having a lemon base and grey top… most attractive.
Then, in search of a plant resembling a Christmas Tree, Grevillea robusta [Section79] was found, a tall pyramid-shaped tree dense with divided leaves and decorated with long golden toothbrush-like flowers … best viewed on the rock garden side. A walk to view the enclosure of colourful daisies is worthwhile then down this road to the café.
Such a pleasure to walk in these Gardens … Barbara Daly.