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'.

25 April 1997

The lovely Cape York Lily, Curcuma australasica, which is a member of the ginger family, stands supreme as part of the Cape York Exhibition in the Visitors Centre. This deciduous, tuberous plant has long, rippled, spade-like leaves which sheathe the clusters of rosy pink flowers. The flowers fade to green on ageing.

This walk will be around and about the Rockery area where many small plants will be identified. The large rocks act as a source of stored heat, absorbed during the day and dissipated slowly at night. Soil mixes in the different beds provide suitable growing conditions for a range of specialised plants. Crowea `Festival' [Section 15C] is a dense, long-flowering rounded shrub with a profusion of bright pink star-like flowers. Boronia polygalifolia [Section 15C] is a small ground-hugging plant with its lateral stems dotted with pale pink four-petalled flowers. Opposite, Correa `Ivory Bells' [Section 15D] is well named for the many tubular ivory flowers hang like bells in this dense shrub. Crowea `Pink Blush' [Section 15C] is an open shrub with branches adorned with soft white, with a hint of pink, flowers.

Prostanthera cryptandroides [Section 15F], a mint bush with branches channeled between rocks, bears small purple trumpet flowers with mauve mouths. Nearby, Dampiera stricta [Section 15F], jammed between the rocks, is showy with bright blue flowers on the tips of the upright stems. Compare its growth and flower colour with Dampiera subspicata [Section 15H], a paler shade of blue, and Dampiera diversifolia [Section 15H, 15L], a ground-hugging plant with darker flowers. And in all areas the brilliant yellow straw flowers of Bracteantha species [Section 15] and the mounding plants with soft foliage and small mauve daisy flowers of Brachyscome multifida [Section 15] are eyecatching. The colour of these plants, together with the white daisies of Olearia ramulosa [Section 15A] and the dense, prostrate Hibbertia serpyllifolia [Section 15A] dotted with small yellow flowers, are worth admiring.

Walk around the tall many-stemmed shrub, Hakea petiolaris [Section 4] Sea-urchin Hakea. See the immature, compact green globular flower heads and the mature pink heads with white styles protruding. Chrysocephalum apiculatum [Section 15R] is an entanglement of low, green foliage well covered with clusters of heads of bright orange flowers. Nearby a similar plant with soft, grey foliage has yellow flowers. Although not in flower Leucophyta brownii [Section 15S] is quite interesting for this small wiry plant has silver-grey stems and minute silver-grey leaves. Correa pulchella `Pink Mist' [Section 15S] is a small, dainty shrub adorned with pink tubular flowers.

Another colourful area of these Gardens ...

Barbara Daly.

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