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'.

13 June 1997

This walk is to discover the winter flowering plants in the Rock Garden. The large rocks in the Rock Garden act as a source of heat, absorbing during the day and radiating slowly at night. The soil mixes in the different beds provide suitable growing conditions for a range of special plants.

Crowea `Festival' [Section 15C] is a neat, rounded shrub covered, in profusion, with bright pink star-like flowers which continue for a long period. Note, too, the deep red stems which add to the attractiveness of the shrub. Boronia polygaligifolia [Section 15C] has also been flowering for many weeks. It is a small ground-hugging plant with its lateral stems dotted with tiny pale pink flowers. Baeckea virgata `Howie's Sweet Midget' [Section 15C], although not in flower, is quite attractive with its dense new growth tinted a deep red. Bossiaea walkeri [Section 15B], although not particularly attractive, is interesting for this open, woody, semi-arid plant is leafless. The stems are greyish and flattened and the large, pea-shaped flowers are red.

Dampiera stricta [Section 15F] is an upright, suckering plant, squashed between rocks. It displays its blue flowers on the tips of upright stems. Compare it with Dampiera diversifolia [Section 15L] which is ground-hugging with lateral branches bearing blue-purple flowers and Dampiera sericantha [Section 15R] a small, upright plant with similarly coloured flowers. In many areas the brilliant yellow straw flower heads of Bracteantha species [Section 15] brighten any garden.

Grevillea lanigera [Section 15W] is small and prostrate, snaking its branches covered with lovely dusky pink spider-like flowers along the ground. In time it will be quite a dense ground cover. Ptilotus obovatus var. obovatus [Section 15G] has silvery-grey, woolly leaves with small, rounded heads of faintly tinted pink flower buds. Stipa ramosissima [Section 15H, 15F] is a tall, attractive, branching grass topped with feathery flower heads. The medium size shrub with dense cream candle-like flower spikes on erect stems is Grevillea flexuosa [Section 15P]. Note the divided leaves with prickly segments ... quite an attractive shrub. In front is Grevillea maxwellii [Section 15P], a semi- prostrate, spreading plant with fine, divided foliage and deep red grape-like flowers almost concealed by the foliage. Correa pulchella `Pink Mist' [Section 15S] has its misty pink tubular flowers adorning the small, dainty shrub and Prostanthera porcata [Section 15R] continues to bear its own shade of pink trumpeted flowers.

Before leaving this area, find Podocarpus elatus [Section 110], Plum Pine. It is a medium sized fairly dense tree with sharp pointed leaves and now with an abundance of blue-black edible fruits ... a `bush tucker' plant.

Cool days ... many flowers.

Barbara Daly

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