Australian National Botanic Gardens
In Flower This Week
A weekly news-sheet prepared by a Gardens volunteer
23 January 1998
This week's walk is to take in the coolness, the flowers and the beauty of the Sydney Region Flora planting, arrived at by following the Main Path past the cafe. On the way, encircle the pools for there will surely be a few of the colourful Eastern Water Dragons, Physignathus lesuerii, lazing on the rocks. View also, in front of the Crosbie Morrison Building, Eucalyptus ficifolia [Section 137], Red-flowering Gum. Although very small, it is covered with clusters of supurb red flowers, just now being devoured by Red Wattlebirds. Off the path but worth viewing is a stand of Banksia robur [Section 28], with large, serrated leathery leaves. Note that some have reddish veins while others are yellow. They have identical flower spikes, the immature spikes are a rich olive green changing colour to yellow-green and then, on ageing, to a chocolate colour.
At the base of the Sydney Region Gully, admire the view upstream which include the large fronds of Grass trees, Xanthorrhoea sp. [Section 191] the tall, pink trunks of the Smooth Barked Apple, Angophora costata subsp. costata [Section 191] and the long, sword-like leaves of the Gymea Lily, Doryanthes excelsa [Section 191]. In the foreground is Grevillea acanthifolia [Section 191], of interesting shape and with attractive foliage dotted with pink toothbrush-like flowers. Along the narrow path on the far side of the Gully, the small herbaceous plant, Brunonia australis [Section 191] bears tiny, trumpet-like mauve flowers. Crowea exalata [Section 191], is also small and shows the first of its small pink star flowers. Ceratopetalum gummiferum `White Christmas' [Section 191] is quite tall and is well covered with white waxy calyces which followed its small white flowers. Opposite the rock steps to the stream where Crimson Rosellas will be bathing, Dampiera stricta [Section 191] with deep blue-purple flowers, mingles with the greenery of other plants. Banksia spinulosa [Section 191] is of medium size and bears many narrow, immature dark gold flower spikes. Baeckea linifolia [Section 191] is such a dainty, open shrub with white flowers spaced along the pendulous branches.
Across the path, Goodenia decurrens [Section 191] with brilliant yellow flowers brightens the area. Then around the bend is the Blandfordia Swamp, fenced off because of nibbling kangaroos. In this area of grasses, sedges and well arranged sand- stone rocks are the beautiful Christmas Bells, Blandfordia grandiflora [Section 191] ... so colourful with large red, cylindrical flowers tipped with yellow, borne in clusters at the top of upright stems ... such a sight!
Continuing along the path, the NSW Christmas Bush, Ceratopetalum gummiferum [Section 191] glowing with waxy pink calyces, and the geebung, Persoonia pinifolia [Section 191] with pendulous, cylindrical yellow flowers, both enhance this lovely walk. A most enjoyable bushland area ...
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