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'.

20th March 1998

Throughout the Gardens the red bottlebrushes of callistemons are still to be seen. Banksias are producing lots of buds, many of which are exploding into flower, some of which will be seen along this walk. Firstly, in a pot outside the Visitor Centre Centre, see Spyridium sp., an interesting plant with a few spreading branches bearing insignificant white flowers surrounded by white floral leaves (bracts). The Display Garden includes some brachyscome cultivars which make good border plants. Brachyscome multifida 'Roulette' [Section 174] with yellow-centred mauve flowers and fine, green foliage is somewhat sprawling whilst Brachyscome multifida 'Evan' [Section 174] has similar, smaller daisies on a small, mounded plant. In front of the cafe building, the large yellow-centred white straw flowers of Bracteantha bracteata 'Dargan Hill Monarch' [Section 131] are seen. Close by Bracteantha bracteata 'Diamond Head' [Section 131] is a compact, cushion plant bearing smaller, yellow everlasting daisies, on upright stems above the foliage.

Near the Melaleuca Swamp, Banksia robur [Section 13] shows off its colourful flower spikes. The tiny, juvenile flowers are dark green, increasing in age and size to cream and then to a rich chocolate colour. They are seen at the base of the plant, hugging the woody branches and mingling with the large, leathery leaves. Nearby, Banksia ericifolia var. ericifolia [Section 143] is a large, 30-year-old shrub, already with tall cylindrical, golden flower spikes ... and a multitude of green, pencil-fine juvenile spikes. At the next path junction, Callistemon citrinus 'Austraflora Firebrand' [Section 32] glows red with its fiery bottlebrushes.

Banksia ericifolia x Banksia spinulosa [Section 28] is of medium size, with short, fine leaves and long, slim green, changing to lemon, flower spikes. Banksia conferta var. conferta [Section 28] is a neat, small tree with leaves arranged in whorls. Among the aged, grey spikes are fresh, young creamy-green flower spikes. Banksia integrifolia var. compar [Section 27] is tall with arching branches, silver-backed leaves and soft lemon-green flower spikes.

Along the path on the far side of the Sydney Region Gully, where much time could be spent, Banksia spinulosa var. spinulosa [Section 191] is of medium size and is aglow with golden flower spikes. Close by the straggly, low growing Epacris longiflora [Section 191] attractively displays its bright red tubular flowers with white tips along its branches. Opposite the Eucalypt Lawn, Banksia aemula [Section 191] with dark, serrated leaves, displays its lovely plump, silky, greenish-yellow flower spikes. Note that the above banksias are all from the eastern states.

Great walking ... splendid flowers ... Barbara Daly.

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