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'.

15 May 1998

Banksias and callistemons are flowering throughout the Gardens. However this walk, on this cool autumn day, is up above the Nursery where flowers are so colourful and the birds are many and varied.

Starting above the Rock Garden, Grevillea beadleana [Section 37] spreads its soft foliage, with claret, almost black, toothbrush-like flowers, across the path. Inspect the different banksias. Halfway up the steps, see Banksia oblongifolia [Section 37] with green flower spikes. The flower spikes growing from the base of the trunk are quite fascinating. Walk between the she-oaks where Allocasuarina torulosa [Section 40], Forest Oak, presents its lovely copper tonings. Edging the road Darwinia citriodora [Section 51], Lemon Scented Myrtle, with lemon-scented foliage, is low and spreading, with orange flowers of its own particular design.

Across the road junction, Banksia ericifolia var. ericifolia [Section 103] has a wealth of tall, cylindrical, rich golden flower spikes. Crowded beside is Callistemon comboynensis [Section 103], a dense shrub with scarlet bottlebrushes. Pittosporum rhombifolium [Section 96] is a picture, graced with dense clusters of orange fruits amid its shiny green leaves. Pittosporum revolutum [Section 96] is nearby. Its fruits are fewer, much larger and, on opening, expose masses of red seeds.

Many correas are flowering in this area. Correa alba x pannosa `Western Pink Star' [Section 106] is a low, spreading plant bearing white, star flowers with a tint of pink. Correa `Dusky Bells' [Section 106] bears vivid pink tubular flowers while Correa alba var. alba x Correa reflexa var. reflexa [Section 72] has soft pink tubular flowers with white mouths.

Wander up the mossy green path and see the 20-year-old Hakea suaveolens [Section 75] with meandering branches which terminate in fine, divided leaves and ovoid clusters of perfumed flowers which are white, splashed with pink. Nearby, Crowea exalata [Section 150] is a picture of pink flowers.

In this section of cultivars, Crowea exalata `Austraflora Green Cape' [Section 87] has fine pink star flowers on a small, rounded shrub and Crowea `Pink Blush' [Section 87] is spectacular with large, white flowers with a trace of pink, on a much taller shrub. Around the corner, Callistemon `Reeve's Pink' [Section 87] is a large shrub with eye-catching pink bottlebrushes.

Back along the road, not to be missed, Grevillea thelemanniana subsp. preissii [Section 75] is a low, spreading shrub with grey-green, divided leaves and lovely red pendent clusters of flowers falling over the rock wall.

Well worth the walk ...

Barbara Daly.

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