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'.

22 May 1998

Canberra City is a blaze with the lovely autumn colours of exotic trees. The Botanic Gardens, however, has only native trees and very few of those lose their leaves in winter.

Along this walk in the Gardens the plants may be all shades of green reflecting the enormous variety of our native floral treasures. Hypocalymma longifolium, in a pot close to the Visitors Centre doors, is a dwarf shrub with fluffy cerise-shaded flowers crowded along its small branches. Crowea saligna [Section 174] could not be missed for this small shrub with waxy leaves is covered with bright pink starry flowers. Take time to discover the variety of flowering plants in this Display Garden.

Banksia spinulosa [Section 126], one of many banksia species now flowering, has upright, cylindrical, gold flower spikes ribbed with red styles. Around the corner, Correa pulchella `Pink Mist' [Section 119] is a delight, for this small, upright plant is charmed with many pendent, pink tubular flowers. Correa reflexa `Maroondah Tricolour' [Section 119] bears fewer tubular flowers of red, cream and green.

Towards the Rock Garden, Bursaria lasiophylla var. atriplicina [Section 4] is tall and slim, with a covering of tiny white flowers. In the Rock Garden, Epacris impressa [Section 15Q], Victoria's floral emblem, is really eye-catching for the upright branches are crowded with deep pink tubular flowers. Find, also, Eucalyptus lansdowniana subsp. lansdowniana [Section 15R] bearing dense clusters of scarlet flowers on a small tree.

Above this area, most wattles are developing buds for a showy spring. However Acacia saliciformis [Section 2], tall and pendulous, bears fluffy cream flower balls and Acacia fauntleroyi [Section 3] with a tall, bare trunk coated with reddish, peeling bark, is topped with branches covered with bright yellow flower balls.

Down amongst the hakeas, Hakea crassinervia [Section 2] has long, semi-prostrate branches bearing clusters of globular reddish-pink flowers with cream styles resembling pin-cushions. Hakea cycloptera [Section 24] is a small, shrub with tiny pink, curling flowers along the upright branches.

At the base of these red stringybarks, Eucalyptus macrorhyncha [Section 25] see the giant gumnuts carved by Stephen Rowley during the recent Sculpture Festival. Nearby Banksia ericifolia var. ericifolia [Section 25] bears rich gold flower spikes amid the many aged, grey spikes. In front, Grevillea victoriae [Section 25] has small, pendent clusters of rust red flowers. Other banksias in this area, include Banksia integrifolia var. compar [Section 27] with shiny leaves and cream, almost green, flower spikes. Finally, Banksia robur [Section 13] Swamp Banksia, beside a small stream, has large, leathery leaves and flower spikes coloured green when young, ageing to cream, then chocolate to grey.

Such colour ... such variety ...

Barbara Daly.

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