Australian National Botanic Gardens
A weekly news sheet prepared by a Gardens' volunteer.
Numbers in square brackets  refer to garden bed Sections. Plants in flower are in bold type.
10 February 2006
Eucalyptus ficifolia - click for larger image
Notice when leaving, outside the gates there are waratahs, Telopea ‘Doug’s Hybrid’ in flower. The lovely ‘out of season’ red flowers are seen on long upright stems. Outside the Information Centre doors a potted wattle, Acacia mollifolia is a small slim tree with much divided leaves and yellow fluffy flower balls. To see the NSW Christmas Bush, Ceratopetalum gummiferum [Section 142] so colourful, the small trees line the path leading to the Tasmanian section below the car park. The lovely reddened calyces, which followed the tiny white flowers, can be seen crowning these trees. From Banks Walk Eucalyptus ficifolia [Section 210] is small and red with soft fluffy flowers.
Taking the road edging the far side of the Rainforest Gully, see colourful Hibiscus heterophyllus subsp. heterophyllus [Sections 114-104] with large white flowers with red splashes. The yellow flowered Hibiscus divaricatus [Section 114] and the brilliant red flowered Hibiscus splendens [Section 104] with large hairy leaves are all to be admired. Over the road and near the main path crossing, a Lemon Ironwood, Backhousia citriodora [Section 78] stands tall and is crowned with large white flower clusters. At the top curve a bottlebrush, Callistemon sp. bears its bright red flowers atop the shrub while below Lythrum salicaria [Section 78] is a tall perennial with bright pink-purple flower spikes.
Backhousia citriodora - click for larger image
The corner of the opposite triangular section is a blaze of colour of kangaroo paws which include Anigozanthos ‘Bush Dawn’ [Section 17] with ‘paw’ flowers of green-lemon tonings, Anigozanthos ‘Bush Noon’ [Section 17] with deeper tonings and Anigozanthos ‘Bush Ruby’ [Section 17]. All are on long bending stems. Behind, a Geraldton Wax, Chamelaucium ‘Cascade Brook’ [Section 17] bears pink waxy open flowers. The opposite corner displays a dense grouping of Crowea ‘Festival’ [Section 123] with many pink star like flowers. Eucryphia wilkiei [Section 123] has cup shaped white flowers scattered over this rounded shrub.
Opposite, Commersonia fraseri [Section 140] is a tall shrub with soft velvety leaves and open clusters of small white flowers. A Teatree, Leptospermum amboinense [Section 140] has arching branches well covered with white flowers. The large trees are wattles, Acacia melanoxylon [Section 140] well covered with cream fluffy flower balls. Return to the entrance to the Rainforest Gully taking the right branch to the bridge. On the far side a Northern Brush Mahogany, Geissois biagiana [Section 159] is a neat upright small tree with large shiny leaves and prominent upper new growth shaded red. Flowers coloured cream cover upright spikes seen at the terminals of lateral branches. Take the stairs to admire Rhododendron sp. [Section 159], such colourful trumpet-like flowers of varying shades of red. Edging the upper road a shrub with yellow flowers can be seen.
Returning, the Dorrigo Waratah, Alloxylon pinnatum [Section 148] still bears its eye-catching red flowers which crown the small tree. Take the stairs to the path edging the stream to view the large Stream Lilies, Helmholtzia glaberrima [Section 144] with spikes of cream plumes surrounded by large strappy leaves.Such a mix of flowers … Barbara Daly.