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'.

27 June 1997

This sunny, winters walk will be along the upper levels of the Gardens. So, after leaving the Rockery and the dazzling yellow straw daisies, Bracteantha bracteata [Section 15A], continue uphill where, on the left and just as dazzling, are the soft yellow flowers of the Queensland Silver Wattle, Acacia podalyriifolia [Section 122].

The area of banksias include Banksia spinulosa var. spinulosa [Section 37] which bear either upright golden flower spikes or golden flower spikes ribbed with dark styles. Banksia marginata [Section 37] is a large, rounded shrub with smaller, lemon flower spikes mingling with many old grey cones. Hakea coriacea [Section 37] is a tall shrub which displays its splendid pink poker-like flowers on the top of its elongated branches. Grevillea victoriae [Section 37] is a shrub of medium size with grey-green leaves and with rusty red flowers in pendulous clusters.

Walk by the She-oaks where Allocasuarina torulosa [Section 40] with deep, furrowed bark is clad with rust-coloured male flowers. Allocasuarina inophloia [Section 40] has fascinating rich brown fibrous bark resembling shaggy fur.

Continue, past the corner bed of colourful Bracteantha bracteata [Section 103] with daisies coloured pink, yellow and russet-red and find Pittosporum rhombifolium [Section 96], a small tree with glossy leaves highlighted with dense clusters of small orange fruits. Pittosporum revolutum [Section 96] a medium open shrub has dull, velvety leaves and larger ellipsoid shaped orange fruits, some of which are opening to display the red seeds. Another plant with attractive fruits is Acmena smithii [Section 84], Lillypilly. This medium size tree is densely covered with shiny dark green leaves and clusters of pink berries which are a delicacy for birds. Behind this tree is Melaleuca fulgens [Section 84] with dainty, short, orange-red bottlebrush-like flowers.

Returning to the sealed road, turn up the mossy green path. Hakea suaveolens [Section 75] is a very old tree with a collapsed trunk snaking along the ground and upright branches bearing small, white ovoid perfumed flowers which are finely dusted with pink. Hakea cristata [Section 75] is an erect, open shrub with holly-like leaves and small clusters of white lacey flowers along the branches. Hakea verrucosa [Section 75] is also old and malformed but it is a picture as it is covered with cherry pink flowers. Hakea bakeriana [Section 75] differs again for this rounded shrub seems to conceal its large, pink and cream flower clusters which grow on old wood. See the large size of the fruits. Nearby is Banksia ericifolia var. ericifolia [Section 75], a most attractive shrub with bright golden flower spikes.

Great walking ... so much more to see.

Barbara Daly.

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