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'.

29 August 1997

Spring is almost here and our lovely city is already glowing with the golden wattles. In the Gardens, many wattles are still in bud while some are bursting into flower. Others are already ablaze of golden glory, some of which will be included, as well as other flowers, on this walk.

Firstly, in the pots outside the Visitor Centre door, see the brilliant red flower-heads of Grevillea brachystylis. In another pot, a small plant, Lechenaultia formosa bears bright orange flowers.

Outside the main gates Acacia flexifolia bears, in profusion, pale yellow globular flower head on small, dense shrubs. Draped over the retaining walls in the carpark, Acacia cultriformis `Austraflora Cascade' [Section 226] and Acacia baileyana [Section 226] both prostrate plants, are showing the first of their golden flowers. At the bus stop, Acacia phasmoides [Section 174] is of medium size with open branches bearing narrow, sickle-shaped phyllodes (modified leaves) and yellow rod-shaped flowers. Acacia kybeanensis [Section 182] Kybean Wattle, has fluffy yellow flower-balls in clusters among the grey-green foliage. Queensland Silver Wattle, Acacia podalyriifolia [Section 126, 119] is a tall shrub with grey-green foliage ablaze with golden yellow, fluffy flower balls. Grevillea `Scarlet Sprite' [Section 119] is a small plant with cheery red spider-like flowers mingling with the fine foliage.

The next area of acacias is above the Rockery. Continue to notice the range of foliage shapes and the varying shades and arrangements of flowers. Acacia baileyana [Section 2], Cootamundra Wattle, is a medium spreading tree just glowing with a dense coverage of perfumed golden yellow flower-heads which almost conceal its attractive blue-green feathery foliage. Acacia baileyana `Purpurea' [Section 3] is another eye-catcher for its lovely arching golden covered branches are tipped with purple coloured leaves. Acacia boormanii [Section 3,2] Snowy River Wattle, is of medium size with fine foliage mixed with soft yellow, well perfumed flowers.

Banksia spinulosa var. spinulosa [Section 37] is a dense, medium sized shrub showing tall, cylindrical deep gold flower-spikes which are ribbed with dark styles. Banksia plagiocarpa [Section 37] is an open shrub with small, unique coloured mauve-grey flower-spikes. Above the stairs, the green flowering Banksia oblongifolia [Section 37c] can be seen, beside which is Grevillea floribunda [Section 37c] with lovely dangling rust coloured spider-like flowers. Another area of acacias is indicated on the map but before continuing, sit awhile and enjoy the bird life ... colourful Crimson Rosellas, Eastern Spinebills, the raucous Red Wattlebirds and others, too.

Barbara Daly.

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