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'.

20 February 1998

Because the NSW Christmas Bushes, Ceratopetalum gummiferum, are so attractive this walk will take you to the Sydney Region Flora where a bank of these plants glow. Notice, too that callistemons with fiery red bottlebrushes are having a second seasonal flowering.

Callistemon viminalis [Section 143], at the end of the Cafe building, is tall and willowy with brilliant red flowers, a source of nectar for the yellow and black New Holland Honeyeaters, overhanging the path. Callistemon brachyandrus [Section 10] has small orange-red flowers which are well covered with yellow antlers while Callistemon citrinus [Sections 9,10] has bright crimson flowers in profusion over a large shrub. Grevillea acanthifolia [Section 30] is low and spreading, with prickly divided leaves and soft pink toothbrush-like flowers. Correa `Dusky Bells' [Section 30], also low and dense, continuously bears pink tubular flowers. Helichrysum rudidolepis [Section 29] is a sea of gold with upright flowerheads on a low-growing, suckering herb.

Grevillea `Boongala Spinebill' [Section 27] is a low, spreading shrub with long, toothed foliage and long, deep red toothbrush-like flowers. Grevillea lanigera [Section 27] is a dense groundcover with soft, furry foliage dotted with cream and pink flowers. Across the path, another groundcover dotted with yellow spider flowers is Grevillea juniperina [Section 28]. Banksia integrifolia subsp. monticola [Section 28] is tall with dull green foliage brightened with bright yellow flower spikes. Beside the seat Banksia aemula [Section 27] is a large shrub with toothed, leathery leaves among which are the first few of its showy, lime-coloured flower spikes.

Time now to enter the Sydney Region Flora where the large fronds of tree ferns, Dicksonia antarctica [ Section 191] and the sword-like leaves of the Gymea Lily, Doryanthes excelsa [Section 191] conceal the stream ... so cool, so picturesque. Along the narrow path on the far side of the stream Banksia spinulosa var. spinulosa [Section 191], of medium size with gold flower spikes, and Persoonia pinifolia [Section 191], with weeping foliage terminating in yellow flower clusters, are growing. Ceratopetalum gummiferum `White Christmas' [Section 191] is quite showy with its covering of waxy, cream calyces which resemble flowers. The dainty, open shrub Baeckea linifolia [Section 191] is crowded with petite, white flowers. Then, continuing across the road, is the NSW Christmas Bush, Ceratopetalum gummiferum [Section 191] glowing with its eyecatching reddened waxy calyces...

Definitely worth the walk ... Barbara Daly.

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