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'.

28 August 1998

Spring is almost here and our lovely city is already glowing with golden wattles. In the Gardens, many wattles are still in bud while others are either bursting into flower or are already a blaze of golden glory. Acacia baileyana [Section 227], a prostrate plant, cascading over a retaining wall in the car park, is a sight to see. Acacia cultriformis `Austraflora Cascade' [Section 226] is similar and showing the first of its crowning glory. On the upper level, Acacia genistifolia [Section 225] is a low, spreading shrub with sharp, fine phyllodes (modified leaves) and large, cream flower balls. Beside is Hardenbergia violacea [Section 225 and elsewhere] a trailing plant, also falling over the retaining wall displaying its bright purple pea flowers ... really a harbinger of spring. Australia's Floral Emblem, Acacia pycnantha [Section 224], with curved green foliage is presenting the first of its perfumed flower-balls. A pot close to the doors of the Visitor Centre contains quite an odd looking, leafless wattle from W.A. It is Acacia aphylla [Section 221], and it is rare and endangered because of land clearance. The bright yellow flower-heads sit on the tips of this intricately branched plant.

Acacia kybeanensis [Section 182], Kybean Wattle, is a tall, rounded shrub bearing fluffy yellow flower-balls in clusters among the grey-green foliage and close by, the eye-catching Queensland Silver Wattle, Acacia podalyriifolia [Section 126, 119] as yet small, is covered with fluffy, golden flower-balls.

This area of wattles include Acacia elongata [Section 2], still a small, open shrub with long, narrow foliage brightened with golden flower-balls. Acacia boormanii [Section 3,2], Snowy River Wattle, with numerous trunks, bears soft, fluffy, flower heads and Acacia baileyana `Purpurea' [Section 3] is another eye-catcher for its lovely arching branches are tipped with purple tinted leaves as well as being coated with golden flowers.

Time, now to enjoy other flowering shrubs. Hakea purpurea [Section 20] is a spindly shrub radiant with scarlet, curvaceous flowers. Opposite the nursery, see Grevillea sericea [Section 44], a dense, small shrub bearing deep red spider flowers. Mirberlia speciosa [Section 44] is a small shrub with its many branches clad with bright purple pea-flowers. Close by, Hovea longifolia [Section 44] is less conspicuous, with smaller mauve coloured pea-flowers.

Returning, throughout the Rainforest Gully Acacia dealbata [Section 40], Silver Wattle, can be seen. It is an erect tree with silvery fishbone-like foliage and yellow flower-balls.

Flowers are just about bursting out all over ...

Barbara Daly.

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