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'.

13 February 1998

Admire the attractive tussocky grass, Pennisetum alopecuroides [Section 168] in the carpark. With arching leaves, this ornamental grass has feathery, mauve flower heads on long stems ... an admirable plant for any garden or pot. Because of the cooler weather, this walk will meander up near the Nursery where there is always another flower to see. Along the boardwalk through the Rainforest Gully, the branches of the Plumwood, Eucryphia moorei [Section 148], overhang the path. This medium size tree is resplendent with open, white flowers amid the dense, dark, divided leaves. Halfway down the stairs, the Dorrigo Waratah, Alloxylon pinnatum [Section 148] still flowers. Its open, red flowers, although difficult to see, are at the top of the small tree. Along the stream Helmholtzia glaberrima [Section 144,145], a flax-like plant, displays its pink, plume-like flower heads on long, upright stems, surrounded by long, wide leaves. Out into the sunshine compare Callistemon montanus [Section 124] with squat, red bottlebrush flowers highlighting a small, open shrub, with Callistemon `Glasshouse Gem' [Section 10] of similar habit, exhibiting champagne-pink bottlebrushes.

In the colourful Rock Garden, see the Darling Lily, Crinum flaccidum [Section 15C, 15B] with a collection of large, white flowers on top of long stems, surrounded by long, limp leaves. The spectacular Christmas Bell, Blandfordia nobilis [Section 15D] bears its red, with yellow mouth, tubular flowers and the Garland Lily, Calostemma purpureum [Section 15B] displays many heads of wine-red, tubular flowers on erect stems.

Along a section of road beside the nursery is a brilliant display of continuous mounds of Brachyscome multifida `Breakoday' [Section 34]. These low, compact mounds consist of soft, divided leaves brightened with lilac-blue, many petalled daisy, flowers. Surrounded by these plants is a small, spreading tree, Eucalyptus lansdowneana subsp. lansdowneana [Section 34] which displays few of its brilliant red flower clusters. Walk the loop in the Arid Section (complete with red soil) to view the emu bush, Eremophila bignoniiflora x polyclada [Section 100] with a low, fine entanglement of foliage bearing lovely white bugle-shaped flowers, tinted pink with the throat spotted brown. See also Correa reflexa var. reflexa [Section 100] , a very small shrub endowed with attractive cream throated, orange-red tubular flowers.

Around the corner another worthwhile emu bush is Eremophila bowmanii var. latifolia [Section 97]. This plant has grey, almost white, velvety foliage highlighted with bold, blue flowers.

Great viewing ... all to the tune of many bird songs ....

Barbara Daly.

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