Australian National Botanic Gardens
A weekly news sheet prepared by a Gardens' volunteer.
Numbers in square brackets [ ] refer to garden bed Sections. Plants in flower are in bold type.
9 January 2009
New Year’s greetings to all. The Gardens continue to have an abundance of lovely native plants regardless of hot days. This walk will cover a few of those flowering along Banks Walk and then continue along the far side of the Sydney Basin and finish in the Display Glasshouse.
The Smooth-barked Apple trees, Angophora costata [Section 168,169 in the car park], although still small, are crowned with large clusters of white fluffy flowers. They are shedding their pink-toned bark and baring their cream-streaked trunks…( Seen again in the Sydney Basin.) In front of the Information Centre, in a pot, Grevillea leptobotrys is a trailing plant with wiry branches and leaves colourful with pretty pink terminal floral displays. Beside is Rhododendron lochiae with fresh shiny leaves and now revealing its red trumpet flowers. Sturt’s Desert Pea, Swainsona formosa, in large pots along Banks Walk, trails its stems clad with those large dark-centred red pea-shaped flowers. Small plants like Hibbertia vestita [Section 174] are bright with their open yellow flowers and Goodenia macmillanii [Section 210] shows its pink flowers on long stems above the rocks edging the left path. Kangaroo Paws with flowers on top of long bare stems include Anigozanthos ‘Bush Ruby’ [Section 210], Anigozanthos ‘Bush Glow’[Section 210] with yellow tonings and Anigozanthos ‘Bush Sunset’ [Section 210] with dusky red tonings. Kangaroo paws can be seen throughout the gardens. Pelargonium rodneyanum [Section 174] is a low plant with trailing stems of magenta-coloured flowers seen edging the path.
Follow the Main Path past the buildings. A garden of daisies is yellow mainly with Chrysocephalum apiculatum [Section 303], low growing plants with button-sized yellow flower heads. The view across the road of kangaroo paws including Anigozanthos flavidus [Sections 7, 8] with its matt green flowers, is so colourful. Leaning towards the path Grevillea treueriana [Section 30] is small and splendid with sharp divided leaves and conspicuous toothbrush-like red flowers. Almost opposite is a patch of Scaevola albida [Section 30], suckering plants with upright stems and pink fan-shaped flowers.
Across the next road Banksia caleyi [Section 24] is a low shrub with foliage almost concealing the large down-turned maroon flower spikes. Wander along the path through the coolness of the green shrubs on the far side of the Sydney Basin where fronds of the Soft Tree-fern, Dicksonia antarctica, cover the stream. Old Man Banksia, Banksia serrata [Section 191j,k], is a tall shrub with interesting rough bark covering its trunk and clad with many cylindrical grey-green flower spikes. Crowea exalata [Section 191j,k] is a dense spreading shrub with a profusion of pink star-like flowers, almost mixing with the River Rose, Bauera rubioides [Section 191j,k] which is a shrub of similar size with down-turned softer pink flowers. Opposite, Epacris longiflora [Section 191f] is a wiry plant bearing slim tubular red flowers with white mouth.
Follow signs to the Display Glasshouse. Near the entrance is a group of Moth Orchids, Phalaenopsissp. They have thick glossy leaves and large cream flowers with mottled red splashes of differing designs. Further on you will see Dendrobiums with flowers close to the roof, a bright yellow one clinging to a pole, while Tree fern Cyathea sp. radiates its fronds about a mustard coloured cone. Cat’s Whiskers, Orthosiphon aristatus is an open perennial with terminal spikes of white flowers with long curved stamens. Returning from the glasshouse, turn right to view a NSW Christmas Bush, Ceratopetalum gummiferum [Section 191t] which is now changing from its small white flowers and gaining its renowned reddened calyces.
Great walking for a hot summers day… Barbara Daly.