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2 Jul 2021

Grevilleas and more light up winter at the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney

This month's tour features stunning flowers and iconic vistas. Download this Month's Must See Tour or use the tour tab on our Garden Explorer plant finder to find the plants in the Garden. 

Misty Plume Bush - Tetradenia riparia

A member of the mint family (Lamiaceae), native to southern and eastern Africa, the Misty Plume Bush is cultivated for the showy flower display it puts on during winter. The flowers are white to lilac in colour and are borne in spikes at the end of the branches. The flower display may differ depending on whether the plant is male or female. The male flower spikes create more of a misty effect, while the female spikes are more compact, but both are great in a winter garden.

Rose Silky Oak - Darlingia ferruginea

This striking member of the Banksia and Macadamia family (Proteaceae), is endemic to the Atherton and Evelyn tablelands of far north Queensland. It grows in rainforest between 650 – 1300 metres on basalt soils and can reach 30 metres in height. Leaves are large, deeply tri-lobed with a rusty under surface, covered in dark brown hairs. The tree produces a decorative timber with a grain reminiscent of oak. It is one of only two species in the genus, the other is Darlingia darlingiana, growing in our Australian Rainforest Garden.

Millenium Cherry - Prunus 'Yvonne Mathies'

We can’t promise they will flower for the whole month but while they are flowering these three small trees are a beacon for photographers and bees. This variety was bred at the University of Western Sydney, by Graeme Richards to create a reliable warm climate flowering cherry. It is a hybrid between the Wild Cherry, Prunus avium and the Taiwanese Cherry, Prunus campanulata. It was named for the mother of fellow academic, garden historian and nursery owner, Judyth McLeod.

Coffee - Coffea arabica

Coffea arabica accounts for about 60% of the world’s coffee production. Brought to Australia from Rio de Janeiro by the First Fleet, it can also be seen growing in our First Farm display. It grows into a large shrub and produces small white flowers that only last for a few days but smell like Jasmine. The berries appear as dark green and change colour to dark red when they are ready for harvest. They grow well in coastal Sydney and set fruit that can be harvested to create your own home-grown brew.

Tree Aloe - Aloidendron barberae

This is Southern Africa’s largest tree Aloe and it is grown for its impressive size and shape, rather than its flowers. This succulent is fast growing and gets to about 3m before dividing into two branches. As it matures it divides more frequently and forms a half dome like head supported by many short thick branches. The trunks widen each year but the leaves shrink in size so the leaves of mature trees are about half the size of those on young trees.

Aloe 'Eager Beaver' - Aloe Hybrid

Aloes are succulent plants from Southern Africa, Madagascar, Jordan and the Arabian Peninsula. There are over 500 species, and they hybridise easily. On the Greenway Terrace, discover a range of hybrids bred in South Africa for spectacular flowering, drought tolerance and bird attraction. Enjoy their bright red, orange and yellow tubular flowers en masse. Visit our Succulent Garden to learn more and explore the diversity of our Aloe collection.

Grevillea hybirds and cultivars

Stabilising this steep bank next to our Australian rockery is a collection of Grevilleas. There are over 350 species, most endemic to Australia, with a small number from islands to the north. They have brightly coloured, petalless flowers, comprising male (filament and anthers) and female (style and stigma) parts, bundled together in a tube (perianth). This splits open revealing elongated styles, accounting for their common name of Spider Flowers. They can be trees, shrubs or groundcovers and they hybridise easily in cultivation, leading to a great diversity of hybrids and cultivars.

G/y/omea (Dharawal), Gymea Lily - Doryanthes excelsa

This is one of the most striking of Australia’s more than 20,000 species of plants. A spear-like flower spike that can grow to 6 metres tall emerges from rosettes of large sword shaped leaves. At the top of the spike are dense clusters of trumpet shaped bright red flowers, rich in bird-attracting nectar. It grows in the central coast bioregion of NSW including Sydney and is one of only two species in the genus. The other, Doryanthes palmeri occurs in northern NSW and both species only grow in Australia.

Learn more 

Join a Guided Walk of the Garden with one of our knowledgeable Volunteer Guides on Thursday, Friday, Saturday or Sunday. Find out more here (availability may be temporary unavailable at times due to COVID-19 restrictions).

Category: Horticulture
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