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8 Oct 2021

Spring is Blooming throughout the Garden

Flowers are blooming in all corners of the Garden. Enjoy feature gardens and individual garden treasures on this months tour. 

Tree Waratah - Alloxylon flammeum

Alloxylon is a genus of four species in the family Proteaceae, three of which are native to eastern Australia and one is native to New Guinea. Alloxylon flammeum is only found in the rainforests of the Atherton Tablelands of Northern Queensland where it is a canopy tree, reaching up to 35 metres. Like the true waratahs (Telopea) all four Alloxylon species have showy red to orange terminal flowers that are pollinated by birds attracted to their colour and the nectar reward.

The Palm Grove

In 1828 this area was known as the experimental garden and used for trial plantings of newly discovered Australian rainforest trees and the first grape vines introduced to the colony. The rainforest trees produced a microclimate for the palms first planted here in 1862. Now the collection of palms has grown to over 300 species, with rare species from Madagascar and New Caledonia, along with Australian palms such as the Fan, Bangalow and Cabbage tree palms. Shade is still provided by trees originally planted in 1828.

Stream Lily - Helmholtzia glaberrima

Native to Australia with a very restricted distribution, this large lily grows along rocky streams
and steep rainforest gullies in the remnants of the Mt Warning volcano in north-eastern New South Wales and south-eastern Queensland. It is well designed for its wet habitat with a large underground rhizome and dense fibrous roots that secure it during floods. The strap-like leaves
reach 2 metres long, and in spring large flower spikes are covered in hundreds of small white flowers.

Maiden's Blush - Sloanea australis

This rainforest tree is endemic to the east coast of Australia from Bateman’s Bay to Cape Tribulation. It is widespread in sheltered creeks and gullies and can grow to 30 metres, but the trunk is often crooked, buttressed and irregular. The common name refers to the colour of the heartwood, which is pinkish, said to resemble a maiden’s blush. The name could also refer to the pinkish red new foliage. Creamy white flowers appear in Spring followed by woody fruit that is eaten by rainforest birds.

Leucospermum 'Carnival Orange'

Leucospermum is derived from Greek and means ’white seed’. It is a clue to the mutualistic relationship these plants have with ants in South Africa. The seed is coated with a white substance (elaiosome), rich in protein and lipids and very attractive to ants who take the seeds underground to feed on the elaiosome. Regular fires in the plants’ habitat, can completely destroy the plants but the seed is protected underground and able to germinate after fire.

Everlasting Daisy - Rhodanthe chlorocephala subsp. rosea

This everlasting daisy is native to the semi-arid south of Western Australia where it grows on sandy soils. The papery, terminal flower heads range in colour from white to crimson with a yellow or black centre and are a magnet for pollinating bees. Flowers open fully in sunshine and close during overcast, wet conditions and at night. There are few more glorious sights than a swathe of Everlasting Daisies swaying in the breeze under the spring sunshine.

Wild Meadow

Californian Poppies, Coreopsis, and Snapdragons are the first flowers to bloom in our Wild Meadow. Hundreds of varieties of flowers emerge from seed mixes designed to match the micro climates within the meadow and to attract pollinators including butterflies and bees. Each season after flowering staff cut down the flowers, many of which flower in the following season. Watch out for Poppies, recently sown, flowering later in Spring.

Australian Rockery

This large rockery created for the Sydney 2000 Olympics highlights the diversity and striking flowers of Australia’s native flora. Spring is a great time to visit and explore the variety of form and flowers of Grevilleas. The unique plants of Western Australia feature in this rockery. Walk through to discover Kangaroo Paws, the feathery flowers of Verticordia, striking large flowered Darwinias, the silver leaved Emu Bush (Eremophila nivea) and the lovely purple Hibiscus-like flowers of Alyogyne ‘Blue Healer’.

Our Must See self-guided tours are curated and led by a team of passionate volunteers. Learn more about our diverse volunteer programs here

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