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31 Oct 2022

Hardy flowers defy the Spring rains and bring joy to the November garden

Enjoy our featured plants and don't forget to also visit our Palace Rose Garden to enjoy the first flush of flowers for the season. 

Wild flower Meadow Garden

Thanks to our very talented team of horticulturists, the wildflower meadow is now blooming despite the unusually wet and cooler weather this spring. There is an amazing display of colourful flowers that attract an abundance of pollinating insects such as bees and butterflies, plus other beneficial bugs such as lady beetles. Cosmos, Marigolds, Gaillardias and Zinnias are on display, all representatives of the Asteraceae family, the largest flowering family in the world. 

Dorrigo Waratah - Alloxylon pinnatum

The Dorrigo Waratah is one of four species of Alloxylon, three of which are endemic to Australia and one from New Guinea. It has a restricted distribution, occurring in rainforest on the Dorrigo Plateau of NSW and the Macpherson ranges that straddle the NSW and Queensland border. Like its close relative the Tree Waratah (Alloxylon flammeum) from northern Queensland, it has spectacular red flowers that resemble the red flowers of the Waratah (Telopea species). Family: Proteaceae

Lesser Swamp Orchid - Phaius australis

This is Australia’s tallest terrestrial orchid and grows along the east coast of Australia from tropical north Queensland to the mid north coast of NSW. Populations are highly fragmented, and many small populations have low genetic diversity. They are listed as endangered; the major threats are human development and poaching. The flowering stem can reach up to 2 m high and bear over 20 flowers, making a magnificent display. Family: Orchidaceae

Weeping Boerboon - Schotia brachypetala

This semi-deciduous tree is native to South Africa, Mozambique and Zimbabwe where it grows in dry warm areas away from the coast. Red flowers open in spring to early summer and attract nectar feeding birds. Each flower produces so much nectar that it often overflows and drips to the ground or ferments in the flowers. The fermented nectar has a mild narcotic effect on the birds which might make them look as if they are a little drunk. Family: Fabaceae

Heliconia angusta 'Red Christmas'

Native to Brazil this Heliconia is grown for its striking flowers. It is a perennial plant with reed-like stems and banana-like leaves from the understorey of tropical rainforests. The flowers are small and white but are nestled amongst the upright bright red bracts which will survive long after the white flowers have faded. The flowers produce nectar which attracts pollinators; the most common in their native habitat are hummingbirds. Family: Heliconiaceae

Bromeliad Gardens

The pineapple family (Bromeliaceae) contains over 3500 species mostly from the tropical Americas. Unlike the pineapple that grows in the ground, many are epiphytes growing on trees. Sample the spectacular diversity of this family in two garden beds near the Palm House. Guzmanias and Vrieseas are flowering now with their colourful flower spikes emerging above the strappy leaves that form tanks capturing water. Flowers can last for months, after which plants die but not before producing offsets or "pups" that continue to grow after the flowering rosette dies.

Erythrina x bidwillii 'Blakei'

This Erythina hybrid was bred by William Macarthur at Camden Park in the 1840s. It is a cross between Erythrina crist-galli, the Cockspur Coral Tree from South America, and Erythrina herbacea or the Coral Bean from south eastern USA and north eastern Mexico. It has the spectacular red flowers typical of coral trees, but it is sterile so does not produce any seeds. The name honours both the former director of this Garden, John Carne Bidwill and Macarthur’s convict gardener, Edmund Blake. Family: Fabaceae

Blue Jacaranda - Jacaranda mimosifolia

Forty nine species of Jacaranda occur in South America but this species, first described scientifically in 1822 has become one of the world's most popular ornamental trees. It has been extensively planted in Australia since it was first introduced to Sydney by nursery man Thomas Shephard at his Chippendale nursery in the early 1850s. Old specimes are planted around Sydney Harbour and the "purple haze" they create is best enjoyed from the water on a ferry or boat. Family: Bignoniaceae

Learn more 

Why not join a Guided Walk of the Garden with one of our knowledgeable Volunteer Guides, daily at 10:30 am and Saturday and Sunday 2 pm. Find out more here

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