a taste of the Australian National Botanic Gardens


Australian National Botanic Gardens has an enormous collection of Australian indigenous plants, and it plays a leading role in research, education and conservation. Australian plants come from a wide range of climatic conditions, so when necessary the soil in the Gardens is adapted, and varied micro climates created to suit their differing needs.


This is the place to go to see unusual native plants, including species under threat of extinction. Here are just a few of the treasures I saw a few weeks ago, on a cold sunny day in July.

This Acacia, o'shanesii species,  is new to me. It grows naturally in tropical areas and will be familiar  to gardeners and bush lovers in New South Wales and Queensland.

Acacia o'shanesii

Canberra's climate is cold and dry, unsuited to growing ferns. So rainforest plants were planted inside a gully and nature's inadequate rainfall was supplemented with a fine misty watering system.


the rainforest gully

Grass trees are found only in Australia. Very slow growing, they are not as common in the wild as they once were. Fortunately, they respond to cultivation and are currently fashionable in contemporary garden design. Flowers are borne on a long spike. The one below has finished flowering. 

Grass trees had many uses in traditional Aboriginal society. People collected nectar from the tall flowering spikes. Young leaves and roots were eaten, tough leaves used as knives and a sticky resin at the base of the leaves was used as adhesive.

Xanthorrhoea glauca subsp. angustifolia

Eucalyptus saligna, or Blue Gum, is a tall fast growing hardwood tree used in the timber industry. It is found mainly on the east coast of Australia, but has been planted in Western Australia for the sawmill industry.

E. saligna

Grevilleas have unusual cheerful spidery flowers. I love them. They are a large genus consisting of about 360 species of evergreen flowering plants that vary greatly in shape and size. Many are easy to grow and are popular garden specimens. I have several in my garden.

This species, G. leptobotrys, a low, spreading, prostrate shrub, grows in woodland in the south west of Western Australia and is classified as a threatened species. Despite its attractiveness, it has not been successful in the horticultural trade because it is fussy and has not survived well in gardens.

G. leptobotrys

Prostanthera are known as mint bushes because of their aromatic foliage. They are related to herbs such as lavender, mint, rosemary, oregano and sage. They comprise about 90 different species, and are all endemic to Australia. Here is a particularly pretty species, P. teretifolia, that I had not encountered before.

P. teretifolia

Comments

  1. What a beautiful walk through the gardens. Such incredible plants....our climate is quite similiar in that most to all ferns will not grow here. But I do love that acacia....and thanks for the little history there about the aborigines....interesting stuff. Thanks for sharing.

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  2. Lovely to see your super plants, some families we know here as house plants, some can be grown outside if the conditions are just right, they never have been when I have tried! I love visiting Botanical Gardens wherever we are visiting, so educational and not just for children but us adults too! Thanks for sharing your visit with us.

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  3. Exotic! I'd like to visit Australia some day!

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    1. If you're a nature lover it's a wonderful place to visit. I've never been to Scandinavia, and feel the same way.

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  4. Really nice walk! Thanks for taking us along! Grevilleas looks interesting. Grasses has become fairly popular in gardens. LT

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  5. It is a great resource.
    Nice "review" of some spring flowers.
    There is always something in flower, in the ANBG.
    Denis

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  6. That acacia looks the pair in our neighbour's garden. Currently covered in flowers and reverberating with happy insects.

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    1. Your climate is not tropical, so I wonder if it another similar looking acacia? There are so many different species, hundreds, many very different, but some quite similar.

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  7. I love gardens like this...and the Eucalyptus saligna is a gorgeous tree....so many lovely flowering bushes and plants I am not familiar with.

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  8. Looks like a beautiful place - and what gorgeous photos from the rainforest gully.

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  9. I do like the National Botanic Gardens. It's the first place I ever saw Hardenbergia violacea growing, long before it became a popular garden plant. They grew it as a groundcover rather than a climber, and it looked wonderful in flower. We nearly always see Water Dragons there too, which is special.

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    1. I didn't see any water dragons there, but last time I saw some across the road at the university college where my son and daughter in law are living. Every time I visit them I also visit ANBG.

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  10. Our climates are so different that I always learn about plants that are new to me when I visit your blog. LOVE the rainforest gully!

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  11. Hi Tammy, inside the gully it is like another world, dark, secretive, shadowy and very cold. Probably my favourite place in the gardens.

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