Sunday, 2 December 2012

The beauties out on the street

Well it has been a couple of weeks since I last photographed some of the beauties out in the the street.  And the last few weeks of spring have been quite fantastic. The trees have been spectacular from the jacaranda, Illawarra flame, Golden Elms, Robinia (although I would never want one in my garden, not with those suckering roots), Bauhinia, Angophora and the list goes on.

My favourite gum has got to be Angophora costata.  I love the way the greyish bark peels off to reveal the coral coloured trunk once a year (yes I know it's messy but the change is beautiful). And it's twisted limbs give it great shape and it flowers around the same time.  In the wild the tree grows over the top of huge sandstone boulders looking like they have melted, alas I have not got a photo of that.  It's a beauty tell me what you think.

Angophora costata (or Sydney red gum)  grow up to a height of 15-25m

The old bark peels off to highlight it's beautiful orangey new bark

The white flowers are on mass and bring feeds bees and birds for miles around

The capsules (seed holder) have distinct ribs which separate them from Eucalyptus sp.
While I was out bushwalking recently we came across another favourite that I have tried to grow but without any luck (perhaps I was too kind to it?). Actinotus helianthus or the flannel flower which is part of the Apiceae family (yes the carrot family). It grows on the sandstone heathland from Sydney up to Queensland in full sun.  All the stems, leaves and flowers are covered in downy grey hairs which help them reduce evaporation in such a hot environment.  A good friend of mine suggests they might make for good toilet paper if you were stuck as they really are felt like just like tissue, I think you might have to be a little desperate.

The number of flannel flowers tend to increase in spring after bushfires have been through

Not a great deal like the carrot family
Finally I was driving between clients and came across this beautiful example of Brachychiton acerifolis or Illawarra flame tree which I have to say must like drier conditions as they have been quite beautiful this season. Again they love the subtropical side of Australia and tend to drop all it's leaves before flowering around the same time as Jacaranda, Silky oaks (Grevillea robusta) and Calodendrum capense (cape chestnut from South Africa).  I actually have all 4 in my garden but I have to take the Grevillea out (Mr R is allergic to them and it is growing in a stupid place), the Illawarra flame refuses to be bothered to flower and the cape chestnut is just a baby.

The bouganvillea in the garden behind also amazing in colour
Anything flowering in your area that makes you squeal with delight?

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