Simpson Shadehouse - Adelaide Botanic Gardens

Simpson Shadehouse - Adelaide Botanic Gardens

31 January 2014

Correa lawrenceana (red form)

Like most correas, Correa lawrenceana takes many forms and there are half a dozen or so recognised varieties.  Correa lawrenceana occurs mainly in Tasmania (where one form can grow to be a small tree) and Victoria.  This "red form" variety in the garden has reached 2 metres in height and is covered with these purple-red flowers that attract honeyeaters and the plant provides a great deal of dense shelter to protect them from predators.  Frankly the photo is flattering to the look of the flowers which are a little manky in reality but the birds don't care what they look like, just that the flowers are a desirable food source.  I'd suggest that this would be a good background bush to cover up an unsightly fence or to provide some privacy, particularly as a hedge.  This bush seems to be remarkably drought hardy and it can be grown from cuttings.

30 January 2014

Correa 'Tucker Time Dinner Bells'

It's very hot at present in South Australia with temperatures in the high thirties to low 40s but one pleasant surprise is that some correas have commenced flowering.  Correas are much loved by small birds whose beaks have evolved to be inserted in the long correa flowers - eastern spinebills in particular.  Besides Eastern Spinebills, I've noticed Silvereyes, New Holland honeyeaters, Grey wrens and Superb Fairy wrens enjoying the correa bushes.  This particular correa is a named and registered cultivar called Correa Tucker Time Dinner Bells.  It's a hybrid of Correa glabra x decumbens.  Decumbens is a prostrate correa so this cultivar must have taken on more of the flowering characteristics of that species and the bushy and shiny leaf characteristics of Correa glabra.  It's a very hardy correa which seems to have low water requirements and is quite showy even without flowers because of its shiny leaves.  It can grow to about 1.5 metres but it can be trimmed back and a group of them would form a very attractive native hedge which would be a real honey-eater magnet!  It can be grown from cuttings.

25 January 2014

Achillea millefolium (yarrow)

There are many colourful yarrows available and this one has flowers that start off looking yellow then progress through shades of pink to be finally bright pink.  And yarrow always has such ferny foliage that's soft to touch.  It's quite drought hardy and grows in full sun to dappled shade.  It will grow in heavy shade but doesn't flower very profusely.

21 January 2014

Snow in summer

Bursaria spinosa is a native shrub that flowers in summertime, hence the common name "Snow in Summer".  It's easy to grow, drought hardy, gives a better display of flowers if it's pruned back in winter and bees and birds love the flowers.  Every home should have one.  This is one growing in Blackwood Forest Recreation Park so it hasn't been pruned but the floral display is still spectacular.

09 January 2014

Satsuma plum

Satsuma plums (these are nearly ripe) are probably the most delicious of the Japanese varieties. The local possums, rats and birds agree so we have to net the tree so we get to enjoy the fruit!

08 January 2014

Wood or Wild Strawberry

Happy New Year!  This wild or wood strawberry came up under a peach tree.  The flowers are bright yellow and the fruit bright red but tasteless (although, apparently, edible!).  Wild strawberry is sometimes considered to be a species of Potentilla but botanical research in 2002 showed that Potentilla shares the same DNA with Fragaria ("real" strawberries) so they are all Fragarias.  Anyway, this one has formed a pleasant ground cover under the peach tree.  Like the named varieties of strawberries, it spreads by runners but these are easy to control.  This one grows in semi-shade.