Sunday, 23 November 2014

Ferny times in the ANBG

Frances is becoming particularly interested in ferns,  So we took ourselves off to the Australian National Botanic Gardens to see what they had to show us about the topic.  The answer was "quite a lot" which rather surprised us, but emphasises the credo "Seek and ye shall find".

The first three shots are of massed displays, beginning with the bed on the RHS of the entrance to the Visitors Centre and Bookshop.  (We did check the bookshop but they didn't have a book on ferns (Frances) or spiders (Martin) that was interesting enough to cause my wallet to open.)
There is also a matching display on the RHS, but my photo didn't look interesting enough to wear out your download limits.

The second display was in the excellent bowels of the Rainforest Gully.  The most obvious features here are the masses of tree ferns (Dicksonia antarctica).
The third 'display' was in the Dusplay Glasshouse near the top of the Gardens.  Most of the ferns (and other plants in here are of a tropical persuasion and thus unlikely to enjoy either the cold of  a Canberra Winter or the dryness of a Canberra Summer.
A large Asplenium australicum
A smaller version of same.
Platycerium bifurcatum: this was in an 'almost display' area outside the Visitors Centre mixed in with a lot of Rock Orchids (Thelychiton speciosus) and sundry other ferns.
Polystichum proliferum
Blechnum cartilagineum
Microsorium diversifolium
Pteris umbrosa
Cyathea australia: a 'hard' tree fern with the trunk pretty much covered with frond bases (and a rather flat profile for the fronds).
Dicksinia antarctica: a softer more fibrous 'trunk' and a convex profile for the fronds.
Angiopteris evecta: apparently this is the largest fern known.
The next image is of a fern ally, in this case a club moss Huperzia squarrosa.
Let us have a brief foray into flowering plants and two species of Doryanthes were in magnificent flower in the gardens.  This first is D. palmeri the spear lily.   A full plant ....
... and a close up.
Then we have D. excelsa, the Gymea Lily.  This cluster of flower heads were particularly lurid.
But this one in the Sydney Gully was in slightly better condition.
The Red Centre Garden was well endowed with flowers, which made it much more appealing than when only the redness is visible!
A more detailed review of the Red Centre Garden over the past year is offered in Ian Fraser's excellent post.

There were many signs around announcing the presence of snakes, but we didn't see one.  We did see this nice, and very colourful, example of an Eastern Water Dragon resting in the waterfall below the Rock Garden.
And to prove its Canberra here is a Gang-gang busily tidying up its feathers.

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