Sunday, August 11, 2019

Gum Trees - Corymbia Ficifolia

What’s trending this season? Eucalyptus… from leafy garlands, to lush wreaths and verdant displays this fabulous foliage is showing up everywhere! However, did you know that some varieties of eucalyptus produce a profusion of bright flower clusters during the summer? These flowers are not typical flowers though, as these showy blooms are made up mostly of anthers and styles, rather than petals. And in species like, Corymbia ficifolia, the buds appear in masses on a single stem that develops on the axil of the leaves. These nectar-rich flowers can be found in hues of white, yellow, cream, red, pink, salmon, orange or even bi-colors and the stamens are held in small cup-like bases.

The best part? While they look amazing outside high up in the trees, once harvested, these bright, colorful branches look beautiful mixed with other flowers or simply displayed on their own.

Corymbia ficifolia Baby Orange

Baby Orange is loved for its bright orange flowers and compact form. The new leaves appear bronze-red then turn green providing a lovely contrast of color when flowers appear in July and August.

Corymbia ficifolia Wild Sunset

Wild Sunset has beautiful dense foliage with a wealth of bright red flowers delivering an amazing display.

Corymbia ficifolia Fairy Floss

Prefer a softer color palette? Fairy Floss is for you. Stunning, pink flowers decorate the branches.

Corymbia ficifolia Snowflake

If dark green foliage and stunning, white blooms are your thing, then Snowflake is ideal.

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

The Mighty Banksia

We absolutely adore the mighty Banksia! Strong, resilient and bold, this bristly protea is far from a delicate flower, yet when it blooms, its vibrancy and textures are unrivaled. From long, distinctive cylinder-like flowers to petite round blooms, there’s over 175 species (including Dryandra) to choose from. And unlike many of the Australian Proteaceae, the main flush of Banksia come not in spring but in summer and autumn. Here are a few of our favorites:

Victoriae or also called Woolly Orange. A lovely acorn shaped bloom when its fully developed, this Banksia starts as an intriguing woolly, greyish-white bud and becomes a brilliant orange as the styles open out. These styles form an inflorescence that’s made up of hundreds of tiny flowers that open from the base, giving them a fluffy appearance. Victoriae blooms range in size from 6 to 10" in length and 5" in diameter and have fabulous serrated foliage on long rigid stems.

Baxteri is also referred to as Bird’s-Nest Banksia, Baxter’s Banksia or in Hawaii, where it is fittingly known as ‘Summer Lime’. This Banksia’s squat, lime-green buds fully open to form globe-shaped flowers on long stems surrounded by unique, deeply serrated foliage.

Sceptrum, commonly known as the sceptre banksia or ‘Popcorn Banksia’ because of its freshly popped popcorn with rich creamy butter aroma. This is one of the most striking yellow-flowered banksias of all, especially when its tall bright yellow spikes are beautifully displayed.

Burdettii is also called Golden Acorn or Golden Banksia. This Banksia develops from a silvery-grey bud into a beautiful orange acorn shaped flower. Blooms typically range in size from 4 to 6" in length and 4" in diameter and it makes a wonderful cut flower, both fresh and dried.