Monday, September 24, 2012

Discovering the True “Gem” of Gembrook

Last week I visited Gembrook, a small country town situated in the picturesque hills of the Dandenong Ranges, in Melbourne, Australia’s outer east. While in Gembrook, I had the pleasure to tour Ausflora Pacific, a 100 acre cut flower plantation and nursery.

As I strolled through their prolific flower fields, I realized there was much, much more to the town’s name “Gembrook”.  Ausflora Pacific is known for their Telopea “Gembrook”, a spectacular and hardy crimson flower, and certainly a true floral “Gem”.

Telopea is one of the most spectacular of all Australian native flowering plants and is the floral emblem of New South Wales. The Aboriginal name for telopea is waratah, and it is by this name it is most commonly known. Some beautiful hybrid forms of the telopea have been developed in recent years, with their long-lasting flowers appearing from late winter into spring. These fabulous flowers can also be found in shades of pink, yellow and white.

As you can see telopea’s are currently blooming in Australia and Tasmania, with a very short season of three to six weeks.  In California, telopea season usually begins in February and runs through March.  So, enjoy some of these floral treasures - “Gems” soon, their season is fleeting!

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