Thursday, April 23, 2015

Hibiscus rosa-sinensis 'Boondah'

 Hibiscus rosa-sinensis 'Boondah'
The name 'Boondah' is an Aboriginal word which refers to the native tree Angophora floribunda found in local bushland of the Sydney suburb of Warriewood where Hibiscus breeder Les Beers produced this classic pink Hibiscus many years ago. It is a hardy prolific variety growing to average height. A sport of it called 'White Wave' was introduced by David and Vicki Ponman and registered in 2002. It retains a slight blush pink in the centre of the bloom.
 Hibiscus rosa-sinensis 'White Wave'
The word 'Boondah' was used by Indigenous Health Services in their successful quit smoking campaign 'Butt out Boondah' and a terrific ad showing two young footy players talking about why they don't smoke was shown on TV earlier this year.

Brisbane residents may be familiar with the historic house 'Boondah' in the suburb of Rosalie. It was built in 1907 and designed by architect Richard Gailey who is remembered for the elegant Regatta Hotel in Toowong.
In 1915 Boondah hosted a fete raising money for the 'Wounded Soldiers' Fund' led by Lady Elsie Goold-Adams the wife of Queensland Governor Sir Hamilton Goold-Adams

Lady Elsie Goold-Adams

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Hibiscus in cooler weather

As the weather cools down Hibiscus flowers often change colour slightly and this 'Surfrider' is showing two tone orange/pink most noticable on the top petals which were probably exposed to more sun.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Paspalum dilatatum

 Paspalum dilatatum (Poaceae)
One of my treasured books is Pasture Legumes and Grasses which was published by The Bank of New South Wales in Sydney in June of 1961. It gives the botanical history of this South American native grass which was introduced into Australia in the 1890's by German Australian botanist Baron Sir Ferdinand Jacob Heinrich von Mueller (1825-1896). This "tough as" pasture grass 'provided a foundation for the dairying industries' of both New South Wales and Queensland and of course eventually made its way into the suburban backyards of coastal cities and towns. By mid-twentieth century mischievous boys had learnt that if you tied the flower stalks together you could easily trip up a few of your opponents in a backyard game of footy or cricket.
Present day applications for its use could include as a 'scratch proof' ground cover for chicken pen/'ranch' and it is probably goat grazing proof as well.
The only down side to that suggestion is that the developing flower heads and seed can be affected by ergot fungus which, by reputation, can lead those who have ingested it to imagine they have entered the world of an Heironymus Bosch painting.

Meanwhile, my lawn, which consists of at least 45% Paspalum, needs mowing.