Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Wittunga Botanic Garden

Because May is local history month in our state, we took a tour with some others, including a few homeschooling families, through one of our botanic gardens. The talk focused largely on the family that had bequeathed the gardens to the state but we also delved further back in time.We enjoyed hearing about Sir Joseph Banks and discovered the "interconnectiveness" of people who share interests and live around the same time. We found banks too often be this link.

I love the look of the mallee here amazing to learn:The mallee display one of the most impressive adaptive features in the form of the confusingly named mallee root.  The mallee root - also known as a lignotuber - is not a root at all but is essentially a very contracted underground trunk which grows just below the soil surface and from which the stems arise.  It acts as both a storage and reproductive organ. 

 Its storage function is principally of carbohydrates, essential nutrients (such as phosphates) and some water so that the mallee, once mature, can survive long periods without rain.  Its reproductive function takes the form of multiple growth points from which new shoots can rapidly develop (drawing on the carbohydrates and nutrients) should the above-ground parts of the plant be destroyed by fire or other natural catastrophes.  Most other species of Eucalyptus have similar epicormic shoots on their trunks and larger branches from which new shoots can develop after fires but the mallee protects the trunk from fire and so is much more energy and water efficient.  

Our guide shared some amazing wood turnings he had done with banksias

We were also lucky after the walk to spot 4 koalas in the park. Now this does not cover a large area and two of those we saw were only a tree away from each other. This puzzled us as we had always thought koalas were territorial Definitely need to do more research on this!

We seem to have more succulents in our photos than any other plant type and these were not mentioned in our guided tour at all. But we find them rather interesting, so please bear with us!
"Located in the leafy foothills suburb of Blackwood, Wittunga Botanic Garden contains stunning displays of water wise plants from Australia and South Africa which are especially spectacular in spring.

Established by Edwin Ashby in 1902, the Wittunga Botanic Garden devotes 14 hectares to indigenous and non-indigenous collections. Native birds are attracted to the garden's flowering plants and the shady lawns make Wittunga Botanic Garden a popular setting for family gatherings and lakeside picnics.

The centrepiece of the garden is an attractive lake that separates the Australian native plants featuring banksias, grevilleas and hakeas from the South African plants of proteas and leucadendrons on the opposite side. The garden also features a butterfly garden and a grey box woodland planting, endangered in South Australia."


Helpful Teacher said...

Gorgeous photos. Thanks for sharing!

Aliadelaide said...

Thanks! Glad you liked them!