Friday, 26 June 2015

North Coast Regional Botanic Garden Preamble

All the ingredients were there for a top outing to the Botanic Garden this week - perfect weather, a 'Friend' of the Garden Guide, enthusiastic membership and Coffs' own Botanic Garden.

Member Gavin did his usual superlative best in giving us the 'gen' on any subtropical species that needed clarification.

The members found it interesting to compare our own native species with those of other places whose climates are similar to our own. Seen here, the non-Australian tropical African area had the members looking up into the canopy of these large trees. 

One tree that took the interest of the 'preamblers' of the Garden was Dillenia indica  (Elephant Apple), a native of south-east Asia with leaves that are quite large with an interesting corrugated surface with impressed veins. The fruit is quite large too (12cm diameter) made up of 15 carpels, in an edible but fibrous pulp. Apparently the pulp is bitter-sour and is used in Indian cuisine in curries, jam and jellies. It is often mixed with coconut and spices to make chutneys. It is a main source of food for elephants, hence it's common name.

The Eastern  Australian coastal fringe collection has plants from regions with similar climatic conditions to Coffs, although we did notice that a lot of sand had been introduced to the beds for maximum drainage. 

The images for this post were supplied by member Michael R. Thank you very much.

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