Botanical Gardens-Cannonball Tree

Old Feb 3rd, 2005, 08:09 AM
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Botanical Gardens-Cannonball Tree

G'day.
Are Flecker Botanical Gardens the same as the Cairns Botanical Gardens?

This is probably a question for Pat...
Is there a Cannonball tree in Flecker and has it bloomed yet - or is it too young?
If the trees bloom during your summer, do you know where one might be able to see and photograph one in bloom.

According to one website I found, there are only two in AU. One is in the Cairns Botanical Garden and the other is on a farm somewhere.

Thanks.
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Old Feb 3rd, 2005, 05:38 PM
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Hi Snazzy - you must have found Werner Schmidlin's site - he's an old local and he loves that tree - its out near Crystal Cascades - you would need a car to get there.

Yes, Flecker Botanical Gardens and Cairns Botanical Gardens are one and the same - just a few kms out of Cairns city and on bus route. I can't remember when its cannonball tree blooms, I'll check next time I got past. I do know there's a bizarre looking sausage tree and many other tropical and unusual plants. Just next to the Gardens is a rainforest walking trail where you find yourself in miles of pristine rainforest in the middle of suburban area.
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Old Feb 3rd, 2005, 07:50 PM
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Hi, Pat,
Yes, it was his site that I bookmarked last year.
Sounds as if the Flecker Botanical Gardens would be great for tropical flora.
Bats pollinate the "sausage tree" so with the bats there it makes sense the sausage tree would flourish.
Are the proteas in the northern part of AU?
Out of the botanical gardens in Sydney, Melbourne and Cairns, which has the largest variety of plants?

Hope the folks in Sydney and Melbourne are doing okay after the floods yesterday - or I guess two days ago now.
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Old Feb 3rd, 2005, 08:42 PM
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Gosh, I hadn't heard about the floods. Thanks for alerting us. That's awful news. My thoughts and prayers for Fodorites in the affected areas.

>>>Are the proteas in the northern part of AU?<<<

They like a mediterranean climate, hence they grow well in the SW part of Western Australia. Maybe there are some in Sydney and Melbourne, but I don't remember seeing any there.

They respond well to dry, well-drained soils, and they respond poorly to -- in fact can't survive in -- wet, water-logged conditions. It is perhaps for that reason that I don't remember seeing any proteas in Queensland.

When it comes to different Australian cities' botanical gardens, they're all excellent, but Melbourne's are particularly lovely, IMO. I guess that doesn't really answer your question about the number of species, to which I don't know the answer.

I've heard complimentary things about Canberra's gardens, but you haven't mentioned Canberra in your itinerary.

I haven't been to Cairns, so have not seen the botanical gardens there.

As far as the botanical gardens that I have seen are concerned, I loved them, but I still preferred the natural forests in the countryside that was accessible from each city in the form of a day trip. In other words, if time forced me to choose priorities, I'd rather see the temperate rain forest in the Dandenong Ranges to the east of Melbourne or behind the town of Lorne, around Erskine Falls, than visit the Royal Botanic Gardens in the city. You don't know how much it pains me to say that, because I think the Royal Botanic Gardens are splendid. We're just talking priorities here.

So, while I haven't seen the botanical gardens in Cairns, I would guess the same is true of them, namely, that it would be a shame if they robbed you of the experience of the wild rainforest (if you're strapped for time).
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Old Feb 3rd, 2005, 09:21 PM
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Hi, Snazzy,
We 'wowed' our way round the Flecker Gardens 2 years ago. I am a keen gardener, and I was just so impressed with what I saw there. We are planning to revisit this year when we are over in September.
Melbourne Bot Gardens are also beautiful and very different. Cannot comment on Sydney as we haven't visited those gardens.
Dot
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Old Feb 4th, 2005, 03:18 AM
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Hi Snazzy - Judy's right, proteas don't like humidity - we can buy them at the markets, but they don't do well here on the coast. But we have a huge variety of colourful tropical flowering plants and trees, its the only place I've lived where I can't kill an orchid. Flecker Gardens is nowhere near the size of Sydney's or Melbourne's Botanical Gardens, after all Cairns has a population of only 120,000, but it has been growing some amazing tropical plants, both indigenous and exotic since 1886. One side is set in rainforest and the other is melaleuca lowlands on boardwalks leading into lakes which are covered in birdlife, turtles, fish and the odd croc which strays in. One was removed just today. Bats of course, as you would know, these are instrumental in pollinating the rainforest, if you'd like to know I can tell you where there's a huge colony of the large spectacled bats which are very easy to spot in the daytime.
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Old Feb 4th, 2005, 04:07 AM
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Thanks, folks.
Looks like I'll be trekking through Flecker while everyone else is snorkling....
Fitzroy is on the agenda and one in Sydney.
Yeah, I tried growing proteas indoors one time. Took the poor soil and growing conditions to heart and ignored the poor plant too much. It died.
Thanks, again.
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Old Feb 4th, 2005, 05:07 AM
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>>>Looks like I'll be trekking through Flecker while everyone else is snorkling....<<<

Snazzy, please tell me this is not true. You'd miss out on something very special.

I don't know why you'd be doing this. Perhaps you can't swim. If that's the reason, there are many people who can't swim who snorkel. It's really, really easy with a life jacket. Even if you can't bring yourself to try it with a life jacket, you can view the reef from a glass bottomed boat.

There is no land garden that is anything like the reef. If you got that close to the reef and didn't see it ..... well, I just don't know what to say about that.
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Old Feb 4th, 2005, 01:04 PM
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The above probably should read, " I'll be trekking through Flecker while everyone else is snorkling an extra half day.
The Reef is a definite stop but instead of going to it for an extented time, I want to see the tropical plants as well.
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Old Feb 4th, 2005, 01:13 PM
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>>>The Reef is a definite stop<<<

Thanks for the clarification, Snazzy. Your plans sound great.
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