The Flecker Botanic Gardens
After our bird walk with John we had a bimble around Cairns Botanical Gardens until it was time to take our trusty little Rent-a-Bomb back at eleven. Pictures from our bimble along a formal path, by the river, the lake, the Friendship Garden and finally through a wet forest along a boardwalk. We had to break into a trot there to stop the mosquitoes having too much fun, despite plenty of spray – they just didn’t care about Deet 40%.
The Flecker Botanic Gardens were created in 1886, which means that many of the large plants and trees are lush and well established. The extensive selection of tropical flora includes some rare plants seldom found elsewhere in the world. These include exotic species of palms, gingers, orchids, bamboos, vines, aroids and tropical fruit trees. Some of the rarest plants in the world can be found at Flecker Botanic Gardens, including a tropical flower known as the Amorphophallus Titanum, which weighs up to 70 kg with a single leaf almost 7 meters across. The exotic rainforest plant is only one of two found in Australia. Amazing arrays of orchids are spotted throughout the gardens, boasting beautiful bright colours that contrast perfectly with the variegated shades of greens. Tropical fruit trees such as the Durian, Purple Mangosteen, Soursop and Black Sapote are star attractions of the Botanic Gardens. A carnivorous plant, the Nepenthes, can be found lurking amongst the lush rainforest vegetation, waiting for unsuspecting prey to enter its domain. The Nepenthes is a cleverly designed plant, whose leaves form into a 'pitcher'. Inside the pitcher is sweet nectar, luring the insects and bugs onto the rim of the pitcher, which is very slippery, causing the insects to fall into the 'trap' where they get stuck in more nectar and digested by the plant.
A corpse flower (Amorphophallus Titanum) in far north Queensland has smashed the record for the tallest of its kind in an Australian botanic garden. The flower, nicknamed Spud, is currently on display at the Cairns Botanic Gardens. It has been poised to bloom for a week and started opening on Thursday.
Curator David Warmington said the flower measured in at 282 centimetres tall. "Previous to this the Royal Botanic Gardens in Melbourne had one flower earlier this year and that was 263 centimetres tall, so Spud has now taken the honours," he said.
He said it was magnificent to behold, but not to smell.
"The smell is emitted from the giant pointy bit," he said. That actually heats up and emits this strong smell of decaying, rotting animal. That obviously brings blow flies and beetles and a whole range of other insects."
ALL IN ALL A LOVELY GARDEN
WELL LAID OUT AND TENDED