Saturday, July 25, 2009

Silver Princess

You really should make it a habit to do a tour of your garden every day. Otherwise the little things pass you by. And its a great way of making yourself stop and take a few deep breaths. I almost missed the flowers on my gungurru (Eucalyptus caesia) as I perambulated around my Australian native section of the garden. This thin whippy tree from Western Australia is currently sporting several bunches of big fat buds up above eye level. Each bud is as big as a large cherry! This bunch of flowers (in the photo) was hanging just above the ground and I nearly missed it. This is a great tree reasonably widely grown throughout Melbourne. I think someone once wrote an article about the tree saying it came from an area where it grew in rocky outcrops, so consequently every tree you see usually has several large rocks around its base. Mine is no exception. I planted three tiny seedlings in the one hole beside a large local rock in an effort to produce a multi-trunked effect and they grew very well. Then tragedy struck. Every year just as it was about to flower, the trunk would snap off. This went on for over a decade and I was getting pretty peeved that I never saw one single flower! I asked Rodger Elliot once why this was happening and he explained that my tree may have been propagated from an inferior plant. He suggested planting a named clone like 'Silver Princess' which should give a better result. Well I took Rodger's advice and bought a 'Silver Princess' and planted it a couple of metres away. It was all the impetus my trio of trees needed! From then on they produced flowers every year! They do still occasionally snap off for no apparent reason but I do get flowers - and the 'Silver Princess' has flowers too - bonus! This is a great little tree with fabulous mahogany-coloured peeling bark on older trunks and powdery white bark on newer stems but it can be precocious. You have been warned!

No comments:

Post a Comment