Sunday, December 21, 2008

Today's Flowers;

Merry Christmas;

New South Wales Christmas Bush; Cerapetalum gummiferum;

Ceratopetalum .... from two Greek words: ceras, a horn and petalon, a petal, referring to the petal shape of one species.
gummiferum .... gum bearing, alluding to the richly exuded from cut bark.
The NSW Christmas bush is generally a large shrub or small tree and in cultivation it rarely grows to more than four to five metres high. The leaves are up to 70mm long and are divided into three leaflets which are finely serrated and the new growth is often pink or bronze coloured. Ceratopetalum gummiferum is widespread over the east coast of New South Wales, commonly growing in open forests on sandstone hillsides.
In cultivation the plant must have a well drained but moist position, in sun or semi shade. Annual feeding with a slow release fertiliser is beneficial.
Towards the end of December this hardy and reliable plant puts on a great display of red 'flowers' that I admire so much - however all is not what it seems. The true flowers are white in colour and fairly insignificant and are seen in late spring to early November.
After pollination by flies and native bees, the sepals, which are the outer series or whorl of flora leaves that protect the flower bud, enlarge and turn deep pink to red in colour enclosing the fruit, a single seed, a nut and the whole fall when ripe.
When sowing, the whole fruit with calyx lobes attached should be sown for best results.
Plants known in other Australian states as Christmas Bush are entirely different and have no connection with Ceratopetalum.

From australian plants online, Jeff Howes.
For more flowers around the world please click on


Denise BC said...

Fantastic ornaments for Christmas, beautiful pictures.
I hope that the spirit of Christmas is present every day of the year in their home, bringing peace and harmony to your family.
Hugs, Denise

Gill - That British Woman said...

A very appropriate Christmas post....Merry Christmas to you and your family...

Gill in Canada

People with Cameras said...

Very interesting, never heard of this type of bush before. Very pretty too.

Darla said...

Great ornaments. Interesting facts on the Christmas Bush.

Arija said...

Lovely tree. Hope you have a woderful Christmas with your family, at your place or is one of your children taking control? I'm lucky, my daughter does it all and one of my granddaughters does the baking.

The Good Life in Virginia said...

enjoyed your post and the info on the bush...very interesting. happy holidays.

guild-rez said...

Lovely pictures and great information!
Wüsche Dir ein frohes Weihnachtsfest und ein gutes Neues Jahr.
LG Gisela

Christmas is a holiday for friends,
However they may be, or not, related.
Remember that the three wise kings were strangers
In search of one remote, uncanny dream.
So may we all be far more than we seem,
Together bound for dark and haunting changes,
More lovely for the loves we have created
Along the lonely paths from means to ends,
Stumbling towards that star of Bethlehem.

Titania said...

Thank you very much for all your kind comments.