Christmas Bells – Plant of the Month

Blandfordia grandifolia photographed at Noosa National Park Marcus Section by Graham Coghill

It was a case of Christmas in July when Graham Coghill photographed this Blandfordia Grandifolia or Native Christmas Bells in the wet heath behind Hawthorn Grove in Marcus Beach in July 2017. Mainly flowering between Spring and Summer, the bells can appear at other times of the year too. The 2015 QPWS controlled burn that cleared away much of the undergrowth, made way for these delicate and once common plants.

Blandfordia grandiflora, is a tufted perennial with narrow, channelled, linear leaves and between two and twenty large, drooping, bell-shaped flowers. The flowers are red with yellow tips, or sometimes entirely yellow. It is one of four species of Blandfordia endemic to eastern Australia, This one grows on the coast and nearby ranges between the Hawksbury River NSW and Fraser Island in QLD.  

Although it is the most robust of the four species, B. grandiflora is very slow growing, so more aggressive plants easily swamp it in the wild. It is listed as endangered in Queensland and typically growths in wet coastal heathland.

The name Blandfordia honors the Marquis of Blandford, and grandiflora is derived from the Latin word grandis meaning “great” and the suffix-flora meaning “flowered”.

Source: Atlas of Living Australia, ala.org.au

So, with a beautiful, sunny, yellow flower we finish the Bushcare year, and I wish you all a well deserved break. We have a great deal to show for 2019, despite the setbacks and difficulties of Covid-19. Thank-you all for your enthusiasm and perseverance.

Best wishes,

Jude

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