Cairns Botanic Gardens Flowers 3

Flowering ginger plant, Zingiber macradenia.

One of the many beautiful and exotic ginger plants at Cairns Botanic Gardens. There are 1,300 species world-wide and many are used for medicinal and culinary purposes. I had not realised just how effective ginger was in combating sea-sickness until I visited Australia where ginger tablets are offered free on some of the boats going out to the Great Barrier Reef – trip organisers don’t want anything to spoil your day.

Flowering ginger plant, Zingiber macradenia.

Flowering ginger plant, Zingiber macradenia.

Flowering ginger plant, Zingiber macradenia.

Flowering ginger plant, Zingiber macradenia.

Flowering ginger plant, Zingiber macradenia.

COPYRIGHT JESSICA WINDER 2013

All Rights Reserved

Cairns Botanic Gardens Flowers 2

Pink and green bracts on a tropical flower

The brightly coloured parts of the flower are in fact leaf-like bracts around the base of the flowers rather than the petals. The pink and green bracts on the upright stems shown in these pictures are typical of Heliconia psittacornis  “Sassy” and are easy to distinguish from the Heliconia mariae x pogonantha shown in the previous post which had hanging or pendant flower heads with red bracts.

In common with the bromeliad plants, heliconias often collect water in the hollows created by the bracts against the stems, These little pools become micro-habitats in which minute aquatic organisms can thrive.

Cairns Botanic Gardens

COPYRIGHT JESSICA WINDER 2013

All Rights Reserved

Cairns Botanic Gardens Flowers 1

Red tropical flowers in bud

A fantastic array of tropical plants is on show at Cairns Botanic Gardens in Queensland, Australia, in both a formal garden setting and also wild as nature intended. The formal gardens include plants that are native to Australia and its tropical rainforest as well as including introduced exotic species. I think the spectacular red blooms in these photographs are a type of Heliconia in bud, most likely the giant pendant species Heliconia mariae x pogonantha which can grow to a height of 4 – 5 metres. Heliconias are native to Central and South America and also some South Pacific islands.

COPYRIGHT JESSICA WINDER 2013

All Rights Reserved