MARCH, 2001


Summer Concerts

What's in a Name

An Ode

Federation Stars

... and some photos


Summer Concerts

This year's program of Saturday Twilight Jazz concerts on the Eucalypt Lawn and Sunday Serenades on the Cafe Lawn has been the largest and most successful ever, continuing right through to the Canberra Day weekend in March. The weather has been very cooperative; whenever storm clouds have threatened, they have been very considerate and held on to their contents until after the conclusion of the concerts. Up to 5000 people have attended the jazz concerts each Saturday while the Sunday Serenades have attracted around 2000 each week.

There seems little doubt that the formula for these popular events is exactly right in meeting an important community need. The Gardens provides an ideal family-friendly venue for a relaxed, low-cost evening out. There is always a friendly, good-natured atmosphere enjoyed by those attending. Importantly, their generous gold coin donations, together with valuable contributions from the concerts' sponsors, WIN Television and the National Capital Authority, will increase the ability of the Friends to assist with projects to make the Gardens an even more attractive place to visit.


Famous as the Moon, one of this year's jazz ensembles,
playing on the Eucalypt Lawn
Photo by Andrew Walker


An Ode
in Praise of Our Council of Friends

Andrew Walker, Volunteer Guide

Our Council of Friends always tries
To take the right decision
And sometimes, to its great surprise,
Achieves this high ambition.

Mostly, it is just like us;
Plods on from day to day
And copes without complaint or fuss
With what may come its way.
We should be glad that at our back
We have such servants true,
To face our fretful, whingeing flak
For much of what they do.

Perhaps they're not a perfect lot
And sometimes need a shove,
But they're the best that we have got
And do it all for love.



Members of the Council of Friends who attended the AGM



What's in a Name?

Bernard Fennessy, Volunteer Guide


black wattle

Callicoma serratifolia (Black Wattle)
Photo by Murray Fagg

Most Australians associate the word 'wattle' with any of the numerous species of the genus Acacia. These are shrubs or trees with spikes or globular heads of yellow or cream flowers, including Australia's official floral emblem Acacia pycnantha, the Golden Wattle, whose green and gold colours are recognised as our Olympic colours. But there was a much older use of the word 'wattle'. It was used in Anglo-Saxon times to describe rods or stakes interwoven with twigs or branches of trees and used to make fences, walls, roofs. The basketwork formed by the woven 'wattles' was daubed with mud or clay and used as a building material. This technique was called 'wattle-and-daub', and was used by the early settlers in Australia to make their dwellings.

One of the rainforest trees which produced the 'wattles' used in the 'wattle-and-daub' process was called Blak Wattle Callicoma serratifolia. The derivation of this name was from the Greek, kalos meaning beautiful, and kome the hair of the head, probably referring to the pretty, fluffy globular heads of the florets; serratifolia from the Latin serratus meaning saw-shaped, and folium a leaf, referring to the toothed margins of the leaves.

Black Wattle is a tree, up to 25 m tall and 60 cm in trunk diameter. The branchlets are slender and densely covered with brown or rust-coloured hairs. The leaves are opposite, simple, regularly saw-toothed, narrow-elliptical and 5- 12 cm long. The flowers are cream in globular heads, 1-2 cm in diameter on hairy stalks, springing from the forks of the leaves on the ends of the branchlets. Flower heads may be solitary, clustered or several on a common stalk.

Callicoma serratifolia is in the family Cunoniaceae which also includes Christmas Bush Ceratopetalum gummiferum and Coachwood Ceratopetalum apelatum.

Callicoma is a common secondary species in disturbed rainforest and along creeks. It is generally found in association with Ceratopetalum. It is widespread from southern Queensland to the Blue Mountains in New South Wales, usually in damp places, often forming thickets along stream banks.

The early settlers certainly used the pliable stems of Callicoma serratifolia for their wattle-and-daub construction. As Callicoma became less available, they may have resorted to using the pliable stems of various species of Acacia. This may be how Acacia species came to be commonly known as wattles .

In the Australian National Botanic Gardens there are good examples of Callicoma serratifolia (Black Wattle) in the rainforest. In summer look for the distinctive serrated leaf and the small globular flower heads looking like those of acacias.



Federation Stars

June Foster, Volunteer Guide

Actinotus helianthi Flannel Flowers

< Out fielding, in summer, flannels appear
on stars, truly Australian, fingers green-tipped,
upright figures gracefully sway, slender-hipped.
Their centres hold balls for future seed-gear.
'Federation Stars' go in first once more
for our Commonwealth. Bright young players are seen,
sporting colours Australian, gold, cream and green.
Watch our cricket players open the score.
With fair play, together, and hope anew,
each team is chosen ... a cricket eleven ...
(sundry points for the stars ... bracts over seven.)
Theirs is the team spirit, 'Aussie true blue'.
Symbols of summer sportive cricket teams
we watch with delight our own flannel flowers
enjoying soft breezes in the daylight hours ...
'Federation Stars' in their flannel creams

.flannel flowers

'Federation Stars', Actinotus helianthi Flannel Flower
(Photo by Murray Fagg)


'Federation Stars' Flannel Flower is the floral emblem for the
New South Wales Centenary of Federation celebrations in 2001.

'Federation Stars' have been selected and bred by the horticultural research staff at Mt Annan Botanic Garden specially for the occasion.

Flannel Flowers were used as the border around the invitations to the official Federation events on 1 January 1901 when the six colonies joined together to form the Commonwealth of Australia.


.. and some more photographs by Friends : 


Robin Nielsen, our new Director, (right) with
Friends' President, Pauline Wicksteed
(Photo by Anne Phillips)

display glasshouse

The new display glasshouse
(Photo by Andrew Walker)



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Compiled 22 June, 2001 by Shirley McKeown wombats1@tpg.com.au