Newspaper article The Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Australia)

Golden Penda Adds Colour; Weekender Columnist Neil Fisher Is from Fisher's Nursery, North Rockhampton. You Can Chat with Neil on Radio 4ro's Gardening Hour after the 6am News on Tuesdays

Newspaper article The Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Australia)

Golden Penda Adds Colour; Weekender Columnist Neil Fisher Is from Fisher's Nursery, North Rockhampton. You Can Chat with Neil on Radio 4ro's Gardening Hour after the 6am News on Tuesdays

Article excerpt

Byline: NEIL FISHER

OVER the past week, I have had numerous inquiries about a plant with large yellow flower heads and glossy green leaves.

There are numerous trees flowering on the footpaths in Rockhampton at the moment.

This small tree can be seen flowering in the parkland plantings at the base of Pilbeam Dve.

The plant in question is the Xanthostemon chrysanthus or Golden Penda, which is a native rainforest plant of north Queensland.

Xanthostemon is a member of the same family as the bottlebrushes, tea trees and eucalypts, and seems to grow well throughout Central Queensland, with the exception of those places that experience heavy frost.

Xanthostemon chrysanthus is available to the gardening public in several forms.

The tallest specimen is the parent plant, and the original species that has been cultivated in Rockhampton for nearly 20 years.

This form of Golden Penda is proving to be ideal for street planting, especially as it is in full bloom at a time when there is very little colour in the gardens.

A medium-growing form known as Expo Gold was promoted as the theme plant for the 1988 World Expo in Brisbane. It has been successfully grown in Rockhampton since its release and there are a number of attractive specimens in Rockhampton gardens.

A smaller form has been available for the last few years, known as Fairhill Gold.

This one is, in my opinion, the best form of the species currently available, as it is suitable for most small gardens and still provides the prolific golden heads of flowers similar to the larger specimens.

The latest form of the Golden Penda on the market is the dwarf Xanthostemon Little Goldie, which is a dense, low-growing shrub with the characteristic golden flowers, but with finer foliage.

Shade groundcovers

One of the biggest problems encountered by owners of established gardens is finding plants that will tolerate shade from the canopy of the established taller trees and shrubs.

In many cases, gardeners are left in a quandary as to what they could plant in this position. The first suggestion is often to plant some fern runners, but this can be to the detriment of the overall appearance of the garden. …

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