Newspaper article The Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Australia)

Summer's Great Balls of Fire

Newspaper article The Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Australia)

Summer's Great Balls of Fire

Article excerpt



HAVE you noticed the flowering fiery bright red bulbs blooming throughout Rockhampton at the moment?

These bulbs are the blood lily or scadoxus multiflorus, a beautiful flowering bulb that is native to Africa and the Arabian Peninsula.

When in flower, the blood lily can make quite a conversation piece in the garden.

During summer, clusters of up to 200 tiny flowers form huge, bright-red, spherical balls. These flowers last a couple of weeks at most and each plant will produce only one of these magnificent flower heads in a season.

Blood lilies are a useful plant for shady gardens and, like at the Botanic Gardens, grow well in large groups beneath trees and are not worried by competition from tree roots. Ideally, a well-drained garden loam rich in vegetable matter is all the blood lily requires.


Everybody has a certain item or event they associate with the coming of Christmas. To me, it has always been when the peltophorum trees begin to bloom, in particular the avenue along Lakes Creek Rd in North Rockhampton.

This week these trees were looking superb, with some trees in Stenhouse Park in Lakes Creek having more than a metre of floodwater around them.

Although it will flower throughout the year, there always seems to be a mass of yellow, sweetly scented flowers from around the second week of December.

The tree itself is found throughout South-East Asia, the Pacific islands and tropical Australia.

Renowned as a quick- growing, symmetrical tree with a dense crown, it can reach a maximum height of 15-17m.

The leaves are fine and feathery and are a rich, dark green, and the large flower clusters are produced well clear of the foliage, which helps create the spectacular displays that can be seen at the moment.

Also making an attractive appearance on this plant are its flower buds, twigs and all new leaves, which are covered with brown, velvety hairs.

The tree has an ability to grow in a large variety of soil types and even in poor drainage the tree's growth rate is not affected. …

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