To the uninitiated, the list of plant names might look about as exciting as reading the phone book, but to people in the know it transports them to another world… a world of fantastic foliage, phenomenal flowers, remote landscapes, and some of the rarest plants on the planet.
To a plant-nut, the Yuruga stocklist is literally… plants to die for!
So, what is there ‘to die for’ this month at Yuruga?
Let’s start with Lilly-pillies. No, not the common or garden varieties such as Lulu, Hot Flush and Supreme that you find in every Garden Centre anywhere in Australia, but the Tinkling Satinash (Syzygium alatoramulum), Silver Satinash (Syzygium argyropedicum), Paperbark Satinash (Syzygium papyraceum), Lockerbie Satinash (Syzygium branderhorstii), New Guinea Satinash (Syzygium beuttnerianum), Yellow Satinash (Syzygium canicortex), and Red Myrtle (Syzygium monimioides)… fantastically beautiful plants from the rainforests at our own back door-step.
Then there’s the Silky Oak family. Mouth-wateringly beautiful species such as the Fern-leafed Stenocarpus (Stenocarpus davallioides), Fishtail Oak (Neorites kevediana), Blush Silky Oak (Opisthiolepsis heterophylla) and Red Silky Oak (Carnarvonia montana).
And still from the rainforest, there’s the Palm Tulip Oak (Argyrodendron sp Whyanbeel), Fern-leafed Tamarind (Sarcotoechia serrata), Sankowskya stipularis, Daintree Penda (Lindsayomyrtus racemoides), the famous (and extremely rare) Idiot Fruit (Idiospermum australiense), Noahdendron (Noahdendron nicholasii) and Bernie’s Tamarind (Diploglottis berniana) from the Daintree.
Everyone’s familiar with the Golden Penda (Xanthostemon chrysanthus), but Yuruga also has the rare Hopevale Penda (Xanthostemon arenarius), Pieter Botte Penda (Xanthostemon graniticus), Bloomfield Penda (Xanthostemon verticilllatus), Shady Penda (Xanthostemon umbrosus), Mt Tozer Penda (Xanthostemon sp Mt Tozer), Lime Penda (Xanthostemon formosus) and Black Penda (Xanthostemon whitei). Wow! What a collection!
The Tulip Sterculia (Sterculia shillinglawii) from Cape York has the most stunningly beautiful velvet red seed pods with jet black seeds. Bernie’s Tamarind (Diploglottis berniana) and the Brown Walnut (Beilschmeidia tooram) have fantastic foliage. And the native Rhododendron (Rhododenron lochiae) and Mountain Basswood (Polyscias wilmottii) are as rare as hen’s teeth in nurseries.
Moving into the tropical savannahs, there’s the Pumpkin Gum (Eucalyptus pachycalyx), Woollybutt (Eucalyptus chartaboma), Red-Throated Bloodwood (Corymbia rhodops) and Northern Ghost Gum (Eucalyptus dallachiana). There’s the velvety Cape York Kurrajong (Brachychiton velutinosus), Cape York Melaleuca (Melaleuca foliolosa) and (one of our favourites) the Purple-stemmed Turkey Bush (Leptospermum purpurascens).
What’s so special about these plants? For a start, many of them are extremely rare, and to a ‘plant nut’ that’s good enough reason to spend a day at Yuruga putting together a trolley-load of ‘goodies’. But most of them are also extremely beautiful. The Paperbark Satinash has the most beautiful fluffy lavender flowers and fluorescent purple fruit. The Fern-leafed Tamarind is a gorgeous understorey shrub with soft, delicate, ferny foliage and soft pastel-pink new growth. The Fern-leafed Stenocarpus has delicate foliage so intricately lacy in structure that you would have trouble believing that it is a tree not a fern. Absolutely ‘to die for’!
Can anyone grow these phenomenal plants? Yes and no. It depends on the particular micro-climate at your place, but a true plant-nut will always find a way. Maybe it’s the excuse you need to build that courtyard around your pool and barbecue area. And if you can’t fit them in your garden, or they’ll grow too big for your small yard, you can always treat yourself to a large ornamental pot (or several).
Happy gardening this Easter!
Peter and Ann