Christmas Bells

Christmas Bells
Christmas Bells - Blandfordia nobilis

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Christmas Bells just starting around Robertson

These Christmas Bells (Blandfordia nobilis) are happily flowering right beside the Jamberoo Mountain Road, near Knights Hill. This particular spot is interesting, as it is a heavily disturbed location having been graded clear of shrubbery, many years ago.But every year about this time these Christmas Bells flower. In Butler's Swamp, in Kangaloon, they flower somewhat later. My blogging colleague ("Mick") from "Sandy Straits and beyond" wrote about Christmas Bells and Ground Parrots just last week. Although in Queensland, "Mick" obviously has some similar country to the sandstone heathlands I have here. Her Christmas Bells (the yellow form) were of the closely related Blandfordia grandiflora species.The soil here is very poor sandstone soil, but it is not a wet spot (which is their normal preference).
Christmas Bells - with backpack for scale.

This corner was graded again last year, and trucks parked on the verges of this intersection, while extensive roadworks were conducted. So I am delighted to see that these plants have survived. They are obviously surprisingly tough.Here is a close-up of this flower to show its structure.
Surprisingly (to me) there was an obvious similarity with this next plant, which I grow in my garden. This flower is from the Solomon's Seal (Polygonatum multiflorum) about which I wrote in October. It is hard to think of two plants which like more different conditions - one likes poor sandy soil in full sun (Blandfordia) and the other likes deep, wet soil in near full shade (Solomon's Seal). But the evidence of the flower structure cannot be denied.



mick said...

Great to see your Christmas bells but they are certainly later than ours which are usually finished by now. Most of ours seem to flower in November. Also very interesting to see them growing after so much disturbance to the site.

Denis Wilson said...

Hi Mick.
Your Christmas Bells were relatively late, mine relatively early. That makes sense though, given our very different climates.
Did you notice the different shapes of the flowers - yours have much wider "mouth" than mine. That's what makes them different species.