Sydney’s Royal Botanic Gardens: summer display called Pollination

There are so many reasons to visit Sydney’s Royal Botanic Gardens in summer…

….watching irreverent Sulphur Crested Cockatoos drinking from elegant water fountains on statues would be one …

However, the reason we have come on this warm and sunny day,  is to see the beautiful floral display called Pollination at the Calyx at the Gardens.

This vertical wall is the largest of its kind in Australia, and shows the diverse way a collection of plants and flowers can be arranged, and also how they achieve pollination..

To the left of the white flowers is the Giant Chin Cactus from Argentina., said to be pollinated by bees and flowers

This display concentrates on the plants pollinated by bees, bats, birds, butterflies and moths..

To my surprise I learnt that bees can’t see red, they see red flowers as unappealing black.

However, they are attracted to flowers of blue or lavender tones..

Birds on the other hand are very attracted to red flowers, especially those that can provide plenty of nectar for their relatively large bodies and busy flight schedules…

Australian honey-eaters are equipped with a handy brush-tipped tongue which helps them efficiently mop up nectar from flowering plants such as Grevilleas and Banksias..

(the photos below were taken in the National Botanic Gardens in Canberra)

New Holland Honeyeater feeding from a Banksia at the National Botanic Gardens in Canberra

Flowers attract pollinators through different ways

colour….the colour helps advertise their pollen to be collected from the flower..

 scent, the smell indicates a food source such as nectar..

shape, for example, providing a helipad for easy landings, this flower is pollinated by beetles who are not as skilful in flying as bees and moths etc., so they need a good landing platform…

The orchids attracted everyone’s eye, I think there were more photos taken of the colourful orchids than any other part of the display!

White Moth Orchid (Phalaenopsis)

The large topiary Blue Banded Bees are a highlight for children..

but not quite as striking as the real ones, with their iridescent blue bands across the abdomen..

Blue banded bees are one of a number of Australian native bees that perform a special type of pollination called buzz pollination…

The Pollination display is on for ten months, and the type of flowers will change according to the season.

The Royal Botanic Gardens is an oasis in the city, full of exotic plants and trees, flowers and palms, something for everyone…

How is this for a view looking from the Gardens to the city ?……… and it’s all free!

Copyright Geraldine Mackey: All Rights Reserved.




23 Replies to “Sydney’s Royal Botanic Gardens: summer display called Pollination”

  1. How interesting and informative so well illustrated by your excellent photographs and free too, what could be better.

  2. What a profusion of colour. As a recent “native bee” convert, I found this really interesting, Geraldine.

  3. That was fascinating, I also didn’t know that bees don’t find red flowers appealing and your blue banded bee is so different! The orchids and the vertical planted wall was amazing too! Sarah x

    1. Yes, I didn’t know about the bees not being attracted to red, as they are buzzing around my red geraniums at the moment!

  4. My oh my! I LOVED this post and the accompanying pictures. What a garden! And you have cockatoos just flying around? Such a beautiful sight. Also enjoyed seeing a picture of the honeyeater and the giant bee and the real ones. And the flowers. And, and, and! Thanks so much for sharing your visit to this fabulous botanical garden.

    1. Thanks Laurie, it’s nice to share our different parts of the world, especially in contrasting seasons.. yes, the cockatoos are freely flying around, very noisy and full of personality!

  5. What a fascinating post! I had no idea that bees cannot see red, here they love my red flowers. I have never heard of a blue banded bee either, what an incredible creature!!! You have me yearning to go back to Sydney’s Botanical gardens, I just loved visiting, such an incredible place! I am utterly dazzled by the sunshine, especially given our grim weather. No wonder you look so well and relaxed!xxx

    1. The bees come to my red geraniums, maybe they are drawn by the smell. Much as I love summer, it is getting a bit too hot now.

  6. What an amazingly beautiful place, Gerrie. Your post is so informative and interesting. I love the masses of white orchids and the topiary bee is delightful. That wall is beyond gorgeous. Thanks for sharing. 🙂 xx

  7. Can you see it – the smile on my face? What a wonderful garden to tour. Wow! I love that vertical wall, the plants, the bees, and, of course, the beautiful bird. It is all wonderful and hard to believe it has free admission. I hope everyone takes advantage of it. That wall is a living work of art. Thank you for sharing it. 🙂

  8. Beautiful photos Gerrie. I also love the Botanic Gardens and I spent so long looking at the display in the Calyx, it is stunning. It was spring when we were there.

    1. That’s interesting because you would have seen lots of different plants in spring….the Botanic gardens is a great place to visit.

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