Plant of the Month — November 2003
Darwinia meeboldii C.A.Gardner — Cranbrook Bell
The ‘Bells’ are the glory of the Stirling Range area. These splendid bells grow on a shrub to 3m in height. The narrow, sessile leaves create an effective foil for the crisp white, red and green flowers.
Darwinia meeboldii is one of the Western Australia’s 351 rare and endangered flora. These elusive plants are found only in the Stirling Range, although early settlers recorded findings in a wider area. They grow on granite in sandy soils and flower profusely from October to December.
The ‘Cranbrook Bell’ is not always happy in a general garden setting, but with a little care will last and bloom for years if potted in a good potting mix and fed with weak solutions of ‘Seasol’ liquid fertilizer. Originally and possibly still, plants for sale to the general public were grafted on to the much hardier Darwinia citriodora rootstock. This tended to be a long and costly process, and the use of cuttings is now a more common method of propagation.
Photo: B & B Wells
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