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Auckland Winter Gardens: The Beauty of Local Flora

Updated: Aug 1, 2021

Domain Winter Gardens is an Auckland botanic garden that exhibits local flora of New Zealand with a pond and tropical/seasonal fresh flowers in glass houses. It is called Winter Gardens because the temperature necessary for the flowers to stay alive is maintained all year round, including in winter, due to glasshouses' temperature conservation and heat system.

Main glasshouse

The garden features two glasshouses, a courtyard, a pond and a fernery:


The gardens themselves are divided into two glasshouses: one with seasonal flowers and another with the exotic local flowers.


Glasshouse 1 with seasonal flowers.

Bluemink

"Before you is a Bluemink, a species of Whiteweed (a.k.a. flossflower, blueweed, mexican paintbrush). Botanical name Ageratum houstonianum.


Characteristics:

Plant Type: Herb

Plant Height: 30 - 100cm

Spread: 30-46cm

Flower Size: Inflorescence 2-4cm

Bloom Time: Summer, Autumn

Flower Color: white, red, purple, pink.

The flower is perennial. It attracts butterflies, bees and birds"

(Description from PictureThis android app)


Other beautiful flowers:


Glasshouse 2 with exotic flowers.

Lobster-claws

"Below is a False bird of paradise, a species of Lobster-claws (Hanging lobster claws). Botanical name: Heliconia rostrata. It is a tropical plant and it likes bright sunshine. It is native to Peru, Bolivia, Colombia, Costa Rica and Ecuador (Central America and surrounding islands). The plant is perennial. Birds are attracted to its nectar. The flower is the national flower of Bolivia.


Characteristics:

Plant Type: Herb

Bloom time: Spring, summer

Plant Height: 1.2-1.8m

Spread: 90-180cm

Flower size: 2.5 cm

Flower Color: Yellow, Red, Green"

(Description fromPictureThisandroid app).


Snow Banana

"Banana-like plants, Snow Banana (Ensete glaucum) is a tropical species, native to Asia and mainly grown for its ornamental appearance rather that fruit. Cultivated as an ornamental plant, for its unique swollen bulbous base and large leaves.The distinctive, blue-green trunk and large, thick and waxy leaves; and large green flowerheads up to 30 cm wide (a.k.a.'elephant trunks') are borne in summer. Fast-growing plant that needs plenty of sunlight. The tree is native to China, Nepal, India, Myanmar (Burma), and Thailand.

Characteristics:

Grows from 2,600-8,800 feet (790 - 2,680 m) in elevation.

Leave size: 1.4-1.8 metres long and 50-60 cm wide

Max. height: 4.5 m

Max. width: 4m

Flowering period: Summer"

(Description from PlantSnap android app)



Persian Shield

A fern variation, Persian Shield (Strobilanthes dyeriana), a tropical plant native to Myanmar. It is grown for its dark green foliage with bright, metallic-purple stripes coming from the central leaf vein.











Anthurium bakeri

And other interesting fruit-like plant, Anthurium bakeri, grows in tropical/subtropical regions:













Theobroma cacao

"Theobroma cacao, also called the cacao tree, which is a small (4-8m tall) evergreen tree native to the deep tropical regions of Central and South America. Its seeds, cocoa beans, are used to make cocoa mass, cocoa powder, confectionery, ganache and chocolate. The flowers are produced in clusters directly on the trunk and older branches. They are usually small (1-2cm diameter). Cacao flowers are pollinated by tiny flies, Forcipomyia midges.


The fruit, called a cacao pod, is ovoid, 15-30cm long and 8-10cm wide, ripening yellow to orange, weighs about 500g when ripe. The pod contains 20 to 60 seeds, usually called "beans", embedded in a white pulp. The seeds are used for chocolate, while the pulp is sometimes used to prepare refreshing juice, smoothies, jelly and nata. Each seed contains a significant amount of fat (40-50%) as cocoa butter, also called theobroma oil."

(Description from PlantSnap android app).



Aphrodite's orchid

"The following purple flower is called Aphrodite's orchid, part of Phalaenopsis Blume, which is a species of orchid found from southeastern Taiwan to the Philippines. Phalaenopsis Blume has over 60 species, most popular in the trade.

Most are epiphytic shade plants. In the wild, some species grow below canopies of moist and humid lowland forests, protected against direct sunlight. They flower all year round." (From Phalaenopsis Blume in PlantSnap mobile app).


Characteristics:

Max. height: 70cm

Max. width: 50cm

Flowering period: All Year


Ashoka

"Ashoka (Saraca indica) on the right. Known as asoka-tree, Ashok or Asoca, is a plant originally coming from Java. Has more eastern geographic distribution."