The Bunya Bunya Pine

For gardeners, who were new settlers to Australia in the 19th century, one of the most important things was to know what plants would grow. Baron Ferdinand von Mueller, from Melbourne’s Botanic Gardens, sent seed around Victoria so that plants could be trialled. Among the seeds sent to Ernest Leviny at Buda were Araucaria bidwillii. Planted in 1901 the legacy of that seed distribution is a wonderful Bunya Bunya Pine, which has done well in the climate. A native of Queensland, in the mountains behind Brisbane, it has the most remarkably textured trunk, like the leg of an elephant. The foliage is quite dramatic and very sharp. That reminds us that the garden was created during the gardenesque period of design, when people simply loved plants with strong architectural foliage.


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