The uniquely Australian Hakeas and Banksias can be found throughout Wittunga. There are over 140 species in the Hakea genus and around 170 in the Banksia genus, with both having characteristic flowers. Keep an eye out for the vibrant yellow and red Heath Banksia (Banksia ericfolia), Golden Stalk Banksia (Banksia media), and the pale Dyandra-leafed Banksia (Banksia dryandroides), which flower from June to October.
Myrtaceae (Australian Myrtles)
The family Myrtaceae is Australia’s largest plant family. Related genera grown at Wittunga include the grand Agonis, bright red Bottlebrush (Calothamnus), Tea tree (Leptospermum) and Paperbark (Melaleuca), which flowers in September and October.
Built in the early 1920s, Edwin Ashby developed the raised sandy garden beds to promote drainage and replicate growing conditions he’d seen in Western Australia. They were initially developed to support Australian natives, but other species such as succulents and cacti thrive here year-round.
Following the devastating 2020 bushfires on Kangaroo Island, scientists at the SA Seed Conservation Centre have visited the island a number of times to investigate what botanical treasures have regrown, and to collect seeds and plant specimens with a conservation aim.