We have a botanical theme for celebrating Valentines Day this year in Adelaide which includes extended opening hours for both the Botanic Gardens in Adelaide and Mount Lofty, open until 8 pm. There are also a range of special events including ‘Love Notes’ and pop-ups around the gardens for romantic trysts in Adelaide.
The State Herbarium is geeking out by selecting two native South Australian plants to celebrate Valentine’s Day — Alyogyne hakeifolia (Giord.) Alef. and Arthropodium strictum R.Br. Common names of these two species include Desert Rose and Chocolate Lily. The Australian endemic Alyogyne is closely related to the rose mallows (Hibiscus) and the flowers of Arthropodium gets its common name from having a scent reminiscent of chocolate or vanilla. We have photographed a couple of our herbarium specimens to share these plants with you.
Happy Valentines Day!
We also present historical artworks describing the two species from the 1800s.
On the left is a painting of Alyogyne hakeifolia (our Desert Rose) by Ferdinand Bauer, based on material collected at Goose Island Bay, Western Australia, in 1803 and on the right a drawing by M Smith published in Curtis’s Botanical Magazine, 1884 accompanying a description of Arthropodium strictum (then Dichopogon strictus). [note that although these artworks contribute significantly to our understanding of these taxa the colour of the flowers is not accurate].