Common name: Christmas Bells
Blandfordia grandiflora R.Br. APNI*
Description: Tufted perennial herb.
Leaves to c. 70 cm long; lamina flat, channelled, keeled, 2–5 mm wide; margins somewhat thickened but flat or ± inrolled, crenulate-scabrid.
Scape usually to 80 cm long but up to 175 cm, to c. 7 mm diam.; inflorescence loosely racemose, mostly 2–20-flowered; pedicels to 4.5 cm long, as long as to much longer than subtending bract. Perianth usually 3.5–6 cm long, red with yellow lobes or wholly yellow, with a slight bloom; tube turbinate, gradually expanded upwards with slight shoulder in lower third, 1.8–3 cm wide at throat; lobes ± semicircular but tips ultimately acute, to c. 11 mm long. Stamens attached from slightly below middle to towards base of tube; free part of filament to c. 3 cm long; anther oblong, 3–5 mm long.
Capsule to c. 6 cm long including style; stipe to c. 6 cm long.
Flowering: late spring to early summer.
Distribution and occurrence: Grows in damp sandy and/or peaty soils in coastal and tableland areas; north from the Hawkesbury R. area, inland to Glen Innes district.
NSW subdivisions: NC, CC, NT, CT
Other Australian states: Qld
Flowers vary from wholly yellow to orange or red with yellow lobes, but it is not clear whether these are recognisable variants or just variation within a population. Forms (possibly hybrids) approaching B. nobilis are sometimes encountered in the southern portions of its range. Forms approaching B. cunninghamii recorded for Blue Mtns are unlikely to represent hybrids owing to ecological habitat separation.
Text by A. L. Quirico (1993); edited KL Wilson (March 2015)
Taxon concept: Flora of NSW 4 (1993)
APNI* Provides a link to the Australian Plant Name Index (hosted by the Australian National Botanic Gardens) for comprehensive bibliographic data
***The AVH map option provides a detailed interactive Australia wide distribution map drawn from collections held by all major Australian herbaria participating in the Australian Virtual Herbarium project.