Aussie Monster

We came across this monstrous red flower in the Australian Garden, Dunedin Botanic Garden, New Zealand on Christmas Day 2019. We don’t seem to have the name for it even though there’s a sign. Either forgot to record it or couldn’t read it. Anyone know what it is?

[UPDATE 05 Feb: This morning I found an article at the Dunedin Botanic Garden website that identifies the plant as Doryanthes palmeri, flowering for the first time in 15 years.]

First four photos by Liz and last one by Nigel.



Nigel’s over 6-foot tall so this flower head is held high.



Flower detail via Nigel.


Text by Liz, photos by Liz and Nigel; Exploring Colour (2020)

24 thoughts on “Aussie Monster

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    1. Yes that’s right! I found an article at the Dunedin Botanic Gardens website this morning that confirmed the name as Doryanthes palmeri and I’ve just posted again with wild pictures of this species from Queensland – supplied from Jane at ‘Mildly Extreme’ WP blog.


  1. Wow, what a huge flower-head! Hope it’s not a triffid, hehe! (And I hope that reference is not too old for other folk to get, or I’ll feel really old…arg!)

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    1. It’s in a sheltered area on a sunny hillside near the bird aviaries. Apart from the shelter of surrounding trees and bushes it doesn’t have special protection. It wouldn’t be tropical as it gets quite chilly in Dunedin in winter, I guess down to -5 degrees. We get wet winters too but this site would be relatively well-drained.

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