Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 81.djvu/432

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

son, Mr. J. F. Bailey, director of the garden, and, like his father, thoroughly acquainted with the Queensland flora, accompanied me on a four days' trip, during which he showed me Macrozamia Denisoni, growing on the top of Tambourine Mountain. It is a beautiful cycad, regarded by some as the most beautiful species of the family, and has an immense cone which reaches a weight of seventy pounds.

Although cycads were always dominant in my plans, one of the most delightful and profitable experiences of the whole trip was an excursion to Tabby-Tabby Island. Mr. Bailey had promised to show me the staghorn fern (Platycerium) and accordingly went from Tambourine Mountain to Tabby-Tabby, a small island owned by Mr. Wm.

PSM V81 D432 The botanic garden at sydney australia.png

Fig. 5. View in the Botanic Garden at Sydney. The large palm is Jubea spectabilis, a native of Chili.

Gibson, who entertained us royally and took us out in his motor boat to the home of the peculiar fern. I had seen fine specimens in greenhouses, but nothing to suggest the wonderful display on the islands about Tabby-Tabby. One specimen was eight feet wide, and specimens four, five and six feet wide were common. It was easy to get a score of ferns on a single photographic plate, and often one could get both species, Platcerium grande and P. alcicorne, on the same plate. Many of the trees were so loaded that they were leaning, and some had even fallen on account of the great weight of the growing ferns (Fig. 6). Besides the botanical garden, with its extensive collections, Brisbane has an acclimatization garden, in charge of Mr. Soutter, devoted particularly to experiments in acclimatizing plants, the work being