LOVELY SCENT OF NA­TURE’S PER­FUME

CAP­TURE BORO­NIA’S EX­QUIS­ITE SWEET AND FRUITY FRA­GRANCE IN YOUR GAR­DEN, A POT OR AS CUT FLOW­ERS

Central and North Burnett Times - - ADVERTISIN­G FEATURE - GREEN THUMB WORDS: MA­REE CURRAN Got a gar­den­ing ques­tion? Email ma­ree@ede­nat­by­ron.com.au

The gar­den cen­tre is full of fra­grance now, as the jas­mine com­petes with the cit­rus blos­soms, the os­man­thus and the brun­fel­sia. But per­haps the prize for the most de­li­cious scent of all goes to one of our na­tive plants, the brown boro­nia (boro­nia megastigma). This lovely small shrub grows about 1–2m tall and has fine fo­liage ar­ranged in whorls around the thin stems. It flow­ers in spring, pro­duc­ing masses of small, bell-shaped flow­ers, which are brown on the out­side and bright yel­low in­side, or bright and plum-coloured in the plum bells va­ri­ety. Though not very con­spic­u­ous, it has an in­tense and ex­quis­ite fra­grance. Boro­nias are in the same fam­ily as cit­rus and the scent is rem­i­nis­cent of orange blos­som – sweet and fruity and ut­terly de­lec­ta­ble. The flow­ers are the source of es­sen­tial oils, which are used in perfumes and as a food flavour en­hancer. Boro­nias need ex­cel­lent drainage, a slightly acid soil, con­sis­tent mois­ture and prefer­ably light dap­pled shade. It’s im­por­tant to keep the root zone cool, so en­sure there is a gen­er­ous layer of mulch at all times. If you have sandy or loamy soil, by all means plant a boro­nia in the gar­den. But if you have heavy soil or clay, pot cul­ture is the way to go. For­tu­nately, boro­nias grow well in pots, and it will be easy to po­si­tion the plant where you can en­joy the fra­grance when it’s in bloom. The flow­ers last well when cut, so you can en­joy bunches in­side too.

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