Generally you will always find something flowering somewhere in the Australian bush, but during spring our bush puts out its full colour pallet. Influenced by rain and sunshine and boasting up to 12,000 known species, the Western Australian wildflower season spreads over several months starting from July in the north till November in the south
On Sunday we finally had the chance to go walking in one of our favourite patches of bush, Manea Park, near Bunbury.
In the collage below you can see some of our native orchids. The south west of Western Australia has more than 350 terrestrial orchid species. And when you are walking through the bush you really have to look carefully to find these beautiful little orchids.
I wouldn't pretend to know that exact name of each of these because in each family there are many varieties, so I will give you the family name - from left to right -
Donkey orchid, Queen of Sheba, Cowslip, White Spider orchid, Bee orchid, Pink Fairy, Enamel orchid, Jug orchid, Silky blue orchid, Shell orchid.
Another image of the Queen of Sheba. Beautiful isn't she! It is so amazing that for such a brilliantly coloured orchid, you can walk right by her if you are not looking in the right direction. Also being a sun orchid, they are likely to be closed on cloudy days. There are three known forms - one found Lancelin to Dongara, this one you see which grows Perth to Albany, and a third which grows between the Stirling Ranges and Esperance.
And some other wildflowers we saw today at Manea Park.
from top left - Dampera, Hibbertia, Pink Rainbow, Fringe Lily, Pepper and Salt, one of the Pea family, (bottom left) Blue Squill, another of the Pea family, Hovea, Blue Squill
A view along the pathway at Manea Park... There is a bench so you can stop and sit a while....
Later on in the day after we came home, I walked up to a little patch of bush near our home. Sadly introduced foreign invasive grasses and huge populations of freesias are taking over and choking out the native wildflowers. As much as I love freesias (I picked a bunch and brought them home), they shouldn't be there. And it saddens me to see the grasses spreading further and further into our patch of bush.
I feel like I have to photograph the native wildflowers in our patch of bush before it is too late. Here are some of them I photographed yesterday....
from left to right - Wattle, Western Australia's floral emblem the red Mangles Kangaroo Paw, Donkey orchid, Purple Tassels, White Tassels, Pink Fairy orchid, Running Postman, Hibbertia, Rush Cottonheads, White Spider orchid, Cowslip orchid, and Milkmaids.
This little one is a favourite of mine - Wild Violets -
And a view along the pathway... you can see the invasive grass in this image....our bushland shouldn't be like this - this is not part of our bush ecology. Every summer they burn the grass in the undergrowth, but every year it seems to come back stronger and more widespread. I fear it is too late to do anything about it now and after a while there will be no more native wildflowers. Even some of the banksia trees are starting to die - they say that is because of climate change.
But - it is still lovely to have this patch of bush near our home in suburbia. Do you have a patch of bush near you that you enjoy?
I hope you enjoyed this little wildflower walk. Have a wonderful week, and take a walk in a patch of bush near you sometime soon!
Your comments are precious to me, and I look forward to hearing from you.
A couple of good books are Eddy Wajon's 3 part series - Colour Guide to Spring Wildflowers of Western Australia (Wajon Publishing), the Department of Environment & Conservation bush books, and Guide to Native Orchids of South Western Australia by Bob Liddlelow (R &R Publications)
I am linking up to Mary and other wonderful contributors at Mosaic Monday - click on the link here to see their work - Mosaic Monday at Little Red House