Hi everyone, I hope you and yours are well. We are just back from a three week caravaning trip out through the wheatbelt and then down along the south coast.
Today just a brief overview, and in the coming weeks I will share some more.
First the queen of them all - the Queen of Sheba Orchid - probably one of our most flamboyant and colourful wild orchids - and the main reason we were down on the south coast in August. This is the Eastern variety - Thelymitra speciosa. There are two other varieties, all of which have very limited growing area. She really is stunning. We would propbably not have seen it if we hadn't been on a guided tour at Tozer's bush camp near Bremer Bay. Thankyou Paul our Botanist guide.
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Not to be outdone, below is the Royal Hakea - Hakea victoria. So sculptural looking. The Noongar name is Tallyongut. This was the first time we had seen this in flower too. The flower is insignificant compared to the leaves. Growing 1 to 3 metres tall, the leaves are stiff, tough and spiky. Due to the poor soil it grows in, each year the plant withdraws some nutrients from it's leaves to nourish its flowers and seeds. This results in the changes in colour - first year yellow, second orange-red, third year dull red. In rich soil the leaves remain green. On one plant you can see all the different colours. So interesting how plants adapt. They grow in abundance in the Fitzgerald National Park near Hopetoun.
Another gem of the Fitzgerald National Park and the Stirling Ranges National Park is the Scarlet Banksia - Banksia coccinea. The southwest botanical province supports about 170 varieties of Banksias (including the Dryandras which have recently been incorporated) about 30 of which grow between Esperance and Walpole along the coastal regions. The stamens start curled over and then open up. Many of our wild plants like the hakeas and banksias have very spikey leaves. This is a protective mechanism - but it can make for spikey bushwalking!
But they are not all spikey customers. This is the delicate Swamp Daisy or Albany daisy - Actinodium cunninghamii. However it is not actually a daisy - It belongs to the Myrtle family which includes gum trees, bottlebrushes, honey myrtles and wax flowers. Look at the close up image and you will see a cluster of white petals around the outside of the actual pink flowers. Native of the south coast, I took these photos at Tozers bush camp near Bremer Bay. You really do need to look very closely at flowers to see their makeup which is not always apparent at first glance. I never knew this about the swamp daisy till it was pointed out to me.
And here is the Esperance King Spider orchid - Caladenia decora. We saw this variety in the Helms Arboretum in Esperance and also at Tozers bush camp.
I hope you have enjoyed this little look at some of our south coast wildflowers. this is just the tip of the wildflower-berg. There is so much more to share with you. I will be back over the next few weeks with more exploring in Western Australia's south and more wildflowers.
And for my northern hemisphere friends .... yes we were closely watched by kangaroos a few times while we were out walking. This was a big boomer (male) but luckily he wasn't too bothered about us.
MosaicMonday at Letting Go of the Bay Leaf
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My corner of the world through my camera
Wednesday Around the World at Communal Global hosted by Randomosity.
and Little bird - Pienilintu
Welcome to Nature Thursday