Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Wildflowers of WA (part 2)

Driving through Kalbarri National Pk was like driving through a huge Garden of Eden. The 186,000 hectare park is covered in medium to  low growing shrubs & smaller flowers. There were larger trees seen, but mostly within the 80 km Murchison River gorges.  Kalbarri boasts over 1,000 species of flowering plants. It's mind blowing.
Kalbarri is a heathland plant community, made up of low growing plants whipped and pruned by the salt winds. Unlike other areas where there are only a few species forming oceans of colour, in Kalbarri there is a vast array of species. Flower colours are in the white, yellow, blue and purple range, which attracts insects, whereas birds are more attracted to orange, red and pink flowers. 

Unfortunately the orchids had finished flowering, as flowers start blooming sometime in June in Kalbarri.
We saw many grass trees, some with more than 1 flower spike

I loved our drive through this scenery on our way to the gorges, dozens of kms like this. It was so picturesque & I'm envious that I can't have that type of garden. The soil is very sandy.

 This Acorn Banksia  was seen in Kalbarri National Pk. This species was only just starting to come out in flower in Sept. Banksia's flower gradually from the bottom & have over 600 individual flowers on each frond
 This plant was everywhere from Kalbarri south - it is called 'smoke bush' & when you see an area full of this bush, it looks like the area is in full of smoke. This bushs' 'flower is just a new extension of the green fronds

 This grevillea flower changes colour as it ages & has a spectacular appearance. Lots of this plant was scattered around Kalbarri National Pk.
 This flower looks very different

I believe this plant could be the copper cups. It's colour was a beautiful contrast to the more softer colours that dominated the landscape.
This area was part of the landscape near the sea cliff points around Kalbarri. It all is in it's national park

These pretty shrub flowers looks like a mini version of the Geraldton wax. They are prolific plants seen  from Kalbarri to as low as Lesuer National Pk, thus far.

 This unusual plant is a northern cauliflower - flowers look like it's name sake.

 This bush - lambs wool -  is a medium shrub that has these fluffy white flowers all over it. On closer inspection the centres are purple.
 Most of the Murchison Rose shrubs had finished flowering. This was a rare find.

 I think the 2 lowers above might be the wiry Honey Myrtle

 I have a feeling this bush might be the Bird Beak Hakea - there were little flowers or fronds on it which makes me think the shrub might be dead. The unusual bird beak is the give away for the plant name.
 This pretty flower in The Geraldton Wax. The multi colours on the shrub made it really pretty.
 Kangaroo Paw - a green version found in the wildflower centre we visited 1 afternoon. I haven't found any this colour in the wild yet.
 Another Kangaroo Paw also at the wildflower centre.

 This is 1 of the flowering eucalyptus trees I came across.
 Along the road east from Geraldton, there was many thousands of hectares of crop farming. I guess this paddock of mauve may be a herbage to re fertilize the field - or not -
it's a weed - Pattersons Curse - who would have guessed?
 May be another field of herbage or canola or a weed

Coalseam Conservation Park got a short visit from us. It got it's name from the small band of coal that was attempted to be mined in the early 1900's. The project was abandoned as the seam was too narrow to be profitable.
The everlastings had died bar a few. There was plenty of this yellow flower though, with smatterings of white. Flower type ................... I don't know :)

 This purple flower/ weed looked quite spectacular next to the road. Km after km of this stuff.

We were heading approx 100 km east of Geraldton for a good reason. We had to go to a small community called Pinda, east of Mullewa, drive up a good dirt road for 10 kms & 'voila' there's our prize. The Wreath Flower was a sought after flower to be photographed. We didn't have to walk off the road to see these beauties, & I  would think the road grader would have had specific instructions to go around these. Their specialized root system lives under ground once the above ground foliage dies off each yr.

 Aren't they gorgeous. Car after car was doing the same as us to get a few pics of this beautiful wonder.

 Nearby, off the road into the bushes a few mtrs, there were other flowering plants, like this unusual shrub that had a dark purple flower. It will remain nameless here for now.
This is the blue pincushion - the 1st time I've seen many growing in the same area.
 Also on the road edges were these group of flowering shrubs, & as it was for  most of the 10km road.
 This plant looked like a succulent, or maybe it was a weed. I only saw this in 1 area near our free camp spot at Wilroy Nature Reserve.
I had great fun walking along the road way just  a short way from our van @ Wilroy. I think this small nature reserve & many seen like it were acquired for the purposes of keeping the flora & fauna out of the clutches of farmers & their crops. There were hundreds of thousands of hectares of crops from north of Kalbarri down. I guess it's called the 'wheat belt' for a reason. I've got to give the shires a big applause for keeping reserves like this.

 I would love to have all this in my yard. It's just amazing how nature does a wonderful job.
This plant is native foxglove - isn't it beautiful :)

 I don't know what it is, but maybe a spikey hackea - what ever it is, it has an exquisite flower, but by the looks of the bush, don't brush up against it!
 This is a close up pic of those wonderful pink & white flowering shrubs I'd been seeing for over a wk now. They are just so pretty. I'm thinking it's called Kalbarri Wax.

These pretty flowers are everlastings. We came across these just south of Wilroy nature reserve. Many travellers go down minor roads, some times good dirt roads, just to see carpets of this pretty flower. They become papery as they dry out.

We stayed @ Cervantes whilst on the coast again. Driving along the roads towards Cervantes & around the area was pleasurable.
These are Damperia bush - named after the Botanist William Dampier - I think

Parrot Bush is this plants name. Not sure why, as the Parrot fish is pretty blues & purples.
The flower of this bush looks like the Parrot Bush, different colour, but is called Pixie Mops.
The coastal sandy 'soil' grows many flowers like this unknown flower

Apparently the Pea flower bush is a poisonous weed to grazing animals (but i fed heaps to Rod) - he wrote that bit!!!
I like the flower even if the farmers don't.
Old & dead Banksia flowers even have beauty                                                                                                                                                                     

There are 177 species of Banksia in Oz- this being 1 of them - which flowers August to December
Another Pea Flower

Lesueur National Park is N.E of  Cervantes. It covers over 26,900 hectares with over 900 plant species. The drive through part of the park was picturesque. Much of the park has grass trees. The park was set aside in the 1950's when a botanist was concerned by the effects agriculture was having on the area. 1992 saw the gazetting of the park due to public pressure to stop a major coal mining development.

To the left of this pic is Mt Lesueur. The drive through a small part of the park is 1 way, with many pull over areas to look at the amazing wildflowers. We went on a short 2.5kms walk to view some of the flowers from 1 of the car parks. 

The many stages of colour on the 1 branch.

 This flower is known as cow licks, 1 of the trigger plants. The middle stamum triggers down to this position as it's way of placing pollen onto insects that feed on its nectar. Ingenious.
 We saw many  red kangaroo paw flowers in the park.

 I think this is 1 of the leschenaultia species. The flower is less that 1 cm is size.
 I don't know yet what this pretty flower is. I'm not sure if this is how it looks when it bursts into flower, or that the flower is aging. Most of these flowers looked like this.
 Am not 100% sure, but I think this flowers red colouring is toxic to 1's eyesight & renders you blind for several hrs if you tough your eyes after playing around with the flower. Cute flower & also small.
 This is another of the pea flower species. They are small & difficult to get a pic at the right angle. Esp when we had several wks of windy weather. The back of this flower is also pretty.
 My 1st orchid spotting in natural setting. This 1 cm size orchid is called the enamel orchid.
 I was fascinated by the different colours 1 plant can have of this Verticordia species. The flowers are feather like.

 Another orchid I think, but I don't know its name. Another very small flower & difficult to get the right angle.
 I think this plant maybe a weed, but is was worth a pic 'cos I liked its different leaf pattern. Notice the insect in 1 of the flowers.
 Fascinating  flower again. Have a look at the feather like webbing in between each individual flower stem. Just gorgeous. Once again this flower was only 2 cms max. across.

Many flowers of Lesueur were seen in other areas I'd been to & will cover in part 3 as the areas aren't geographically that far apart. I saw the above flowers for the 1st time in Lesueur National Park.

If I find a name to some of these flowers, I'll edit same.

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