Monday, 5 December 2011

Wildflowers of WA part 5

 I have to warn you all in advance....... I don't know the names of most of the flowers in this blog........but they're beautiful flowers no less :)

Once we left the SW of WA region, we pointed the car & van  Eastward for the 1st time in a long time. East of Margaret River region is the tall trees of mostly Karri with Jarrah, Marri & the giant red Tingle trees as others. This region is known as the Great Southern Forests.
A large area covered by almost a dozen different named National Parks, Conservation Parks & Nature Reserves that saves the endangered beautiful tall forests from farming.
This area stretches for > 300 kms long & up wards of 20 - 70 kms wide zone with smatterings of farming. Mathematicians can work that 1 out for ?? hectares, but it's a significant amount of area that could have been wiped out forever had it not been for some early pioneers who saw what forest felling was doing from farm clearing, furniture, housing or wood fires.
We stopped by the road side near Margaret River (town) to experience our 1st Karri forest. What a beauty. Majestic Karri trees reaching up to 60 mtrs high. The under story is damp but not too wet in this area for ferns etc to grow.

Many orchids are also found in these areas. There wasn't many to be seen when we went through in late Oct. This beauty was hiding under a bush.
We decided to settle ourselves amongst the forest for a night. It was peaceful & quiet in Blackwood River NP amongst the Karri & Jarrah trees.

 I felt like we'd camped beside a small orchid garden with these cowslip orchids in abundance in the area.

 This coral hovia was on a small walk near the Gloucester tree @ Pemberton.

 A sun orchid - found along the roadside past Pemberton.
 This plant is a type of grass tree, but has different flowering stalks

 Tree Hovia & Clematis ( pretty white flower). Hovia's are either climbing or in bush form & grow every where like a weed in the forests.
 I don't know what these 2 flowers are, but I found them growing in an old town site in Shannon NP whilst camping for the night. The old town has mostly been removed & just signage now stands where each house / business stood in the early 1900's. The town was there for forest felling / timber getters & their families.

More orchids along the road
 An enamel orchid almost finished flowering.
 ?? name, but beautiful orchid.
We stopped at Walpole for a few nights to explore more of the tall forests in the area. There are many flowering bushes where there's no tall trees.
 The petal on this flower looked like crepe paper.

 Fungus growing amongst the dead wood even looks pretty.

 Bottle brush growing beside a road.
 ?? but strikingly pretty.

This flower belongs to a smaller leafed geranium type plant. It almost grows every where there's no tall trees. It especially grew very well on the low heath coastal sections all the way along the southern ocean coast of WA.

A eucalypt flower almost fully sprouted. I love the tips full of pollen ready for insects to spread the love :)

We had been visiting 1 of the National parks near Albany called Torndirrup. There were a lot of names ending in 'up' around Albany - street names, towns, national parks, creeks & rivers etc. 'up' means place of water in indigenous culture. Torndirrup Nat Pk is a peninsula to the SW of Albany. 1 side is buffeted by the southern ocean.
These green matchstick like flowers are the Matchstick Banksia - amazing looking flower - the leaves are spiky though
Same plant as above, but this flower is an older bloom.
I'm not 100% sure, but I think this flower is maybe a type of Banksia.

The low heath along this downward walk towards some rocky coast line was really pretty. Lots of colour & plenty of variation in plants.
Banksia's were prolific along this walk as well. You can see by the no* of pics of Banksia's how much I love them.

Along the coast East of Albany is another National Pk called Gull Rock. More fascinating rocky coast lines & rocky islands.
This is the Scarlet Banksia is different stages of flowering. Spiky leaves again. This plant isn't very bushy like most other banksia's.

This is the Southern Cross flower. A really pretty flower that was growing in most of the southern coastal regions of WA.
This flower looks like a pea flower. The bush it's growing on looks deadly if you trip into it's foliage.

Interesting flower.

These 2 pics are of the same flower. The leaf is quite thick & I was confused as to which side was the right side, but the fronds faced downwards in this position
The under side. Is it the right side, but looks down?
Stunning flower.

After leaving Albany we headed inland towards Porongurup Nat Pk. There were plenty of wildflowers along the walks across the not so high mts.
This flower is papery.
Grass trees were common in the National Park & the views were magnificent on top of the mts.

I'm not sure, but this could be a sun dew flower.

Another interesting flower, that looks like grass. The bud doesn't open any further.
We've seen plenty of pea flowers for several months now, but this 1 is different & presents in a cluster from a shell.
A Mallee flower I think.

I don't know - again - but the tips are deadly. I think the plants have adapted to prevent them being eaten by animals.

We moved 50 kms further north to the Stirling Range Nat Pk. The ranges stretch over 65 kms  East toWest.
The park is one of the world's most important areas for flora, with 1,500 species (many of which grow nowhere else) packed within its boundaries.
 Because of their height, and proximity to the south coast, the climate on the peaks differs from that of the surrounding district. This is the main reason for the great variety of wildflowers. There are, for instance, an astonishing 123 orchid species -- 38 per cent of all known Western Australian orchids.

The views up some of the ranges were quite spectacular. The mt sides are covered in wildflowers.

The southern cross flower was every where.
?? looks like a fungus growing on these branches.
The macro shot shows up the hairs on the stems of each flower stem looks amazing.

I had trouble identifying the orchids. Most had finished flowering.
At 1st I ignored these stems growing out of the ground that looked like asparagus. On closer inspection there were dozens of tiny orchid flowers along the stems. Each flower was < 0.75cm in size.

 This is also an orchid, the flower even smaller than the 1 above.

 The Dragon orchid was shown to me by 1 of a guide. Otherwise I would not have spotted if.  They are also almost finished flowering.

Simply beautiful

That's fungus growing along a dead branch.

This is a cacti flower growing in a planter. Not necessarily native to the area.
I'm thinking these 2 are a Hakea species

We were there in early  mid Nov & further up the mts the flowers are more prominent. This bush is just starting to flower, found at least > 400 mtrs up Knolls Bluff - Stirling Ranges highest peak.
We were in the clouds when I took this common flower found nearly right across southern 1/3 of WA - Dampiera.
Another pretty flower that looks like crepe paper up close.

?? different
Chittick is a large shrub, that grows mostly on the flatter country areas around the Stirling Range Nat Pk.

I love the smaller fronds in between each flower petal :)
The Cone Flower - for obvious reasons -the whole bush looks really pretty with the flower cone combo.
Another different Pea Flower (I think) flower as a cluster, but no outer shell casing like the previous 1.
 Another beautiful bush

The next 2 banksia's were growing in the nature garden of the park we stayed at whilst in the Stirling Ranges.
 The Matchstick Banksia (pink stems instead of white as per previous pic of this flower)
 The Showy Banksia is 2 stages of flowering on the same tree. Honeyeater birds can suck the nectar from these flowers in a matter of seconds & move on to the next flower or tree.

Going by the number of pics with Banksias in them, you can guess that I love them. They come in so many colours, stages of flowering, small & large.
There were many more flowers in the Stirling Ranges, that I didn't take a pic of - just the more interesting ones :) Many have been seen in areas in other parts of the SW of WA.


  1. Great photos. I was search plant names (just came back from WA) and I thought I had hit the jackpot. Oh well, not many names but GREAT photos.

  2. Hi Bill, it was my intention to eventually name many of the flowers, but haven't yet. Here is a link that I hope may answer some of your questions.

    Thanks re the photos, I had a great macro setting on my camera.
    cheers Sue