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I've been a Canberran since moving here from Adelaide on the first day of 1980. I now live in suburban Duffy with my partner Louise Maher, ABC 666 radio and on-line journalist. Among my early memories is following Sleepy Lizards (Shinglebacks) around the paddocks north of Adelaide, guarded by the faithful bull terrier. I have always been passionate about the natural world, trying to understand how it works, how the nature of Australia came to be, and sharing those understandings. My especial passions are birds, orchids and mammals. For much of my life I have been a full-time naturalist, running bush tours, writing books etc, doing consultancies, presenting a regular radio slot on local ABC, chairing a government environment advisory committee and running adult education classes. Recently I have eased back somewhat, but am still writing, teaching, doing some radio work and running overseas tours - as part of my fascination with our Gondwanan origins I've been running tours to South America for the past decade. I was awarded the Australian Plants Society Award in 2001 and the Australian Natural History Medallion in 2006, both for services to education and conservation. In January 2018 I was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia for 'service to conservation and the environment'.

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Thinking Pinkly #4 - pink glow from the west

Continuing with a celebration of pink flowers - see my last posting for the start of it, including some thoughts on the nature of pinkness in flowers. On going through my pictures I was struck by how many of my pink flower shots were from Western Australia, though I expect that the reason is simply that the south-west is one of the most botanically diverse areas in the world and I've got lots of pics of western flowers in general! I think they can speak for themselves, with the help of their captions.
Schoenia cassinianus Pindar. (Pindar is a small wheat town in the mid-north, 450km north of Perth,
in a dry area famed for its wildflowers.)
A spectacular daisy of the dry mid-north, though unlike many of the species which follow,
this one is not limited to Western Australia.
Pityrodia (or Dasmyalla in some recent thinking) terminalis, Family Lamiaceae (or Chloanthaceae), Pindar.
A glorious group, mostly bird-pollinated.
Bridal Rainbow (!) Drosera macrantha Droseraceae, Leeuwin Naturaliste NP, far south-west.
The sundews are insect-trapping and -digesting plants; this dramatic one is a vigorous climber.
Yellow-eyed Flame Pea Chorizema dicksonii, John Forrest NP, Darling Ranges near Perth.
Painted Lady Gompholobium scabrum, Two Peoples Bay, near Albany.
I'd intended to only include one example from each family, but I really couldn't bear
to leave out either of these superb pink peas, each so different from what most of us are used to!
(They also illustrate the different colours included in 'pink'!)
Snakebush Hemiandra pungens, Family Lamiaceae, Pinnacles NP, north of Perth.
I have no idea of the origin of the common name; the genus, closely related to Prostanthera,
is entirely restricted to Western Australia.
Pink Bottlebrush Beaufortia schaueri, Family Myrtaceae, Stirling Ranges NP.
A widespread brilliant shrub in gravelly soils.
Wiry Honeymyrtle Melaleuca nematophylla, Kalbarri NP.
Again I've allowed two species from one family to creep in, but my memory of these huge bushes
blazing pink was too strong to resist.
Actually I'm going to devote an entire posting to the WA members of Myrtaceae one day
- there are so many remarkable ones.
Grass-leaf Hakea Hakea multilineata, Family Proteaceae, Goldfields Track east of Hyden.
I could also have included some pink grevilleas from this family, but some restraint seemed in order...
Beaked Triggerplant Stylidium adnatum Family Stylidiaceae, Woody Island, Esperance.
The remarkable triggerplants have a pollination mechanism which involves a fused male-female structure
held back against the stem by liquid tension, released explosively by the contact of an insect to deliver pollen
forcefully to its body, or to collect pollen it's carrying. More on this one day too.
Coastal Banjine Pimelea ferruginea Family Thymeliaceae, Woody Island, Espereance.
Eastern species ('rice flowers') are all white; this one grows on
coastal dunes and headlands right around the south-west coast.
Pink Milkmaids Burchardia rosea Family Colchicaceae, Kalbarri NP.
A superb pink lily growing in winter-wet sand in heathlands in the mid-north.
And here we'll leave the wondrous west for now; next time I'll conclude this series with a look at some pink orchids.

Note that by the time you read this I'll be in Patagonia (this is 'one I prepared earlier');
this means that I won't be able to respond to any comments you care to make until I get back.

1 comment:

The happy wanderer. said...

Certainly a huge range there. It is interesting that pink doesn't dominate so much in the east.