Desert Wildflowers in South Australia

Submitted: Sunday, Jun 23, 2013 at 08:43
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Hi All

For those of us that enjoy seeing our deserts covered in Wildflowers, keep spring in mind this year. I can't comment about other Australian Desert, but this year right across South Australia is shaping up to a very good season indeed.

Over the past month or so, much of Outback South Australia has received some very high rainfall at the time of the year to germinate seeds that have been just waiting for such life giving rains.

Robin has informed me that out in the areas around Maralinga, over 30mm of rain has had fallen over 3 weeks and already some Wildflowers are coming out. Also I was speaking with friends from Roxby Downs. The area around Roxby had also receive heavy rainfall and there are already large pockets of Sturt Desert pea in flower.

Then there are the Flinders Ranges that have received rain right across the whole area, and again some wildflowers have already germinated and flowering.

So if you want to see displays, this you could be a hard year to beat right across Outback South Australia.


Cheers




Stephen
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Reply By: mikehzz - Sunday, Jun 23, 2013 at 09:25

Sunday, Jun 23, 2013 at 09:25
Hey Stephen, are you sure you aren't a secret ambassador for tourism SA? You've inspired me to do 4 trips out there so far with your stories and pictures. SA has become my favourite destination. Did you know I drove all the way from Sydney to the Cooper Creek ferry over a longish weekend just to see what it was like? That was 2 days to get there, 1 day there and 2 days back. I had no time for a longer visit. It was worth it, I'll probably be dead by the time it operates again. :-) Cheers.
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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Sunday, Jun 23, 2013 at 10:23

Sunday, Jun 23, 2013 at 10:23
Hi Mike

Yes the Cooper over the Birdsville Track would have to be one event that should not have been missed by anyone that loves the outback. Our best experience was to take our first ever helicopter flight over the flooded Cooper and it looked totally unreal from the air.

I am glad you took my advise and made the drive and like you will most likely never get to see such an event again, not unless there are those special rare events in rainfall in outback Queensland.

If you have not been to the Flinders it should be fantastic up there in spring, or even Roxby Downs. I will be keeping in contact with my friends up there and if the Sturt Desert Pea are out in full bloom with lots of colour variations, we will head back up there for and extra long weekend in October.


I will keep everyone posted.


Cheers and glad you enjoy SA.


Stephen
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Follow Up By: GREENDOG ! - Sunday, Jun 23, 2013 at 20:09

Sunday, Jun 23, 2013 at 20:09
Hi Stephen ,hope all is well in your camp, Do you think the flowers will still be in full bloom October long week end ,was thinking about doing a little trip up to the Flinders to have a look at all the Flowers .cheers GREENDOG
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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Sunday, Jun 23, 2013 at 21:13

Sunday, Jun 23, 2013 at 21:13
Hi Pete

Long time to hear...lol

I would hope so, as long as we do not get any real hot days before then. Fiona and I hope to duck up there again sometime in September to check them out and are also hope the the Roxby Downs Coloured Sturt Desert Pea are out again.


Will keep everyone posted.


Cheers



Stephen
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Follow Up By: GREENDOG ! - Saturday, Jun 29, 2013 at 18:47

Saturday, Jun 29, 2013 at 18:47
Thanks mate ,we will be camping in the Parachilna Gorge ,cheers
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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Saturday, Jun 29, 2013 at 23:44

Saturday, Jun 29, 2013 at 23:44
Hi Pete

Have a great time

Cheers

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Reply By: Member - Heather L - Sunday, Jun 23, 2013 at 15:50

Sunday, Jun 23, 2013 at 15:50
Really enjoy your posts. Artist girlfriend & I coming across early Aug to spend weeks in Flinders but firstly want to stop & leave on road van at either Minnipa, Wudinna or Kimba & go thru Gawler Ranges to stay at St Ives.All seem about same distance 120 to 130 kms. Have Prado but want the most scenic route - which would you suggest?
Cheers Heather
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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Sunday, Jun 23, 2013 at 21:11

Sunday, Jun 23, 2013 at 21:11
Hi Heather

I am in the middle of doing another Blog of our recent trip to the Flinders, and should up up within the next day or so. In my Blog, you will read that I advise anyone that has never been to the Flinders before to allow at least 2 weeks, there is just so much to see. I have been visiting the Flinders for over 40 years as a young teenager and when it was still all dirt roads.

A good place to see Sturt Desert Pea is usually on the Martins Well Road and Mount Chambers Gorge.

August should see the country at its best from all the recent Rain.

Will get back regarding the Gawler Ranges


Have a Great Trip

Cheers


Stephen
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Follow Up By: Sigmund - Monday, Jun 24, 2013 at 14:44

Monday, Jun 24, 2013 at 14:44
Thanks Stephen. Good post as always.

Maybe you can help me ID this flower, pic taken at Coongie Lake last week: click

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Follow Up By: Dave B ( BHQ NSW) - Monday, Jun 24, 2013 at 16:25

Monday, Jun 24, 2013 at 16:25
Sigmund, I think it is Stuarts Pea or Parrot Pea, or another name is Birdflower. Crotalaria Cunninghamii
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Follow Up By: Sigmund - Monday, Jun 24, 2013 at 16:36

Monday, Jun 24, 2013 at 16:36
Thanks Dave!
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Follow Up By: Member - John and Val - Monday, Jun 24, 2013 at 17:12

Monday, Jun 24, 2013 at 17:12
Agree, Crotalaria cunninghamii, also has a common name of rattle-pod (because the seeds rattle in the pod when they are mature). Very common on sand dunes and found in most desert areas

Sturt's Desert Pea is what Stephen has in his signature pic, though mostly they are bright red or red-and-black, instead of the very unusual pink form that Stephen has a pic of there.

Parrot Pea is different again - a much smaller yellow and orange pea flower, genus Dillwynia. Its a small shrub more commonly found in wetter/coastal heaths. Have a look here.

Cheers,

Val
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Follow Up By: Sigmund - Monday, Jun 24, 2013 at 17:21

Monday, Jun 24, 2013 at 17:21
Thanks J&V.

We found a pic that matches in _A Guide to Inland Plants of Australia_ by P. Moore.

There were lots on the sandy slopes around Coongie Lake.
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Follow Up By: Member - John and Val - Monday, Jun 24, 2013 at 17:44

Monday, Jun 24, 2013 at 17:44
Hi Sigmund,

I have put a link to the wildflowers blog page here. If you scroll down the list of plants for which there is a blog you will find one for Crotalaria and also 0ne by Stephen on Sturts Desert Peas, so you can see quite a few more photos.

I see that there isn't a blog for all the myriad of other colourful pea flowers that we see on our travels - will have to rectify that before too long.

Cheers,

Val
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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Monday, Jun 24, 2013 at 18:44

Monday, Jun 24, 2013 at 18:44
Hi Sigmund

Your question has been answered before I got home from work, so thanks to Val and Dave. They are very common out in the Deserts and look good in flower.

Val, it sounds like we should have a great display on the trip, but further out could be another question. I rang Ilkurlka again today to make sure they still have our group on the books for fuel and he was saying they have only had a half an inch in the last month.


Cheers



Stephen
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Follow Up By: Sigmund - Monday, Jun 24, 2013 at 20:18

Monday, Jun 24, 2013 at 20:18
Thanks Val.

Lots of good links there.

Saw the Waddi tree last year for the first time. As a woodturner I was drooling at the exhibit in the Birdsville info centre. Very unusual with cream pith and choc brown heartwood.
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Follow Up By: Member - John and Val - Tuesday, Jun 25, 2013 at 21:54

Tuesday, Jun 25, 2013 at 21:54
Hi Stephen,

Looks like a bit of rain going across the GVD right now. Such unseasonal weather patterns, anything could happen!

Cheers,

Val
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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Tuesday, Jun 25, 2013 at 22:14

Tuesday, Jun 25, 2013 at 22:14
Hi Val

Lets keep our fingers crossed that it is fine when we go through and there are lots of flowers out...


Cheers


Stephen
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Reply By: Member - Alan K (QLD) - Wednesday, Jun 26, 2013 at 09:09

Wednesday, Jun 26, 2013 at 09:09
Stephen and Robin, Mick and I are off next week again to the Pilbara, Karlamilyi National Park (ex-Rudall RiverNP), via the Tanami and Canning. I notice they have actually had a fair bit of rain there this week. Weather Bureau Observations show 130mm (floods) at Port Hedland and 30mm at Telfer. Even 4mm at Giles. Will keep you posted on wildflowers in the Pilbara...and a few deserts south of there.

We shall also take special note of the wildflowers in your lovely State in our passing.

Back in late Aug/Sept........unless we are flooded out.
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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Saturday, Jun 29, 2013 at 23:43

Saturday, Jun 29, 2013 at 23:43
Hi Alan

That time has come around real quick. Have a great time and regards to the crew.

It should be a fantastic time and i hope all that rin cleats up well before you get there.

Give our regards to Mick


Cheers


Stephen and Fiona
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Reply By: Daisy G - Friday, Jul 12, 2013 at 16:43

Friday, Jul 12, 2013 at 16:43
Yes, last spring on our Easter holiday, my husband and I also have a spring desert traveling. And found petite colourful flowers under the shade and moissture of a rock. Most of this flowers are not found anywhere else.
In this harshest environment, really an amazing to find this wonderful life.
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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Friday, Jul 12, 2013 at 19:03

Friday, Jul 12, 2013 at 19:03
Hi Daisy

Finding any wildflower in its natural environment is always a great thing for sure and you think just how tough they must be to survive our arid areas.


Cheers


Stephen
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