2018 WA Wildflower season

Submitted: Tuesday, Sep 11, 2018 at 13:47
ThreadID: 137232 Views:1064 Replies:6 FollowUps:9
It is certainly worth the drive through the northern wheatbelt this year - a few pics from our recent drive last week.

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Kerry W (WA)
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Reply By: Member - William B (The Shire) - Tuesday, Sep 11, 2018 at 15:35

Tuesday, Sep 11, 2018 at 15:35
Hi Kerry,

I have watched people on this forum talking about the wild flower season in W.A.
but was not aware of how spectacular it really is.

WOW.

William
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Follow Up By: Life Member - Duncan W (WA) - Wednesday, Sep 12, 2018 at 10:19

Wednesday, Sep 12, 2018 at 10:19
Channel 9 had a special on last Saturday night with Trevor Cochran driving around the State's Mid West showcasing the wild flowers.

Destinations WA.

You may be able to view it on catch-up TV.

cheers

Dunc

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Reply By: ExplorOz Team - Michelle - Wednesday, Sep 12, 2018 at 12:09

Wednesday, Sep 12, 2018 at 12:09
Thanks for posting Kerry. Did you know you can add these pics to places without uploading again? Just use the Advanced option in the image edit and tag to the place name...eg. I did your wreath flower pic to Pindar.
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Reply By: Neil & Pauline - Wednesday, Sep 12, 2018 at 13:53

Wednesday, Sep 12, 2018 at 13:53
If you get on your hands and knees and look closely there are an amazing amount of very small orchids underneath these masses of flowers. Down to 2-3 mm across.

Neil
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Follow Up By: Member Kerry W (WA) - Wednesday, Sep 12, 2018 at 15:44

Wednesday, Sep 12, 2018 at 15:44


Yep - everywhere - especially a hotspot around Canna amazing.
Kerry W (WA)
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Reply By: Ron N - Thursday, Sep 13, 2018 at 00:52

Thursday, Sep 13, 2018 at 00:52
Kerry is spot on. I've been around the wheatbelt and Goldfields of W.A. for more than 50 years, and this season is the most spectacular wildflower season I have seen in probably 25 years.

We have just done a run from Perth to Pindar and back over 3 days, and I'm blown away - not only by the wildflowers, but by the stunning crops as well.

We went Perth-Moora, then 20kms North of Moora to Coomberdale - turned left and took Coomberdale West Rd. We were stopped at Agaton Rd, by a "Closed Road" sign on Coomberdale West. The road West of here is still closed due to flooding.
So we turned right and took Agaton Rd, North to the Watheroo Rd (passing Watheroo National Park on our left) - then turned left on Watheroo Rd., and went through to the Brand Hwy and Badgingarra.

The Watheroo Rd is a veritable highway, with stunning landscape scenery - and some Rose Mallee in flower on the left, about halfway to Badgingarra.

We then headed North up Brand Hwy to the Coorow-Green Head Rd, then turned right, and headed East on the Coorow-Green Head Rd.
There's good displays of wildflowers along the several reserves along this stretch of road.

When we came onto the Midlands Rd again, South of Coorow, we turned left, and headed North through Coorow, until we approached Carnamah.
We turned left again, onto Chappell Rd, just before Carnamah - which took us onto the Carnamah-Eneabba Rd, which we followed to Eneabba.
The crops and flowers are also very impressive through this stretch.

After reaching Eneabba, we headed to Dongara, where we stayed the night (and enjoyed some superb local fish).
Early next morning, with showers threatening, we took off for Mingenew and Coalseam Conservation Park - with the compulsory climb of Mingenew Hill, of course!

With the Hill climb behind us, we took off for Coalseam - where we were blown away by the wildflower display, and the greenness of the Park.
Showers overtook us after lunch, as we left the Park for Mullewa - but they soon passed, and it wasn't long before we were back to just partly cloudy, but pleasant conditions.

We stopped for a bite in Mullewa, and then headed off to Pindar, to find the Wreath flowers.
It wasn't hard to find them - just follow the throngs of cars, caravans and motorhomes!

Leaving the wreath flowers and Pindar behind, we took the Tardun-Pindar Rd., South from Pindar, aiming for Morawa.
We stopped at Tardun and Canna, before pulling into Morawa around 5.30PM - where we had a motel unit booked.
The Morawa pub does good food, and we retired full of some tasty steak, salad and chips!

Early next morning we headed off to Perenjori, stopping multiple times to check out various patches of superb flower displays, before stopping at Bowgada Reserve to feast our eyes on massive displays of wildflowers, again.
Once through Perenjori, we stopped at Caron Dam, where there's a small display of Spider orchids and Candy orchids. They're on the dam embankment.

Onwards to Wubin, which we zipped through, in favour of a lunch stop at Dalwallinu.
The Dally pub does good grub, too! - I had the Green Curry Chicken, daily special, served up by a tiny little Filipino cook - and it was delicious!

We hit the road again for Perth after lunch, and once again enjoyed the wildflower displays, as we started to endure increasing amounts of traffic, and particularly many road trains, and serious numbers of wide loads!

The section of Gt Northern Hwy from South of Dalwallinu, through Pithara and Miling, to Walebing, is undergoing a massive upgrade and huge re-alignment, that is all part of the W.A. Govts "Perth to Darwin Hwy", major upgrade.

There are quite a number of roadworks along this stretch and it was probably the slowest section of the whole trip.
Regardless, we made it back to the Big Smoke by 5:30PM Tuesday night - and I can say this was the best 3 day trip I've spent, in a long while!

I would recommend to everyone - drop what you are doing, and do this Northern W.A. wheatbelt trip, as soon as you can!
The September/Spring heat hasn't started yet, and you will not get to see wildflowers like this again, for probably another 20 years!!

By early October, the wildflower season will have peaked and the flowers will be wilting and have lost colour - so go NOW, while they are just fantastic!!

Cheers, Ron.





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Follow Up By: Member Kerry W (WA) - Thursday, Sep 13, 2018 at 10:24

Thursday, Sep 13, 2018 at 10:24
Worth mentioning - Perenjori has a Quarry where there are prolific wreath flowers developing, info centre have the directions.
Kerry W (WA)
Security is mostly a superstition. It doesnt exist in nature. Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.
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Follow Up By: Ron N - Thursday, Sep 13, 2018 at 10:48

Thursday, Sep 13, 2018 at 10:48
Word of the Wreath flowers is spreading internationally. Just North of Perenjori, we were stopped, examining and photographing wildflowers - when some Chinese tourists in a hired Corolla pulled up, and jumped out, and wanted to know where the wreath flowers were!

Their grasp of English was extremely basic, I was having trouble getting them to understand me - but their faces lit up when I mentioned "Pindar", and "Wreath flowers"! They recognised those two important English words! LOL

Cheers, Ron.
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Follow Up By: ChrisVal7 - Thursday, Sep 13, 2018 at 19:28

Thursday, Sep 13, 2018 at 19:28
A friend directed me to your post Ron, and we are headed up that way right now. I figure from your comments that we have a good week or two before they start to wilt?
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Follow Up By: Ron N - Thursday, Sep 13, 2018 at 21:43

Thursday, Sep 13, 2018 at 21:43
Chris & Val - Yes, early October is when the heat starts to come in, in the Northern W.A. wheatbelt.

Check the forecasts for the various W.A. country towns and watch the weather patterns for big high pressure systems developing over the Bight, with troughs forming down the central W.A. coast.

When this pattern starts to develop, we're into Summer proper, and the heat levels start to soar, with Easterly and North-Easterly winds.
At that point, the wildflowers start to wilt pretty rapidly. Any regular daily temperatures over 30 degrees sees the wild flowers start to take the knock.

The beauty of W.A. being such a large area is, when the wildflowers in the Northern areas are starting to wilt, the wildflowers in the Southern areas of the State are still in full bloom.

Farmonline Weather - synoptic charts

BOM - 7 day forecasts for W.A. towns

Don't forget the W.A. school holidays start on the 21st of September and run to the 8th Oct.
That means the wildflower areas will be bursting with whole families in campers, caravans and mobile homes - and even families just in the family sedans.
Thus, all camping areas and accommodation in W.A. country areas will be in high demand during this period.

We found that the traffic levels were quite light all through the Northern wheatbelt early this week, but it won't last.
The main highways, the Brand and the Gt Northern and Gt Eastern Hwys, are always busy.

Cheers, Ron.
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Follow Up By: ChrisVal7 - Friday, Sep 14, 2018 at 09:07

Friday, Sep 14, 2018 at 09:07
Thank you so much for this detailed and valuable information. That is all extremely useful to know.
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Reply By: Motherhen - Friday, Sep 14, 2018 at 23:03

Friday, Sep 14, 2018 at 23:03
Please be aware your third photo is a WEED. Monoculus monstrosus, known as Stinking Roger, is a weed now turning up in wildflower photos from a wide area on the state. Also in other states. I found some in a Victorian National Park :O.
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Follow Up By: Ron N - Saturday, Sep 15, 2018 at 00:08

Saturday, Sep 15, 2018 at 00:08
Interesting - I wasn't aware of its weed status. Thanks, MH. It appears it's pretty widespread, it's been found in most Shires from the Northern and Central West, right through to the South East and even the W.A. Goldfields.

It appears it was introduced from South Africa and possibly originated as an ornamental.
Along with that South African Veldt Grass curse, this is apparently another thing we can thank the Saffies for! [:-(

DPAW - Florabase - Monoculus monstrosus

Cheers, Ron.
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Follow Up By: Motherhen - Saturday, Sep 15, 2018 at 00:31

Saturday, Sep 15, 2018 at 00:31
Hi Ron

So many of our bush 'weeds' have come in as garden flowers from South Africa, and some are showy and lovely. They thrive and suffocate out our delicate natives. Photos of various ones turn up in wildflower photo arrays, and even on magazines and brochures. People viewing get to think they are native.

The bulbs such as freesias, ixias, sparaxis, black flag, watsonia and gladioli seem obviously out of place - but many still think they are photographing our wildflowers.

Paterson's Curse and Ruby Dock stand tall over the mid west wildflowers, and appear so often that people say "I didn't know they weren't native".

Then there are Gazanias, also from South Africa and thrive in the bush due to their summer drought tolerance. There are even worse in South Australia dominating road verges and even filling paddocks. There growth suffocates everything in their path.

Even Guildford Grass, which has been a weed everywhere for as long as I can remember is turning up frequently photographed as a wildflower.

Much smaller, but VERY widespread is Wahlenbergia capensis, Cape Bluebell. I have a lists with pages of them that I have seen in the bush. We have our own natives species of Wahlebergia, and they are even prettier.

Some of the smaller ones are hard to be sure about origin. But I keep on showing people what I know to be weeds. We have wonderful wildflowers and they are at risk.

I have some of the "weed" species growing in my garden and there they stay. Some have been purchased from nurseries, but others have been removed from the bush.
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Reply By: Ron N - Sunday, Sep 16, 2018 at 00:26

Sunday, Sep 16, 2018 at 00:26
The Wildflower Society of W.A. has produced a downloadable 16 page online booklet, giving suggestions for W.A. wildflower drives, and good sites to see wildflowers.

It is by no means a comprehensive list, just a basic guide.
Despite being published in 2015, it's not out of date, the wildflowers are still in abundance in the places mentioned, but you will also find many wildflowers outside the places mentioned.

Good Wildflower Spots in W.A.

The West Australian newspaper website has also produced an article today, with regard to the impressive wildflower display on Ninghan Station, NE of Wubin.

W.A. country ablaze with wildflower colour

Cheers, Ron.
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