Australian Wildflowers

Submitted: Monday, Jun 14, 2010 at 15:39
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For a number of years now I've been photographing wildflowers and now have about 1500 pics that I thought I'd put in an album (electronic) and try and name each flower. Now this is where I'm having some difficulty - I have a small picture book produced by Steve Parish and another book called 'Field Guide to Australian Wildflowers' by Denise Greig. Unfortunately both of these books require some botanical knowledge as they are structured along family lines etc. Great photos and descriptions when you do find what you are looking for but creating my album is going to take me 10 years at the pace I'm progressing.

To my question then - does anyone know of a book on wildflowers that is structured by say State and/or the colour of the flower? I reckon it would be a lot easier if I could just go to all the yellow flowers for instance to find the one the matches my pic of a yellow flower....and reckon it would be easier if this was also divided along State lines.....ie all the yellow wildflowers found in WA.

Thanks in advance.

Cheers
Pete
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Reply By: D200Dug- Monday, Jun 14, 2010 at 16:36

Monday, Jun 14, 2010 at 16:36
It is going to be a LONG and SLOW process , many flowers have different colours within the same species, a lot of Australian wildflowers have still to be identified and named.

That is why some botanical knowledge is required and why identifying flowers from photos can be difficult.

I would name those you can as a start then work on finding names for the others. Join a wildflower society if you can. I think there are a few online.

State and local museums also provide a service but they will name a few if they can not 1,500 !

your local library will also have flower ID books available.

There are also Australian wildflower groups on photo sites like Flickr you can post photos and ask for information there.

I use all these sources in a variety of ways to ID flowers and plant photos and still I fail to ID some of them.
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Reply By: Member - John and Val - Monday, Jun 14, 2010 at 17:28

Monday, Jun 14, 2010 at 17:28
Hi Pete,

Last year in WA I do recall seeing for sale a set of wildflower books arranged on the basis of colour. I didn't pay much attention as I had a pretty good set of books with me, and using colour as a starting point is not a method that I would use unless there was no other option. I confess to having a fair amount of knowledge about how to identify plants/flowers, although I'm a bit rusty.

Before our trip to WA last year I searched eBay for wildflower books and bought quite a few very cheaply - by using these I was able to identify most of the hundreds/thousands of flowers that we photographed at least down to genus level (I'm not too fussed about species level and for some genera its a bit pointless anyway as the taxonomic work is incomplete).

I would be very interested to see some of your photos - do you have them up on the web somewhere. Might be able to give you a pointer on some of the names.

Cheers,

Val
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Follow Up By: Member - barbara M (NSW) - Monday, Jun 14, 2010 at 18:44

Monday, Jun 14, 2010 at 18:44
Hi Pete,
Australian Native Plants by John W Wrigley and Murray Fagg it is dived into, ground covers, rockery plants water features, shrubs, trees and annuals and climbers.
My daughter who is studying to be a landscape architecture suggested you get a plant book specific to certain areas that you are interested in. State libraries usually publish books like that. Book for SE Queensland is Wild plants of greater Brisbane published by Queensland mueseum
barb
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Follow Up By: Patrol22 - Monday, Jun 14, 2010 at 19:10

Monday, Jun 14, 2010 at 19:10
Val - I currently only have some of them on a website......here - I think I have the access protocols set so you can see them.
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Follow Up By: Member - John and Val - Monday, Jun 14, 2010 at 22:53

Monday, Jun 14, 2010 at 22:53
Ummm - not on Facebook and don't really want to register which involves giving FB my email address. Maybe a blog on here might help? It sounds as though we did very similar trips last year - you can see on our blogs where we went.

Cheers,

Val
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Follow Up By: Patrol22 - Tuesday, Jun 15, 2010 at 06:33

Tuesday, Jun 15, 2010 at 06:33
Val - I never put my proper email address on any website but rather use a gmail account. I've found gmail to have pretty good anti-spam capacity too. I've got family all around the globe and we collectively have found FB to be very useful. But I see where you are coming from and agree that a blog would be a good approach.
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Reply By: Member - Min (NSW) - Monday, Jun 14, 2010 at 18:55

Monday, Jun 14, 2010 at 18:55
Hi Pete,

You have set yourself quite a challenge, but hopefully you will find it enjoyable and rewarding. Wildflowers can really get you hooked.

You don't say whether your pics are from all over the country or mostly in one state. In Kings Park, Perth, last year I picked up a book called "Colour Guide to Spring Wildflowers of Western Australia" by Eddy Wajon. Part 1 is Kalbarri and the Goldfields, Part 2 is Perth and the Southwest, and Part 3 is Esperance and the Wheatbelt. The most useful book I have for WA is "Wildflowers of Southern Western Australia , Margaret G Corrick and Bruce A Furher. "Guide to the Wildflowers of Western Australia" (Simon Nevill Publications) is popular and the photography is good but I found it slightly annoying for some reason. "A Guide to Plants of Inland Australia" by Phillip Moore is an excellent book which covers most of Australia except the east coast, far southwest and far north, and is quite informative. You could make yourself poor buying books unless you buy secondhand.

We found the only way to keep on top of naming the plants was to get back to camp at night and look at them on the laptop with the books at hand. Fortunately both of us are interested. The most important thing is to know where the photo was taken and what time of year.

As already suggested, if your join your local Australian Native Plant Society (formerly known as Society for Growing Australian Plants) I'm sure you will find some very knowledgeable people who will help you out. Just don't expect anyone to sit down and look at them all in one session!

Good luck,

Min
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Follow Up By: Patrol22 - Monday, Jun 14, 2010 at 19:13

Monday, Jun 14, 2010 at 19:13
John 'n' Min - Thanks for those pointers. The pics are from all over Aus in coastal and outback locations...many are from my trip last year from Canberra-Perth (including the SW)-Steep Point-Exmouth-Pilbara-Marble Bar-Punmu-Canning-Gunbarrel-GCR-Alice-Simpson-Corner Country-Cape Byron-Fraser Coast-Canberra. I'll get these all named.............................one day :-)
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Follow Up By: Member - John and Val - Monday, Jun 14, 2010 at 23:12

Monday, Jun 14, 2010 at 23:12
Probably the most useful publication for WA that I used was Wildflowers of Western Australia by CA Gardner BUT its arranged in Families which works for me but may not be a good approach for others AND its a 1978 edition which means that name changes since then are not included.

Eucalypts by Booker and Kleinig comes (came) in 3 volumes covering north, NW and SE Australia - again not sure if it has been revised to take account of extensive renaming of "gum trees" that has happened over that last couple of decades.

For around Canberra and south coast of NSW, Leon Costermans Native Trees and Shrubs of South-Eastern Australia is good.

There is no one book that will cover all plants and all parts of Australia. If you want to be super accurate you would need to use botanical keys and know the botanical language in which they are written.

Cheers,

Val
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Reply By: Patrol22 - Monday, Jun 14, 2010 at 19:05

Monday, Jun 14, 2010 at 19:05
Thanks for the advice folks......I'll try and source some of those references and keep plodding along. I'm happy if I can get a coupla three identified each day :-)
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Reply By: Member - John Baas (WA) - Monday, Jun 14, 2010 at 19:18

Monday, Jun 14, 2010 at 19:18
For WA, a good start can be made by using the FloraBase sitehttp://florabase.calm.wa.gov.au/ but to really be effective you do need to be able to at least recognise by sight major genus' such as hakea, davisia etc.

We learn't by buying a few field guides and then going out on trips to see, say, how many hakeas we could find, then identify. It's really worth the effort to put in some early hard yards as it makes wildflower appreciation much more satisfying IMO.

Our first start was eucalypts in Fitzgerald NP 35 years ago which was very rewarding as the park has so many euc species - we came away with a list of about 40 identified species over a week! Next trip it was banksias etc etc.

Cheers.
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Follow Up By: Patrol22 - Monday, Jun 14, 2010 at 19:30

Monday, Jun 14, 2010 at 19:30
Thanks for that website John. I'm not really up with the major genus...can recognise some eg hakea, banksia, acacia and the like but when it comes down to some of the less common well........ Pity there is some sort of facial recognition software for wildflowers - that would certainly make the learning less steep :-)
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Follow Up By: Member - John Baas (WA) - Monday, Jun 14, 2010 at 20:21

Monday, Jun 14, 2010 at 20:21
You've given me an idea Pete - I'm not that into blogging myself altho I enjoy the contribs of number of those who do. However, I might start a WA wildflowers blog as, like you, I've got stacks of pics.Image Could Not Be Found

Cheers.
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Follow Up By: Member - John and Val - Monday, Jun 14, 2010 at 22:50

Monday, Jun 14, 2010 at 22:50
John,

What a good idea! Could have a go at that as well. We could cross check each other's identifications.

Val
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Follow Up By: Member - John Baas (WA) - Tuesday, Jun 15, 2010 at 00:06

Tuesday, Jun 15, 2010 at 00:06
Thanks Val, I'm starting to feel inspired.

Might make a start soonish.

Cheers.
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