Wildflowers, Photos … and Wreath Plants

Submitted: Wednesday, Dec 29, 2010 at 15:29
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One of the “must see” plants on any wildflower hunters list would have to be the Wreath Plant, Lechenaultia macrantha. Image Could Not Be FoundIt is found only in Western Australia north east of Perth to Shark Bay and particularly inland from Geraldton in the area between Mullewa to Dallwallinu.
Wreath plants only grow to about 150 mm in height, spreading out to about one metre in diameter. The branches are covered with narrow leaves about 40 mm long.
The five-petalled Image Could Not Be Foundflowers are about 30-35 mm diameter and occur most prominently around the circumference of the plant - leaving no doubt as to the origin of the common name. The flower colour is deep pink to red with yellow or cream in the centre. Flowering occurs in late winter and spring.
They are found in woodlands and shrublands, usually growing on sand or gravel and often where the soil has been disturbed in places like roadsides or quarries.

Lechenaultia is named for the naturalist Leschenault de la Tour who was a member of Baudin’s 1800-03 expedition.

But the Wreath Plant is not the only spectacular member of this group of plants. Lechenaultia is a genus of about 30 species of small, shrubby or herbaceous plants. Most are found only in Western Australia.

One of the best known and most spectacular is the Image Could Not Be FoundBlue Lechenaultia or Lechenaultia biloba. It is a small shrub with brilliant almost electric blue flowers with each petal having 2 distinct lobes. Image Could Not Be Found

Together with the Red Lechenaultia (L. formosa) these two species are commonly cultivated in many areas of Australia. Both occur in the SW of WA usually in sandy or gravelly soil. The red Lechenaultia may be seen as a tiny plant only a few centimetres across bearing disproportionately huge scarlet flowers. Image Could Not Be FoundColour variations from orange to scarlet and pink may be seen. Whether you find them as tiny jewels or as a larger shrub they are a superb sight in the bush or along roadsides.

Here are a couple of others - can someone put a name to them?
Image Could Not Be Found
Image Could Not Be Found

Cheers,

Val
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Reply By: Member - evren1 (WA) - Wednesday, Dec 29, 2010 at 17:39

Wednesday, Dec 29, 2010 at 17:39
Hi Val,

have been enjoying all your blogs on our great flora and thought I'd show you a nice pic I took of a desert rose and desert pea combo. It was taken on the Wearing Gorge road just out from Mt Chambers. Our 4 year old has got pretty good at spotting the pea on our many walks, it is his favouite flower as he says it looks like an alien off one of his Ben 10 books.
Image Could Not Be Found

happy travels,

Evan
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Follow Up By: Member - John and Val - Thursday, Dec 30, 2010 at 14:20

Thursday, Dec 30, 2010 at 14:20
Hi Evan,

Thanks for your lovely photo, the red and purple look so good together. And good on you for encouraging your young fellow to take an interest too, there are so many things "out there" to stimulate his curiosity and imagination. Will give him a head start in his education.

Here are a couple more shots of the Red Lechenaultia that I couldn't find yesterday.

Pink colour variation at Fitzgerald R

Image Could Not Be Found

Brilliant scarlet east of Ravensthorpe

Image Could Not Be Found

Cheers,

Val.
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Reply By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Wednesday, Dec 29, 2010 at 19:00

Wednesday, Dec 29, 2010 at 19:00
Hi Val

Another very interesting read and great photos.

All the Best for the New Year.


Cheers

Stephen
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Follow Up By: Member - John and Val - Thursday, Dec 30, 2010 at 14:31

Thursday, Dec 30, 2010 at 14:31
Thanks Stephen, and all the best for 2011 to you too.

Have been surprised at the effect of the rain on trees and plants generally here in that there is not a lot of flowering or setting of fruit and seed going on. But masses of new leaf growth, so maybe all getting ready for a big flowering next spring.

Cheers,

Val.
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Reply By: Member - Tony S (WA) - Wednesday, Dec 29, 2010 at 22:33

Wednesday, Dec 29, 2010 at 22:33
Hi Val,

"Tall shrub near Kalbarri" __ Yellow Lechenaultia - Lechenaultia linarioides. can be prostrate or up to 1.5 metres tall. A scraggly shrub

"Fitzgerald Nat.Park" __ Looks like a Coopernookia - Common Coopernookia -
Coopernookia polygalacea. Colours can vary from a bluey colour to a mauve. A fairly common ranging plant

Tony
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Follow Up By: Member - John and Val - Thursday, Dec 30, 2010 at 14:36

Thursday, Dec 30, 2010 at 14:36
Hi Tony,

Thanks for that info, very helpful. Being an "easterner"(!) there aren't too many opportunities to practice identifying these WA beauties. Had a look in Florabase but the photos are not always all that helpful.

Cheers,

Val
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Follow Up By: Member - Tony S (WA) - Thursday, Dec 30, 2010 at 16:45

Thursday, Dec 30, 2010 at 16:45
Val

My pleasure.

Have a great New Year.

Tony
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Reply By: Member - Jim B (NSW) - Monday, Jan 10, 2011 at 15:53

Monday, Jan 10, 2011 at 15:53
Hi John & Val

I have been very interested in what you have written about the wildflowers in WA. I was planning a trip there in in Aug/Sept. I understand that the best area to visit is the Geralton/Canarvan region. Have you any tips on the best places to go?

Many thanks in anticipation.

Jim B.
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