Wildflowers, Pictures......<span class="highlight">Mulla</span> Mullas

The only pussytails that I like to see out in the outback are those that are on our native plants, and not those on the end of a fluffy feral cat, which we all know have devastated many of our smaller marsupial animals, birds and reptiles.

Mulla Mulls, Foxtails and pussytails belong to the genus Ptilotus, a name which means feathered and is a reference to the feathery flowers which are similar to those of Gomphrena Alternmanthera and Aerva from the same family.

Ptilotus flowers are bisexual with 5 narrow perianth segments called sepals or tepals. Long silky hairs on the tepals and on shorter, broader bracts surrounding them create the feathery appearance. The 5 stamens are usually unequal, with sometimes a few absent or incomplete and are joined at their bases into a ring or cups.

Plants range from small slender annuals to robust perennials a metre or more high and wide. The inflorescence is variable from small few flowered clusters to conspicuous dense globular ovoid or conical cylindrical spikes. Leaves vary from glabrous to densely woolly and from filamentous to large and fleshy.

Ptilotus are indigenous to Australia except for 1 species that extends to Malaysia. The genus comprises over 80 species which are mostly confined to the drier parts of our country. Owing to their often ephemeral nature, frequent confusion between species and the absence of a comprehensive review of the genus, the range of most species are not reliably known.

Now we all know we have many great travellers here from the forum, so go through your photos and show others that read this forum post what images you have of Mulla Mullas and where the images were taken. You never know, ExplorOz may help in defining the range of where certain species are found.

Don’t be bashful, they are a very pretty plant and show the world what you have taken. The images that you now see have been taken from many location in Outback Australia and if I have miss named a plant, I know that my good friend Val will soon point me in the right direction.


Cheers to you All

Stephen


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No 1. This Silvertail picture was taken south of Parallel No 2 Road while walking to a degree confluence.


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No 2. The images of these Large Green Pussytails were taken near the start of the Connie Sue Highway.


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No 3. As per image 2, top end of the Connie Sue.


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No 4. Like images 2 and 3, the Large Green Pussytails were covering acres of land and was a real sight to see.


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No 5. This image of a Tall Mulla Mulla was seen in just one small location in the lower section of the Connie Sue Highway.


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No 6. Like the image of No 5, we only found the Tall Mulla Mullas in one small location and they sure made a very eye catching display.


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No 7. Like No 6, the Tall Mulla Mulla very just perfect.


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No 8. Tall Mulla Mull on the top section of Googs Track.


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No 9. As for No 8, Tall Mulla Mulla on Googs Track.












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Reply By: Member - John and Val - Saturday, Jun 04, 2011 at 20:15

Saturday, Jun 04, 2011 at 20:15
Hi Stephen,

Another interesting post, especially your point that we dont know how widely spread the different species are. Some Mulla Mullas are certainly showy plants that add another bright colour to arid landscapes.

Here are a few photos that we have taken in different places.

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Cheers, and please keep your enthusiasm for this topic going.

Val.
J and V
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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Saturday, Jun 04, 2011 at 20:23

Saturday, Jun 04, 2011 at 20:23
Hi Val

Just what the Doctor ordered...LOL

Thanks for your very quick input. It was while looking through my Wildflower books this afternoon that I decided that I would just do the 'Nike' thing and...Just Do It.

I hope I have named mine correctly. With your great and varied varieties, lets hope others are inspired to add to the collection and places where they have seen them.



Regards


Stephen
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Reply By: Marion - Saturday, Jun 04, 2011 at 23:43

Saturday, Jun 04, 2011 at 23:43
Hi,
Thanks for a great post we saw lots of tall Mulla Mulla's when we were in the centre last year, (but I didn't know that was their name). So thank you for your research. When I work out how to insert photos to my posts I will post some of mine.

Cheers Marion
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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Sunday, Jun 05, 2011 at 10:22

Sunday, Jun 05, 2011 at 10:22
Hi Marion

Thanks for your reply and when you see them in remote locations they certainly add a splash of colour to the landscape. It would be great if you could add some images that you have taken and it is not that hard to add an image.

When you replied to this post, there is a tab just below the Submit and Spell Check called "Insert Image". When you open that tab, you will see a small panel and go to the bottom one of upload photo. Click the Browse button and it will open up a file upload section. Prior to uploading any image, you will have to downsize the image and I always save that image on my desktop, and then just follow the prompts and select the image that you wish to insert into the reply or post. With a little practise it will come just as easy as pressing the buttons and following the prompts.


All the best and looking forward to seeing your great images.


Regards


Stephen
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Reply By: Richard W (NSW) - Sunday, Jun 05, 2011 at 05:31

Sunday, Jun 05, 2011 at 05:31
Stephen,

Thanks your description and photos of the different variants. I have never bothered to check them. :oops. I always check birds I don't know but rarely plants unless someone asks me.

A few of mine and the photo was taken more for the landscape than the specimen.

Cape Keraudren, WA


Gammon Ranges, SA


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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Sunday, Jun 05, 2011 at 10:06

Sunday, Jun 05, 2011 at 10:06
Hi Richard

More impressive photos from you and thanks for adding to the places of where they have been seen. The large numbers of them at Cape Keraudren would have been a very pretty sight indeed.

Once again Richard, thanks for taking the time to add to this collection of Mulla Mullas.


Regards

Stephen
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Reply By: Member - Min (NSW) - Sunday, Jun 05, 2011 at 13:25

Sunday, Jun 05, 2011 at 13:25
Hi Stephen,

Lovely photos again from you and others. I'm so glad you chose these flowers to highlight because they are favourites of anyone who has seen them in the wild.

Here are some of my pics. I have tried to identify them with their botanical names. It is an exercise I like to do as I travel. Getting back to camp and putting the photos up on the computer then getting out all the books can sometimes be a frustrating experience and one thing I have learned is to take a photo of the whole plant or at least capture the leaves, buds, and perhaps bark, etc. because without that I have made some terrible boo boos. But there are only so many books one can carry, and I am very much an amateur so I apologise in advance if the names are incorrect. BTW I think the mauve mulla mulla might be Ptilotus exalatus.

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As we travelled to WA from the east we saw these Silver Tails from north of Coober Pedy, all down the Great Central Road to Mt Magnet and beyond. They are small but covered vast areas.

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The Friends of the Australian National Botanic Gardens in Canberra has just started photography group which I have joined so I hope that my photos will improve. Our next meeting is 'How to get off Auto' - just what I need.

Keep clicking,

Min
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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Sunday, Jun 05, 2011 at 13:41

Sunday, Jun 05, 2011 at 13:41
Hi Min

Like my other replies above, thanks for taking the time to add more great images from your travels around our great country. Thanks for filling me in on the correct plant, I am no expect and rely on the vast experience of other qualified people to guide me in the right direction.

All the best with the photographic course, it sounds like it should be very interesting and perhaps you may be able to pass on a few tips, we all like to be able to take better photos.


Regards



Stephen
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Reply By: Fred G NSW - Sunday, Jun 05, 2011 at 16:45

Sunday, Jun 05, 2011 at 16:45
Stephen, John and Val, Richard, Min......

Sensational, beautiful stuff.

I just love this site when members bring their cameras out.

Thanks for taking the time to share.

Fred.
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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Sunday, Jun 05, 2011 at 16:54

Sunday, Jun 05, 2011 at 16:54
Hi Fred

On behalf of the others that have also added to this post with their great images, I would like to thank you for reading this post and adding your comments.

For me it does not matter how good a post is, adding images that have been taken by members adds a whole new aspect to what has been written and gives it more meaning.


Thanks for your reply.



Regards



Stephen
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