|Kangaroo paws (Anigosanthus) pop up amongst|
Rhodanthe chlorocephala (Asteraceae) in an area
that was recently burned. Frequent natural fires
remove dead wood, litter, and undergrowth.
Many of the plant families represented are familiar, but the genera are often strange to those of us from the northern hemisphere. Myrtceae, Fabaceae, Orchidaceae, and Asteraceae abound, along with the peculiar southern hemisphere family Proteaceae. A really good guide can be found on-line at Florabase, a database of Western Australian wildflowers.
I stayed close to the coast for most of the trip. The rocky cliffs and dunes here are covered with a lush cover of evergreen shrubs. The cold southern ocean pounds away nearby. We face the southern Indian Ocean on the way down, but as we round the bend of the continent, we face straight toward Antarctica.
|Winter rain and coastal fog maintain an evergreen elfin forest along the|
|A species of Carissa hugs a granite crest along the|
Thysanotus patersonii, one of many species
of fringe lily in the family Asparagaceae.
This one is a vine.
|Lavandula stoechas (Lamiaceae)|
|A species of Adenanthos, possibly A. barbigerus (Proteaceae)|
found in Western Australia
The forests of southwestern Australia are dominated by Eucalyptus trees, as the are
in most parts of the continent. Here the ground cover is dominated by large ferns
and a vining legume with orange flowers.
|A member of the genus Euphorbia, so common in South Africa,|
thrives here as well.
Caladenia latifolia, one of the many
ground orchids in the woods of the southwest.
|Calla lilies (Zantedeschia aethiopica) is one of many|
plants native to South Africa that has become a weed in
|Adenanthos obovatus has a denser spike of flowers.|
|Scaevola aemula, in the family Goodeniaceae|
creates lively patches of blue in the
|A close-up of Scaevola aemula flowers.|
|Dampiera is also in the Goodeniaceae, and easily confused with|
|One of the many legumes to be found in Western Australia.|
|Banksia coccinea is the most spectacular member of the Proteaceae in Australia. The flower heads consist of many tiny|
|Despite its compact flower heads, Actinodium |
cunninghamii is not a member of the sunflower family,
but rather or the ubiquitous Myrtaceae.
|The yellow blossoms of Chamaexeros rise from the base of the fan-shaped cluster|
|The various Australian species of Hibbertia superficially resembles our evening |
primroses. but are members of the family Dilleniaceae.
|A species of Banksia overlooks the cold southern Ocean.|
|Another member of the Proteaceae, probably Adenanthos sericeus,|
forms a conifer-like shrub.
|The seed capsules of Banksia form from|
the fusion of a number of separate flowers,
and only open after a fire.
|Caladenia longicauda was common in the woods.|
|An unidentified member of the Myrtaceae, possibly|
|Verticordia grandiflora (Myrtaceae)|
|A species of Boronia (Rutaceae) grows in white|
sand along the coast.