Western Australia is home to 12,000 + species of wildflowers; so certainly deserves its title as the Wildflower State. What is even more staggering, 60% of these species can only be found in their natural habitat here in the West and nowhere else in the world.
Climate, terrain and soil type all play a big factor in determining when and where different species bloom with the main flowering season generally starting in the warmer Northern regions in June and concluding in the Great Southern in November.
This year, heavy rainfall and above-average winter temperatures across most of WA has seen the bush erupt with colour: including the striking red two-metre-tall Sturt’s Desert Pea in the Pilbara up north to the exquisite eastern Queen of Sheba orchid (pictured) found a few days ago near Bremer Bay in the south,
In a recent interview with ABC News (Rains bring early wildflower season to southern WA – ABC News), Dr Stephen Hopper, UWA biology professor and former Director of the Royal Botanic gardens in Kew, England, suggested that this early flowering was a promising sign for wildflower lovers. “It’s going to be a bumper season,” he said.
Bumper because the generous rain across the state will stimulate the germination of many native annual species not seen in abundance during drier years; creating a spectacular floral display.
When it comes to Western Australian wildflowers, there are those who maintain that the most amazing are the everlasting daisies (Asteraceae sp.) which carpet the arid inland areas of WA with fields of pink, white, purple and yellow from July onwards.
Others are thrilled by the incredible biodiversity of the South West of the state where hundreds of different species comprise a plant community: from the tiny droseras, delicate terrestrial orchids, colouful kangaroo paws, fragrant myrtles, wattles, woody banksias and hakeas to towering eucalypts who will all be vying for attention of the many pollinators this spring.
Whatever your personal wildflower preference, this year is tipped to showcase Mother Nature at her best.
And, if border closures prevent you from travelling west in spring 2021, rest assured that wildflower experts and aficionados out on the many Western Australian wildflower trails will be documenting and sharing their amazing botanical finds on the major social media channels. So be sure to check out the Great Western Coach Tours’ Facebook posts and videos throughout the wildflower season (August – October) @greattourswa
We’ll definitely keep you posted 😊