Kalbarri is a coastal town about 600km north of Perth at the mouth of the Murchison river, it’s predominantly a holiday town and the population swells almost ten fold during holiday seasons. It’s also well known for it’s stunning cliffs and gorges within the Kalbarri national park as well as an incredible range of plant life found within the park and surrounding bush areas. I’m going to break Kalbarri up into two posts, firstly the plants, and then the rest including gorges, cliffs, rocks, animals, and anything else that won’t fit into the plant category.
I’m assuming this is a melaleuca species but I can’t find it in either of my wildflower books. It has an unusual flowering habit where it changes from a brilliant purple as it bursts into flower, then fades into a white flower rather quickly as you can see see in the flower head behind the purple one, also much more obvious in the picture below.
The colour in these are incredibly vivid, one of the plants that you spot while driving along and think “wow, what was that bright orange thing”. A similar looking flower at a distance to a Geraldton wax but the ragged petal edges add an interesting twist, you have to look closely to see the shaggy edges though, they aren’t so obvious to the naked eye.
It’s probably fairly obvious why these are called lambs wool. from a distance they just look like they are all fluffy wool, it’s only when you get close up you can see the actual flowers as they open up from within.
I love verticordia flowers there are amazing with their shaggy fringes though also very hard to photograph, it’s hard to know what sort of angle to pick and they are so different from their early bud phases through to their fully opened flowers.
The buds on this one start as just a ball of brightly coloured fluff before opening up into the complex flower shapes.
While on the subject of strange things, I have no idea what this is, the plant was covered in these twisted leaf shapes, at least I think they are a modified leaf, their normal leaves looked much different and these didn’t appear to be fruiting pods of any sort as there was nothing within them, they were very thin. Perhaps they were infertile pods, shrug..
What magnificent buds. I don’t think there’s anything more to say about them really.
Beautiful when they open up and from a distance they look just like a bottle brush but up close their flower structure is much different, I’m not sure what they are, once again my wildflower books are letting me down. I’m starting to wonder whether I’m managing to photograph all the unusual flowers or whether my books are a little lacking. But then I guess I am visiting some of the most diverse areas of plants within Australia and with over 8000 species in the south west of Australia, well my books just aren’t going to cover them all.
Yet another verticordia, rapidly becoming one of my favourite flowers, this one is Verticordia nobilis. Oh yeah, this one is in both my books.
Either a species of Boronia or Philotheca, a pretty little flower in abundance throughout the national park.
Once again let down by my books, but these little things are everywhere through Kalbarri right down through Gerladton and mullewa. Most are yellow as above, but every now and then you spot one that orange, these aren’t so common, I think I’ve only seen a couple of plants while the yellow are thick.
I first spotted these in Kings park and they captured my attention there with their lovely red and yellow flowers, so I may have already posted a picture of these in a previous post, but, this is the real thing because it ‘s growing where it’s meant to rather than in the middle of Perth.
Not all the plants are big, bold and beautiful, this little thing was a tiny plant with a stem running along the ground and this small leaf/bud/flower thing on the end. I only found one plant of this in my time there and it had perhaps three or four of these bits on the end of stems and no other visible leaves.
Oh yes, another verticordia. And if you weren’t sick of them yet…
Here’s a white one being munched by beetles. I was amazed at the insect life around the area, firstly the flies who made life extremely unpleasant during daylight hours but I’ll tell you more about that later. Then at night the air was thick with moths, driving back from the cliff tops in the evening it was almost like driving through a snow storm.
Calothamnus come in a few varieties through the area, here the flower almost look like jaws.
This is a cotton bush flower blown up a bit so you can see the detail. See how the individual pink bits are a shell like, covered in hair that contains the flower within. Even the hairs are unusual, they have little lumps along each strand.
I really need to end this, there are just way to many photos. I’ll end with just one more, it’s the same flower as the first one at the top of the page. This is a Calytrix, check out the four unusual hairs or spikes poking straight out on the bud, then opening with the flower they bend back, then check the first photo of the post at the top of the pagee. You may also remember the Calytrix I posted on the Lesueur page it had the same hairs but they were an interesting tangle around the flower bud.