Lady Bird is bringing you some red Australian flower specks today!
Australia is very famous for its unique and in many cases endemic wildlife. But plants are not short of these attributes as you may have thought when reading my yellow post.
Did you know, for example, that most eucalypts, even though they are grown all over the planet these days, are originally endemic to Australia? Around 800 different species are known and some grow so high – a staggering 100 m – that they belong to the tallest trees on Earth. Koalas have specialized their diet to some species’ leaves and are adapted to the very high concentration of essential oils, which are hard to digest and in fact poisonous. What’s more, due to the low energy input and the slow digestion process, koalas sleep a mere 20 hours a day. So, chances are high you find them sleeping in a eucalyptus, if you find them at all.
I promised red flower specks… and was distracted by the sheer abundance in Australia, and koalas :0). Let’s continue, but not without some fluffy photos of a koala grabbing its favourite food.
I am so truly amazed by the forms of Australian flowers. Today, I choose to share some red ones. The first one is the bottlebrush (Flaschen- oder Zylinderputzer in German). See how they bloom and truly look like a bottle brush once all buds are open.
Some look like stars. The big orange one is called Christmas tree and as its name has it flowers exactly around Christmas in December.
Typically Aussie, there is also a group named after the iconic jumping animal (no detour this time ;-)) inhabiting this continent: Kangaroo paw! They come in different colours. Here is the red version for you… Okay, and the yellow one with orange anthers, or should it be nails? :0)
Red, red, red.
For me, it is mind-boggling to find trees like the one below, don’t you agree? It is a eucalypt, of course. Aussies call it red-flowering gum. Now that makes sense, for “gum” is the Aussie word for eucalypt. Its scientific name is quite easy, too: Eucalyptus ficifolia. What is much more difficult actually is to find this awesome tree, because it is an endemic species only occurring in the southwest of Western Australia. Got it with the direction? I know, it is often not easy for me either, read some about it here.
One flower I don’t want you to miss out on is the Sturt’s Desert Pea. It lives in arid inland regions, basically called the outback. The flowers appear with the onset of rain and the seeds can await that moment for several years. No wonder, it is the floral emblem of South Australia.
In order to show you this gem, I had to go way back in my archives and even cheat a bit as I took a picture with my phone today of the photo in the analog photo album (!) I made of our first journey through Australia back in 1997! Enjoy!
I don’t know how you feel, but I am ready to go and travel and see this all over again :0). So long, see ya, mates!