First published 19 Nov 2015. I’m re-publishing this post because I’m back in Western Australia for the wildflower season. It really is something special.
So my brother says ‘come to the farm, there is a patch of spider orchids on the new property’.
‘Spider orchids!’, I say. I’m in.
Have you ever wanted to sit in a field of flowers, where the ground looks like it is painted with colour as far as the eye can see?
In the spring, Western Australia has wildflowers has far as you can see. They are special flowers. Delicate, and sometimes, well spidery.
For a start there are everlastings. Everyone must love everlastings, musn’t they? They look great in situ, plus if you hang them up upside down in a dry area they will dry out and then last for ever.
My next favourites are spider orchids. They are a bit rare and hard to find, and it helps to be in the know about where they are likely to grow. My brother dragged us out in the rain because he claimed that there was a bunch of spider orchids in a patch of bush on a farm that he had just bought. They turned out to be some kind of noxious weed, but the trip was worth it. So no photos of the spider orchids I’m afraid.
On the way out to his property we passed the Muntagin Pub. These old pubs are all over the wheat belt in WA and if I had the time I would organise special road trips in the spring just to visit them.
People always talk about the famous wreath flowers. I don’t like them as much as everlastings & spider orchids, but they are still amazing. They are extremely rare in a global sense and under no circumstances can you dig them up or pick them. Just take photos in the one spot in the world where they grow. And even then its not that road, but you have to ask at the local pub about the real road, which is not sign posted.
This year I havn’t had time to get out to the wheatbelt to see the flowers but I’m told they are worth seeing. My brother has lost a bit of credibility after the bogus information about spider orchids last year, but he did say that on a drive to Mukinbudin this year the whole road was lined with yellow acacias and everlastings, among the bigger gum trees.
What I did do is go up to Kings Park, a 100 hectare park at the side of the CBD that curates a wildflower festival each September. Some of these pictures shown here are from this trip – the kangaroo paws and the boronia. Boronia, by the way has the best scent of any flower ever.
So book it in for next year and make sure you overnight in a country pub, and have a Chicken Parmigiana. It is part of the whole experience. Most people head to Dalwallinu, which is valid but you can also head east and if you get to Mukinbudin you might be lucky and catch a movie at the drive in cinema that runs occasionally .
Thanks to Thelma Hearne & Cathy Cousins for contributing their photos.
It seems like such a contradiction that WA, which is so dry and barren has such a diverse array of wildflowers. Apparently when they’re in full bloom the colours can even be seen from space.
Blimey! Seen from space – well there are certainly large swathes of everlastings. The science behind the delicacy of the wildflowers is pretty interesting as well I think – to do with water conservation and attracting bees.