woody pear trees

woody pear

Woody pear trees grow in profusion in the uncleared bushland at my work. The summer view from the potting shed is delightful, snowy white cloaking the brilliant green foliage.

summer view of woody pears flowering

Continue reading

jarrah trees in flower

Jarrah trees are flowering now throughout Perth, the Hills and into the South-West as far south as Bremer Bay. These majestic trees can grow more than 400 years and cloak themselves in cream blossom every spring.

jarrah flowers at Lake Gwelup

Continue reading

Christmas flowers

As Christmas approaches, the orange flowers of Nuytsia floribunda are a brilliant sight throughout Perth and the southwest. They’re called Christmas trees for the timing of their flowering, and are so much better than the fir Christmas tree people decorate. Nuytsia decorate themselves in a golden Christmas glow.

Nuytsia floribunda

Continue reading

Banksia littoralis

Swamp Banksia grows in and around wetlands, lakes and rivers throughout the Swan Coastal Plain and the Darling Range. It’s common at Lake Gwelup. Some have been planted in revegetation projects eg. along the boardwalk. Others are original vegetation, like this enormous tree on the east side of the lake which is countless years old.

looking up to Banksia littoralis

Continue reading

Banksia menziesii

banksia flower

Banksia menziesii is currently painting the bushland in hues of pink and yellow. Flowers range from pink and red through orange and coppery shades to brilliant yellow. [1] Some plants always flower yellow, some always pink, and some start the flowering season yellow and as winter temperatures drop, later opening flowers tend toward pink and red. [2] This tree at Richard Guelfi Reserve (below) always has yellow flowers. Behind it is a pink flowering Banksia menziesii.

yellow Banksia menziesii

Continue reading

what plant is that? marri

first marri flowers of the season

The end of summer marks the start of marri flowering season (Corymbia calophylla). You can see their pretty white or pink flowers throughout Perth and the south west from now through autumn. Many birds and insects depend on the nectar and pollen of marri during the long flowering season. [1]

Continue reading

orange splendour

flowers of Banksia prionotes

As autumn turns to winter the flowering season of Saw-tooth Banksia (Banksia prionotes) winds down. The orange flowers were particularly spectacular in the bushland at Lake Gwelup Reserve in the past few weeks.

Continue reading

street tree planting season

a shady avenue of peppermint trees

“Street trees are an important part of every community and are one of the City of Stirling’s most important assets. The City has approximately 63,000 street trees but these only cover around one third of all street verges.” – City of Stirling

There are many benefits to planting trees in our cities. Due to all the heat absorbing surfaces like concrete and roads, cities are warmer than surrounding rural areas. Trees and other vegetated areas in our cities help lower temperatures counteracting this “urban heat island effect.” As well as shade, the evaporation of water through the leaves of plants into the atmosphere causes the cooling. A shady street is pleasant for walking and prettier to look at. Trees also attract bird and insect life, much needed since so much of their bushland homes are cleared for housing and development.

Continue reading

Perth’s flooded gum

the boardwalk at Lake Gwelup wends through Eucalyptus rudis

The flooded gum (Eucalyptus rudis) is Perth’s river gum, growing along our rivers, lakes and water courses. Its range extends north to Geraldton and into the south-west of WA. These beautiful trees surround Lake Gwelup and as the water level ebbs and flows, they often stand in water in winter and spring. With this inundation from winter rains they flower and this month the first flowers are starting to open.

bud caps of Eucalyptus rudis with first flowers of the season

Continue reading

what plant is that? limestone mallee

magpie in Eucalyptus petrensis

I recently identified limestone mallee (Eucalyptus petrensis) growing in a bushland reserve near my house. It took me a while to identify, but I’m not alone there. Limestone mallee was first collected in 1972 but not named until 1993 because it was confused with limestone marlock (Eucalyptus decipiens) [1]. Eucalyptus petrensis grows in shallow soil on limestone, so is found in a “limited coastal distribution on the first and second seaward limestone outcrops” [2]. The strip of bush where I found limestone mallee is very degraded but has been planted in the past. I’m not sure if these trees are original or part of a revegetation project. A stand of naturally occurring limestone mallee grows at Bold Park.

Continue reading