Our Bushland Diary

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Brightly-coloured life

Our recent bushwalk gave us opportunities to see some absolutely stunning wildflowers.  Two plants I want to share with you are the Western Australian Christmas Tree, and the Morrison Featherflower.  I chose these two because they have identical flower colour, and if you're driving around Ellenbrook you might see these brilliant yellow-orange blossoms.  They are an iconic colour in our bushland at this time of year.

The WA Christmas Tree (Nuytsia floribunda) is the world's largest mistletoe.  How apt that it flowers around December!  Here are a couple of photos.

You will see in the above photos that the leaves are quite dark green.  Often the trunks have been burnt, making these trees very distinctive in Perth bushland - black trunks, dark green leaves, bright orange-yellow flowers.

Morrison Featherflower (Verticordia nitens) is a shrub with an unusual umbrella-shaped growth on a long stalk.  The flowers tend to form a cap.  Some people mistakenly think that this plant is a "baby Christmas Tree".  The petals have soft feathery margins, hence the common name of featherflower.  Here are some photos, below.


When you're travelling around, keep an eye out for these spectacular plants.  Try taking some photos of them.  You could even try growing them - Morrison Featherflower is great in the garden, and I have half a dozen plants growing along the path to my front door to welcome guests.


  1. I love the Verticordia nitens, they are such cheerful plants. I've noticed now that we're rolling out of the orange foliage, into yellows (like the yellow Calytrix) and pinks. It's been an 'off year' for the Nuytsia floribunda, with the florescences being not as abundant as the year before. But that's pretty normal. Looks like the Eucalyptus ficifolia are having an off year to. Oh well!

    I just wanted to say I'm so glad I stumbled across this site! I love bushwalking and wildflower identification, though I'm out of practice (or I should say, 'Koondoola specialised' lol), it's been a pleasure to get to know the local Ellenbrook flora.

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  3. Hello ravenari! I'm pleased that you like our blogspot. Please feel free to come bushwalking with us; you don't have to live in Ellenbrook to enjoy the bushland around Ellenbrook.