Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Australian Wildflowers - 2007

There are some 18,000 species of flowering plants native to Australia, grouped in about 200 families. Like the continent's distinctive fauna, the flora has evolved in isolation for 50 million years, and many plants and flowers are found nowhere else on earth. On February 13, 2007 , these stamps issued as  the third issue in the Australian Wildflowers series. 

Tasmanian Christmas Bell (Blandfordia punicea) is endemic to Tasmania. Its leaves are narrow and linear to one metre in length and one centimetre in width. It flowers in summer, with tubular, waxy clusters at the end of a stout stem up to one metre in length. Its flowers are up to four centimetres long and two centimetres wide, and it prefers moist acid soils in heathlands.


The Green Spider Flower (Grevillea mucronulata) is widespread from coast to mountains, in open forest and woodlands in New South Wales. Flowering in winter and spring, it is a spreading shrub to 2.5 metres high with reddish branches.

The flowers are green and in spider-like racemes about five centimetres across. Each flower has a hairy, dark purplish-red style to two centimetres long with a green tip.


Sturt’s Desert Rose  or Gossypium sturtianum  is  wildflower that widespread in the dry inland regions of mainland Australia. Flowering most of the year, it is found mainly in rocky gullies but also on sand plains. The hibiscus-like flower is a delicate lilac with a red throat spot.

The bush is an erect, open shrub growing up to two metres high and its hairless, blue-green leaves are scented when crushed. The plants are perennial and live for about 10 years. Sturt’s Desert Rose is the floral emblem of the Northern Territory.

Phebalium whitei is the yellow-flowering shrub which is restricted to the granite outcrops of border ranges in Queensland. This spreading and open shrub reaches one metre in height and flowers in spring. It has brownish branch- lets which bear conspicuous clusters of one to six flowers and rusty-coloured buds.

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