Friday, October 2, 2009

Natural Wonders

Flowering Grass Trees, September 2009 Wilsons Promontory National Park

I've just returned from a family expedition to Wilsons Promontory - at the very southern most point of Victoria.  We stayed close by to Wilsons Promontory National Park and made a day outing to the park.

During last year's fires a large portion of the park was decimated by fire which started from lightning strike.

Like many things in life it is often when they are taken from us that we appreciate them all the more.  The most amazing regeneration is taking place in the park.  One of the most spectacular is the flowering of the grass trees.  This is most likely to take place after fire and while they send up there flowering spikes (usually brown) it is often only after fire that they flower prolifically.  And in fact in areas protected from fire they are unlikely to regenerate without these conditions (Ward & Lamont).

The beauty of the regenerating landscape is quite astounding.  In this area of the park from what I could tell the flora was primarily Coastal Banksias and Grass Trees.  The Banksias are shadows (however the fire has opened their seed pods and they will regenerate) with the Grass Trees taking centre stage with the magnificent background of the granitic peaks.  

Further on stands of eucalypts were regenerating in their rather magnificent fashion of shooting out from the trunks and larger branches making them look as if they were covered in creepers - I haven't a photo here as there is only so many times you can make the whole family stop while you take photos of your niche interest! However the Wilson's Promontory Parks website has photos of the regeneration which are very interesting.
At the Tidal River camping ground the main flora was stands of tea tree (immersed in water in swampy ground).  Aaah nature - you are the best designer of all.





Chookie said...

Love the white flowers on the grass-trees; must be a different species to the Sydney one I suppose.

Tina said...

Just did a little bit of investigation and according to the Sydney Botanic Garden website there are 28 varieties of grass tree (xanthorrhoea) in Australia and 13 species occur in NSW.

The info on the website mentions creamy white flowers as seen in the photos but it doesn't say if this is the case with all the species.

Thanks for your query - I've learnt more!

Building Materials Supplies said...

Natural Wonders

Thanks for sharing!

The Intercontinental Gardener said...

Wonderful pictures; the Australian nature is so amazing with its special, own ways to regenerate. I loved to see this. Wilson's Promontory is on my list for places to go next time when we go to Australia, which probably is next year. We need to get a new dose... I heard from friends that is has been raining in Melbourne. I hope that it keeps pouring down, gently, for many more weeks.

Carol said...

Beautiful photos ... I love the grass trees... so stately and those are the most amazing flowers I have ever seen. It is lovely to have learn about one of your National Parks. Thank You. Carol

Bay Area Tendrils Garden Travel said...

Your post takes my breath away. So fascinating, informative, and what I read as the skeletal forms in one photo, sublimely beautiful in their way.
As are the flowering grass trees, and final 3 photos.
I can't tell you how psyched I am to visit Melbourne/Victoria. Only yesterday I came upon this post - and realized I did not have your blog in my reader! I'll always be on top of your postings now,
Good wishes, Alice

Gail said...

I've been having a lot of fun visiting your blog! I was searching for photos of salvia nemerosa and your Nov 6,'08 post popped up! What a delightful planting beneath the olive! gail

Tina said...

Thank you Gail. I agree regarding the salvia nemorosa .. I'm just about to buy some to put into my overplanted front garden. It is the most exquisite colour.

Stone Art said...

Those plants are amazing