Week Three Highlights
Week three didn’t go as planned but in a great way. I was originally meant to go on a solo trip down South. However, an opportunity arose to join two fellow horticulturists on a road trip up north to look at wildflowers. As it was spring, this was the perfect time of year to go in search of wildflowers – how could I say no to this! So, I decided to extend my work placement by a week and join Pascarl Purser from Kings Park and Catherine Cutler from the Eden Project on an adventure up north. Catherine is a fellow member of MPG, who was in Australia to attend the Global Botanic Gardens Congress in Melbourne.
The highlight of this trip by far was visiting Lesueur National Park. The biodiversity in this park is incredible – it holds 10% of all known Western Australian flora, including nine species that are endemic to the park. Even before arriving at the park, we spotted lots of interesting flora growing on the side of the road, such as Verticordia grandis, and had to keep reminding ourselves not to stop every five minutes as we hadn’t actually arrived at the National Park yet. Once we arrived at the park, we set out to do one of the circular hikes; on this hike I saw so many interesting things, most of which I’m yet to identify. I finally got to tick a plant off my plant bucket list: Nuytsia floribunda, the world’s largest parasitic plant – its adapted roots have blades for slicing into the roots of other plants. Other highlights included the black kangaroo paw Macropidia fuliginosa and seeing Allocasuarina sp. flower for the first time (it’s nothing like what I would imagine it to be).
The rest of the trip consisted of visiting amazing places seeing wildflowers and other flora in situ, and getting inspired for ideas of planting schemes to bring home. Here are some of the highlights of my favourite finds of the week: