A pop quiz!

Small (and not so small) plants from Perth

I’m in Perth, admiring Western Australia’s wildflowers, posing beside century-old grass trees (I think the species pictured here is Xanthorrhoea acanthostachys) and saying no to endless offers of free champagne. (It’s a tough life, I tell you, being pregnant on an all-expenses paid media jaunt. How many non-alcoholic cocktails can a girl take?)

I’m here on a tour with Air New Zealand, and yesterday we spent the day trekking through some of the city’s off-the-beaten-track wildflower areas. Now when I think of wildflowers, I usually think of the cheerful annual meadows we sow at home, but Western Australia’s wildflowers are quite different. They have evolved in some of the most inhospitable situations: hot, dry, dusty soils lacking in fertility. I was ready to wilt after a few hours admiring these rugged blooms; how they survive is a miracle, especially when you factor in all those kangaroos waiting to nibble off their tender new foliage.

Our guide yesterday was Eddy Wajon, author of the Colour Guide to Spring Wildflowers of Western Australia. Eddy’s nuts about wildflowers. He can spot a hairy yellow pea or a hidden featherflower at a hundred paces, which made him the perfect chap to have on hand as we explored the urban bush.

I’d like to think of myself as a bit of a botanical boffin, but aside from the ubiquitous kangaroo paw and several banksias, I don’t think I recognised a single species all day.

So, now for a quiz: the first person who can match the names and numbers of the plants pictured (click on the photo to enlarge if need be) win will a copy of my new book, Back to the Land. And to get you started, No 1. is Anigozanthos manglesii, the Mangles kangaroo paw. You can buy a hybrid version of this groovy plant in garden centres as Anigozanthos ‘Bush Dance’.

The other nine are (in jumbled order):
Mouse ears (Calothamnus rupestris)
Pink enamel orchid (Elythranthera emarginata)
Dunsborough donkey orchid (Diuris aff. amplissima)
Grey cottonheads (Conostylis candicans)
Prickly dryandra (Dryandra falcata)
Blue devils (Eryngium pinnatifolium – this one should be a doddle!)
Some tiny fluffy-headed thing (my notes failed me high, which could be because we’d just spotted a snake slithering past)
A native carnivorous sundew (Drosera)
Star of Bethlehem (Calectasia narragara)

Start Googling! I’m off to explore the city of Perth before we fly off here for two nights of pure luxury. As I said, it’s a tough life…

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11 thoughts on “A pop quiz!

  1. 1 Kangaroo Paw 2 Prickly Dryandra 3 Dunsborough Donkey Orchid 4 Sundew 5 Mouse Ears 6 Tiny Fluffy thing 7 Pink Enamel Orchid 8 Star of Bethlehem 9 Grey Cottonheads 10 Blue Devils

  2. no2 Grey cottonheads (Conostylis candicans)
    no3 Mouse ears (Calothamnus rupestris)
    no4 A native carnivorous sundew (Drosera)
    no5 Dunsborough donkey orchid (Diuris aff. amplissima)
    no6 Some tiny fluffy-headed thing
    no7 Pink enamel orchid (Elythranthera emarginata)
    no8 Star of Bethlehem (Calectasia narragara)
    no9 Prickly dryandra (Dryandra falcata)
    no10 Blue devils (Eryngium pinnatifolium)

  3. Mucked that one up hopefully corrected in time
    No 2 Prickly dryandra (Dryandra falcata)
    no3 Mouse ears (Calothamnus rupestris)
    no4 A native carnivorous sundew (Drosera)
    no5 Dunsborough donkey orchid (Diuris aff. amplissima)
    no6 Some tiny fluffy-headed thing
    no7 Pink enamel orchid (Elythranthera emarginata)
    no8 Star of Bethlehem (Calectasia narragara)
    no9 Grey cottonheads (Conostylis candicans)
    no10 Blue devils (Eryngium pinnatifolium)

  4. Hopefully this time
    No 2 Prickly dryandra (Dryandra falcata)
    No3 Dunsborough donkey orchid (Diuris aff. amplissima)
    no4 A native carnivorous sundew (Drosera)
    no5 Mouse ears (Calothamnus rupestris)
    no6 Some tiny fluffy-headed thing
    no7 Pink enamel orchid (Elythranthera emarginata)
    no8 Star of Bethlehem (Calectasia narragara)
    no9 Grey cottonheads (Conostylis candicans)
    no10 Blue devils (Eryngium pinnatifolium)

  5. Ok – I’ll have a crack. Looks like a great trip – it is nice seeing things you don’t see everyday.
    5 Mouse ears (Calothamnus rupestris)
    7 Pink enamel orchid (Elythranthera emarginata)
    3 Dunsborough donkey orchid (Diuris aff. amplissima)
    9 Grey cottonheads (Conostylis candicans)
    2 Prickly dryandra (Dryandra falcata)
    10 Blue devils (Eryngium pinnatifolium – this one should be a doddle!)
    6 Some tiny fluffy-headed thing (my notes failed me high, which could be because we’d just spotted a snake slithering past)
    4 A native carnivorous sundew (Drosera)
    8 Star of Bethlehem (Calectasia narragara)

  6. 1.mangles kangaroo paw
    2.Drydandra falcata
    3 Diuris aff. Amplissima
    4.Drosera.
    5.Calothamnus rupestris.
    6 white fluffy thing
    7Elythranthera emaginata.
    8Calectasia narragara.
    9Conostylis candicans.
    10Eryngium pinnatifolium

    What beautiful colors and have a great trip.

  7. I’ll have a go
    1: Anigozanthos manglesii
    2: Dryandra falcata
    3: Diuris aff. amplissima
    4: Drosera
    5: Calothamnus rupestris
    6: Tiny fluffy headed thing
    7: Elythranthera emarginata
    8: Calestasia narragara
    9: Conistylis candicans
    10: Eryngium pinnatifolium

  8. Hi Linda

    Hope these are correct…would LOVE your book, I was about to put it on my Christmas Wish List!
    No.1 – Kangaroo Paw Anigozanthos manglesii
    No.2 – Prickly dryandra (Dryandra falcata)

    No.3 – 
Dunsborough donkey orchid (Diuris aff. amplissima)

    No.4 – Some tiny fluffy-headed thing
    No. 5 – Mouse ears (Calothamnus rupestris)

    No.6 – A native carnivorous sundew (Drosera)

    No.7 – Pink enamel orchid (Elythranthera emarginata)
    No.8 – Star of Bethlehem (Calectasia narragara)
    No.9 – Grey cottonheads (Conostylis candicans)

    No.10 – Blue devils (Eryngium pinnatifolium)

  9. Congratulations Veronica – you were quickest off the mark! I’ll be in touch by email when I get back to New Zealand to send you the book. It’s another glorious day here in Perth… we’re off on a wine tour of Margaret River’s lovely vineyards. I shall stick to scoffing strawberries and fizzy water!

    • Oh wow Lynda…..you are pregnant again. Congrats. 🙂 I couldn’t imagine the sadness of turning down free champers 🙂 Have fun in australia and good luck with the pregnancy xx

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