Readers’ wildlife posts

Tony Eales from Queensland sends what he calls “some of my favourite and most Australian of flowers”. They are lovely—and weird!

Banksia robur 

Banksia spinulosa 

Craspedia globosa

Dianella sp. 

Grevillia sp

Eucalyptus sp.

Ptilotus macrocephalus 

Xanthorrhoea glauca 



  1. Taskin
    Posted March 13, 2017 at 8:46 am | Permalink

    Great photos. What a fascinating variety of unusual flowers, the last one is especially impressive!

  2. Graham Martin-Royle
    Posted March 13, 2017 at 10:23 am | Permalink

    I have a grevillia in my garden. It appears to love it here in the UK & is absolutely stunning when in flower (it’s starting to flower now 🙂 ).

    • Heather Hastie
      Posted March 13, 2017 at 11:13 am | Permalink

      I love grevillias too. I don’t have one where I live now because we get frosts in the winter and they don’t like them, but I’ve had them in warmer parts of NZ.

      • loren russell
        Posted March 13, 2017 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

        There are several grevillias that do very well in the maritime northewest eg, sw BC through western Washington and Oregon. The hardier species and hybrids come from the colder parts of the Australian mainland [eg, Victoria Alps. G. victoriae is particular handsome — with abundant scarlet flowers and the habit of a compact rhododendron. It begins its long bloom in mid-winter and is a welcome treat for overwintering Anna’s hummingbirds. One of my magical moments is seeing a hummingbird inches above a late-winter snow, tanking up on the grevilleas.

        • Heather Hastie
          Posted March 13, 2017 at 8:32 pm | Permalink

          Wow! What a cool sight! Good to know about the other varieties too. Thanks.

          • loren russell
            Posted March 13, 2017 at 10:54 pm | Permalink

            Anyone in the US Pacific Northwest interested in growing grevilleas and other southern hemisphere shrubs should check the nursery website for Desert Northwest.. Cistus nursery in Portland OR is another source.

  3. darrelle
    Posted March 13, 2017 at 11:08 am | Permalink

    Very nice pictures. I’ve never seen a grass tree before. Very interesting. They look like a mash up between some kind of palm tree and a live oak. Not sure were that central spire fits in though.

    • stuartcoyle
      Posted March 13, 2017 at 5:54 pm | Permalink

      The spire is the flower spike. I have seen Xanthorrhoea that are over three metres high. Given that they grow very slowly these were several hundred years old.

  4. Mark Sturtevant
    Posted March 13, 2017 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

    Wonderful plants! I have no idea what many of them are, and that actually adds to the enjoyment. The first reminded me of the Silver swords, but it turns out they are not very related.

  5. Mark R.
    Posted March 13, 2017 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

    Love the Aussie flowers. The Dianella sp. almost looks like an insect mimic with it’s six “legs”.

  6. Posted March 13, 2017 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

    Such an alien flora for those of us who live on the other side of the world. For a biologist a trip to Australia would be more interesting than a trip to another planet.

    • Tony Eales
      Posted March 13, 2017 at 6:02 pm | Permalink

      Joseph Banks, the botanist on Cook’s voyage of exploration of the east coast was just blown away by the Australian flora. He’s a really interesting character of the enlightenment and gives his name to the Banksias in the first two photos.

  7. Posted March 13, 2017 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

    I doubt that the Craspedia is specifically C. globosa, but the species of the Craspedia / Pycnosorus group are hard to distinguish without a closer look at the leaves.

    • Tony Eales
      Posted March 13, 2017 at 6:03 pm | Permalink

      Thanks I’m sure you’re right

  8. Posted March 13, 2017 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

    Beautiful! I hope none of them is endangered.

    • Tony Eales
      Posted March 13, 2017 at 5:59 pm | Permalink

      No all reasonably common.

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