Saturday, August 6, 2011

A botanical feast: outback style

Every ten days or so Doug and I make a point of driving out the Forest Vale Road, which takes us in a northerly direction from Mitchell. Within half an hour or so we reach an area where the land rises gently up a red sandy hillside containing a wealth of unusual plants.

At present, the road is bordered with a magnificent display of slender flowered wattles (Acacia longispicata). The effect is vibrant -- gold against red dirt.

Other treasures include a woody pear with its fist-sized velvety fruits; wonga vine flowers; quinine trees with their small dark green leaves and small, round orange fruits; a kurrajong which I discover is related to bottle trees; and a soap tree whose leaves produce lather when crushed and rubbed in water.

I love learning to identify these arid region plants, all of which are new to us. It's a challenge. It's also very satisfying to be able to recognize and name some of the plants and trees that grow in this part of outback Queensland.

I look forward to learning more when we 'go bush' next week.

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