Awesome plants of Western Australia.

in Amazing Nature4 months ago

Having lived on the east coast of Australia my entire life one of the fascinating things about W.A is all the different plants that I'm not used to seeing at home.

The Boab tree.

The Boab has to be one of the most fascinating of the plants we have come across. I actually thought they were in Africa and didn't realise they also grew in Australia.

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The Boab is easy to recognise by its almost bottle shape. It has an extremely wide trunk, sometimes over 5m in diameter, and grows to around 12 metres tall on average. These trees are so large that a hollowed out boab in Derby around an hour or two north of us, was once used as a short term prison for inmates awaiting sentencing. Known as "The boab prison tree" it is now a tourist attraction.

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The boab, whilst looking strange is also a very useful tree. As they can store large amounts of water for the dry season, indigenous Australians were able to get water from hollows in the trees. The fruit is also edible, or more the inner white powder of the fruit, and the leaves are high in iron. I don't know how it tastes but if you're ever stuck a boab could come in handy.

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Almost big enough to use as a jail

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The nut/seed of a boab

Frangipani

The frangipani is a small tree that grows in a lot of tropical areas, the flowers are incredibly pretty and make for a beautiful sight in most gardens, especially if you combine the different colours.
The most common colours are white and yellow but they also have orange and pink flowers and even combinations.

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They are a very hardy plant and can grow in hot and dry climates like Broome. They are incredibly easy to propogate and all you need to do is cut a small branch, allow the cut section to dry for a couple of days and then stick it in the ground. Voila a new frangipani tree/bush.

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They can be trimmed and pruned to however you like, some people like them short and bushy so when they flower it is an explosion of colour, others like to allow them to grow into a tree and the large leaves and flowers create a shady canopy underneath.
My only quarrel with these plants (as the gardener at my resort) is how much mess the leaves and flowers make when they fall.

Wild plants.

Most of the wild plants that aren't found in gardens are incredibly hardy and drought tolerant. As such they are often not the prettiest plants for most of the year. They sometimes have to go 9 months or more without water but when the rains come many burst into colour and others produce a variety of fruits.

Gubinge trees and fruits are an indigenous food and were always important in their culture. They hold the highest concentrations of vitamin C of any fruit or vegetable, much more than an orange.
The gubinge has many uses and people even turn it into wine, beer and spirits.

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There are also many succulents and cacti around, it is a harsh place for anything to live so water retention is an incredibly important skill for these plants to have. When it rains here it pours but only for a short period. Many of the plants in the gardens here would not survive without human intervention and consistent watering but some are hardy enough to survive years without water if necessary.

I still have a lot to learn about the plants here but I hope to expand my knowledge as they have always interested me, just not quite as much as animals :D.

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