In our ‘Australia Day another ‘Forget Me Not’ occasion’ blog we were curious about the number of natural plant species in Australia and asked four questions for those who may be interested. We now present the answers to the questions on Australia’s Native Plants.
- What is the estimated number of natural plant species in Australia?
Answer: There are an estimated 27700 plant species in Australia, including living fossils such as the cycad palm and the grass tree, and brilliant wildflowers such as the waratah, Sturt’s desert pea, banksia and kangaroo paws.
- What is another name for a gum tree?
Answer: Eucalypts. We have around 2800 species of eucalypts (gum trees) in Australia. Australia’s Native Plants, the Eucalypts dominate the tree flora of Australia and make up almost 80 per cent of our forests.
The Eucalyptus’ are very valuable to us. Some of them have attracted attention from horticulturists, global development, researchers, and environmentalists because of their many desirable traits, including but not limited to: –
- Fast-growing sources of wood,
- Producing oil that can be used for cleaning,
- As a natural insecticde,
- Aromatherapy oil
- Oil that helps to ease pain in joints.
- ‘and the colourful flowers many of the Eucalypts produce are a wonderful bonus.
- Name Australia’s floral emblem?
Answer: Acacia – commonly known as wattle. There are some 1350 species of Acacia found throughout the world and close to 1000 of these are to be found in Australia. Acacia is the largest genus of vascular plants in Australia. Australia’s national floral emblem is Acacia pycnantha, the Golden Wattle. Wattle Day is celebrated on the 1st of September each year. One of the most colourful of Australia’s Native Plants.
- Name NSW’s official flower emblem?
Answer: The Waratah. This spectacular flower comes from a stout, erect shrub, which may grow, to 4 metres. The flowers are grouped in rounded heads 7 to 10 cm in diameter surrounded by crimson bracts, about 5 to 7 cm long. It flowers from September to November and nectar-seeking birds act as pollinators. This is by far one of the most stunning of Australia’s Native Plants.
In celebrating Australia Day Forget Me Not Mudgee has some beautiful bouquets available containing some of our most splendid eucalyptus flowers. Don’t miss out this week; celebrate Australia and all the country has to offer with one of these bouquets.
You can also keep it very simple by using one of our glass bottle vases. Your could paint the glass the same colour as the flowers, or use coloured water the same colour as the flower (using food coloring), or wrap the bottle in hesion ribbon for a very natural look. It will make a very pretty table decoration.
For more information on Australia’s Native Plants visit http://anpsa.org.au/gallery.html
Guest writer: Stylist – Jane Koitka