Where to find wildflowers in South Australia
Native wildflowers are bringing colour to national parks. Find out what’s blooming near you.
Wildflowers are now blooming across the state, in nationalparks, reserves, and by roadsides.
The outback and the Flinders Ranges have a well-deserved reputation for the most stunning displays. Butif you live in metropolitan Adelaide and don’t have time to make a long trip, you can still find plentyof these little gems in the Adelaide Hills – especially tiny but beautiful native orchids.
Some species are already in flower, while others will be at their best in coming weeks.
Here are some to look out for in South Australia’s national parks:
Flinders and Outback
Spring is a spectacular time in Vulkathunha-Gammon Ranges and Ikara-Flinders Ranges national parks, with wattles, native hopbush, mintbush and Sturtdesert peas enhancing the amazing landscape.
At Witjira National Park, poached-egg daisies and parakylia are spread across the dunes. Lookalong creek lines for purple verbines and Darling lilies, and on the gibber plains for daisies, lantern bushes andSwainson peas.
In Innamincka Regional Reserve, native geraniums, eremophila and daisies are starting toflower, especially along the creek lines.
Mount Remarkable National Park in the Southern Flinders is only a few hours from Adelaide,and spots like Alligator Gorge will be full of wildflowers as spring progresses. Some to look out for are thechocolate lily, with its violet flowers and distinctive chocolate scent, early Nancy and native leek, and orchidssuch as the scented sun orchid, pink fingers, spider orchid and daddy longlegs.
The Cleland Link Trail from Crafers to Mount Lofty Summit is close to the city and ideal to visit, especially forthose without cars.A bus from the city takes less than half an hour and you can walk up to Mount Lofty Summit orinto Cleland Wildlife Park,enjoying wildflowers such as twiggy bearded heath, shrub violet and orchids like greenhoods, sun orchids and donkeyorchids along the way. Look for the trailhead signs on the northern side of the freeway off-ramp, near the businterchange.
Morialta has a beautiful show of native orchids, including greenhood, mosquito and helmet orchids, and sun orchidswill start flowering soon. They are visible from the Three Falls Hike walking trail, which takes you past the park’s three waterfalls.
Spring Gully Conservation Park near Clare is also full of colour, with a gorgeous array oforchids, including spotted donkey orchids, shell orchids and blue fairies, and many other wildflowers such asbillybuttons, with their yellow puffball flowers, woodland creamy candles, red parrot-peas and early Nancy.
Want to grow native flowering plants in your home garden? TheState Floranurseries atBelair National Park and Murray Bridge can help with a wide range of native plants, including trees, shrubs,groundcovers and bulbs.
This story was originally published in September 2016.