The unique Diamantina region is a rich tapestry of vast gibber and grass plains stretching to the distant horizon, undulating red sand dunes, and life sustaining lakes and billabongs. The Diamantina Shire lies in the heart of this diverse region. The vast flood plain not only contains some of the best cattle fattening land in Australia, but also supports an amazing and often surprising diversity of wild flowers.
After a season of good rain, the wildflowers have the opportunity to flourish. Spreading out over the sand dunes and along the side of the road that leads in and from Birdsville, Bedourie and Betoota, the wildflowers are a welcome sight for locals and tourists alike.
They can mostly be found on the plains and sandy soil within and around the Diamantina Shire.
When in bloom the wildflowers spread combining to display a sight of nature’s own beauty.
Poached Egg Daisy:
This erect, tuffed and hairy annual can grow up to 50cm tall with the stems branching from the bottom. It has light green leaves 2-7cm long and 1-3mm wide. The seeds are silky-hairy near the tip of the flower. These plants traditionally grow on sand plains and sandhills, but not on the unstable dune crests. After good cool-weather rains this plant can form very large stands.
Hairy Darling Pea:
The Hairy Darling Pea is a prostrate annual or perennial forb that can grow up to 40cm. It has pink to purple, peashaped flowers, with four to eight flowers crowded at the end of each stem. They flower mainly in spring and can be found scattered in Mitchell grass country or on stony, hilly areas.
Wild Stock, native stock
This plant is a small, downy, grey, erect annual forb that grows to 50cm with a multiple stems arising from a centre point. The main leaves can be up to 12cm long. It has white, pink or lavendar four-petalled dense flowering spikes. The flowers are sweetly scented and usually appear in spring. This plant can be foundin deep, sandy soils of the sanddunes and sometimes on the heavy clay soils of the channel country.
|Desert nightshade: |
This small slender perennial forb can grow up to 80cm tall, with pricklesalong the branches.
It has leaves that are round heart-shaped pale greenish. The purple downy flowers sit at the end of the stems and are usually around 10-13mm wide. This plant can be found flowering from October to November or after late winter rains. The Desert nightshade ususally grows on clay soils in or near sandhill country.
The booklet Flora of the Diamantina Shire is available at the Wirrarri Visitor Information Centre Birdsville and the Bedourie Outback Visitor Centre or online.