Local photographer Ron Long was kind enough to share one of his images today. If you’re a local reader of BPotD, Ron will be sharing more of his images on Thursday (or tonight, by the time I complete this entry…) in a presentation to Nature Vancouver: Adventures of a Modern Plant Hunter — photographs from his 2008 travels in California, Oregon, Ontario and Colorado. Do attend if you can (I’ll be there!).
Today’s photograph is from Ron’s recent trip to Western Australia. I’ll quote from his email to me: “The wreath flower is one of the iconic plants of Western Australia. It occurs in a very small area and like many desert plants may or may not appear in a given year. When it does flower in creates a considerable stir and people travel great distances to see it. I even came across a hand-written sign in the Gents at a caravan park giving directions to some of the plants.”
Wreath flower seems like a highly appropriate common name (which reminds me — another tidbit for local readers — the wreath sale begins next Wednesday), though wreath leschenaultia is also sometimes used. The additional “s” in the common name is explained in that link, as well as a top-down view of an individual plant clearly illustrating the wreath shape.
A distribution map for the species is available from FloraBase: Lechenaultia macrantha. What I find particularly intriguing about its family, the Goodeniaceae, is that the family has a widespread distribution (found on all continents except for Europe and Antarctica), but it is only in Australia where representatives of the family can be found in a continental (interior) climate. Throughout the other continents, species within this family are always found near an ocean.