Lechenaultia macrantha

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.

Lechenaultia macrantha

14 responses to “Lechenaultia macrantha”

  1. CherriesWalks

    Wow! Totally beautiful!

  2. lj orlin

    Could someone describe what I am looking at? this is so unusual and I cannot get a size perspective on the wreath and also what is the green, evergreen-looking plant in the cent of the wreath of flowers?
    Thanks.

  3. Michael F

    If it is named after someone called Leschenault, then surely the missing ‘s’ should be added as per the provisions of ICBN Art. 60? “The original spelling of a name or epithet is to be retained, except for the correction of typographical or orthographical errors” (my italics). I can’t see that dropping the ‘s’ is an intentional latinisation of the name.

  4. TC

    The surrounding soil color stands out in stark contrast. What type of soil does Lechenaultia macrantha grow in?
    (I was wondering about a parenthetical pronunciation guide after each entry.)
    Great photo!

  5. ingrid

    This is beautiful, thanks so much!

  6. van

    Ooh. Sweet.

  7. Ron Long

    The Wreath flower is about 18 inches in diameter and most plants are almost perfectly round. The green center consists of the leaves and stems of the plant.
    The red color is characteristic of the soils in many parts of Western Australia and is caused by iron oxide – rust. The soils are very ancient dating back to Gondwanaland. There has been no glaciation or volcano activity in Australia so the soils have never been renewed. The result is very poor soil quality everywhere.Yet the plants have adapted and that’s what makes them so interesting.

  8. A

    That is so beautiful! I love looking here! That red dirt is pretty. In Hawaii, the red dirt is so strong that if you wash a white T-shirt and put a little red dirt in the washer, the shirt comes out red! I can’t get over how beautiful those are! My Dad and I like to take pictures of flowers in our backyard.

  9. Bob Wilson

    What a gorgeous plant!!
    I am impressed that there appears to be almost nothing else growing here, and yet this plant is thriving.

  10. elizabeth a airhart

    ron and daniel
    is this not a wonderful plant
    perhaps i could find a similar
    plant and flowers and grow one of my own
    or faux flowers for my holiday wreath here
    here in florida thank you daniel
    i just came over from mr longs page
    you are just very good you surely are

  11. Melanie Kinsey

    Sorry to pick you up on your observations of Australian soil Ron but not all Aussie soil is poor! We do have some areas of ancient volcanic activity with soil (mostly east coast) which is rich, red and deep and grows great potatoes (Western district of Victoria) and great gardens (e.g. Macedon Ranges Central Vic near me).

  12. Alex Jablanczy

    Red soil is also present in PEI famous of course for its spuds. Then there is the red planet Mars. And of course the red hemoglobin and blood of all higher animals vertebrates but also mulluscs and worms such as the earthworm.
    All these reds are caused by FeO iron oxide or Fe2O3.

  13. handan

    I wanna grow lechenaultia macrantha in Turkey (aegean zone). is it possible? If you give me information about it, i will be glad..

  14. handan

    sorry, aegean zone..

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