Over the years, I have collected many hundreds of photos of plants, seeds and herby foliage. This comes from being both a botanist and a keen gardener – I really love plants!
Ailsa’s Travel Challenge: Foliage brought two possible entries to mind as being my all time favourite foliage photos. So I have decided to post both.
The first was taken many decades ago and was originally a slide which I have scanned. I took it while on a field trip where we were doing plant surveys as part of a course I was studying.
The thing that I love most about this picture is that it is so characteristically Australian – the Eucalyptus foliage on the left has fallen from a nearby tree. There is lots of leafy mulch (great for all fungi!) and many tiny forbs and herbs amongst the grasses. The contrast in colours was what drew me to the spot initially. None of this was ‘arranged’ – it is a totally natural little landscape.
The second was a photo taken in Victoria at the Grampians National Park. We went camping there in the spring some years ago and came across the most stunning Xanthorrhoea or Grass Trees. These were particularly awesome as they were quite large and were flowering. These plants grow very slowly (sometimes as little as an inch or 2.5cm per year) and can live for a number of centuries (500 – 600 years). I am not sure how old this one is, but I would guess well over 100 years.
I have grown a few Grass Trees from seed and they only managed 5cm (2 inches) in their first two years! However they are now about 9 years old and a metre or so in height. None of my propagated plants have flowered yet.
These plants are highly prized as garden specimens and are very expensive to purchase. It is illegal to take them from bushland in Australia and if you purchase a plant from a nursery, these have to be specially tagged.
Sadly, many nursery plants do not survive the transplanting process and die within a few years of replanting. Best idea is to just enjoy them in the bush where they grow so well – places like the Grampians National Park.