Epic mountains, stunning views, endless kangaroos and beautiful sunsets often top the list of reasons to visit Gariwerd. However, the striking elements of the region don’t stop there – come late winter the national park bursts with colourful wildflowers.
Gariwerd is home to one third of Victoria’s flora, hiding within the rugged mountain range. More than 1,000 species of flowering plants grow in the region, with approximately 20 of these species endemic to Gariwerd.
For thousands of years, the indigenous Jardwadjali and Djab Wurrung people have lived by six distinct seasons and weather patterns, rather than the common four. These periods are defined by the climatic features of the environment, including the season ‘petyan’, or the ‘season of wildflowers’. This is experienced between late August to mid November and sees the landscape pop with colour and life.
Below is a snapshot of just some of the wonderful flowers that can be found in the national park.
Parrot Pea – Dillwynia Glaberrima
The Smooth Parrot Pea is a plant in the Fabaceae family, native to Australia. This flower grows in open, heathy forest in Victoria, Queensland, NSW, Tasmania and South Australia.
Blue Tinsel-Lily – Calectasia Intermedia
Native to the areas of western Victoria and south-eastern South Australia, the blue tinsel-lily flowers in early spring. It is the only member of the calectasia family that is not endemic to Western Australia.
Grampians Thryptomeme – Thryptomene Calycina
Endemic to Australia, this shrub is in the Myrtaceae family. It grows up to 2 metres high and produces white flowers between July and November.
Native Fuschia – Correa Reflexa
This flower grows in a variety of habitats from mountain forests to dry mallee scrub. Following the coast, the native fuschia ranges from south east South Australia, through Victoria to eastern New South Wales, into south east Queensland.
Grampians Gum – Eucalyptus Serraensis
Endemic to Gariwerd, the Grampians Gum is a small tree with white flowers. It is thought to be a hybrid of:
- Eucalyptus baxteri × E. serraensis or
- E. verrucata or Eucalyptus serraensis × E. verrucata
Common Heath – Epacris Impressa
Native to south eastern Australia, the common heath grows in shrubbery and open forest. It is a small plant that grows up to one meter tall. It attracts honey eating birds, most commonly the Eastern Spinebill.
Flying Duck Orchid – Caleana Major
This distinctive duck-like flower tricks male sawflies into thinking it is a female sawfly and traps the insect in its beak to catch the fly in its pollen before exiting. It is native to Australia.
Grampians Spider Orchid – Caladenia Grampiana
This ground orchid has a single hairy leaf and one or two pale yellow or pinkish flowers. It is endemic to Gariwerd.
Golden Moth Orchid – Diuris Protena
The Golden Moth Orchid is only found in Victoria and classed as endangered. It has a tuft of between four and eight leaves and up to three yellow flowers.
Ornate Finger Orchid – Caladenia Ornata
Standing 10-18 cm tall, this orchid has one or two bright pink flowers. It flowers between October and December and is endemic to Victoria.
Hornet Orchid – Diuris Sulphurea
Aptly named the hornet orchid, this flower is bright yellow with dark brown markings. It can have up to seven flowers on a stem. It is endemic to eastern Australia.
Pink Hyacinth-Orchid – Dipodium Roseum
This flower is a leafless saprophytic orchid found in south eastern Australia. In summer it showcases up to fifty pale pink flowers.
Make the most of ‘petyan’ – pack your walking shoes, your camera and hit the walking tracks this spring. Walk all day, refuel at night at the Royal Mail Hotel. Book now.