If you went on a wildflower odyssey in Western Australia, you could see an extraordinary 12,000+ different species – more than 60% of which are found nowhere else on the planet.
But that’s assuming you had the time to explore the whole of this beautiful, enormous state.
In the heart of WA’s capital, however, there’s a much easier way you can see 3,000+ native species of blooming during the wildflower season – simply head to Perth’s spectacular Kings Parkand Botanic Garden, one of the largest inner-city parks in the world.
As it’s wildflower season right now, we wanted to get some inside info – and who better to talk to than someone who’s worked at this beautiful park for 40 years? Grady Brand, senior curator at Kings Park and Botanic Garden, gave us the following fantastic floral facts…
What’s the status of the wildflowers in Kings Park right now?
“The wildflowers are currently at the peak of their spring display, with a riot of colour greeting visitors. Kings Park’s spring display will extend until mid-November so there’s plenty to see all season.”
What sorts of wildflowers can people expect to see?
“The beautiful pink everlasting paper daisies are a favourite for visitors, you can see fields of them in Kings Park. Geraldton wax varieties are looking spectacular at the moment too. The black and green kangaroo paw (Macropidia fuliginosa) is always so striking and a favourite among the staff here. Interestingly it is not an Anigozanthos like all other kangaroo paws, but is closely related to them – within the same family. It is a monotypic genus, meaning there is only one species within the genus.”
What’s your personal favourite and why?
“My personal favourite changes each day, but at the moment it has to be the black and green kangaroo paw, it’s just so striking.”
The Kings Park Festival is running until 30 September – what’s a don’t-miss event happening at the festival between now and the end of the month?
“Our ‘Greatest Show on Earth’ photography exhibition is showcasing some of WA’s epic landscapes and beautiful flora and has been extremely popular all month. Of course, the garden displays are always a must-see, they’re just so beautiful at this time of year. A bush walk through the natural banksia woodland in Kings Park is also great, you can book into a ‘Heart of Kings Park’ walk to do this or check out our bushland trails on our website.”
Where should people go to get the best view while in the park?
“If you’re visiting Kings Park for the first time, make sure you enter via Fraser Avenue. With one of the most breathtaking and significant avenues of trees greeting visitors on entry, Fraser Avenue then opens ups into a panoramic view of Perth city, the Swan River and the Darling Range to the east. This is one of the best places for a first-time visitor to Perth to familiarise themselves with the city.”
What are some other spots in and around Perth where the wildflowers are amazing?
“The Northern Sandplains between Perth and Geraldton, including the coastal drives to the Pinnacles; and the Darling Range including John Forrest National Park will be at the prime of their flowering for the next month.”
Are there any dedicated walking routes that show off the wildflowers nearby?
“Bold Park in City Beach has some fantastic walking tracks allowing you to see orchids and much more, there are also some excellent walks in the Perth hills including in and around Kalamunda and Mundaring.”
What’s something that a visitor needs to know about viewing the wildflowers in WA?
“All Western Australian wildflowers are protected by law and are not allowed to be picked, to ensure future generations are able to enjoy them too. Some wildflowers are poisonous and can cause skin irritations and unless you’re being advised by a well-qualified guide, I would suggest sticking to pathways and taking only photos.”
What are the best other places around the state to see wildflowers?
“At this moment in time from Kalbarri right through to Esperance, including the Goldfields, will offer a wildflower display from now until late December.”