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3 Wonderful White Winter Blossoms in Queensland

Wildflower Photography with marysejansenart

Wattle, Paperbark and Gum Tree Blossoms

White Winter Blossoms: Abundant Gum Tree Blossoms 2 by Maryse Jansen
Abundant Gum Tree Blossoms 2

White Winter Blossoms in Queensland

Winter in Queensland can be absolutely glorious! I woke up to a chilly morning today, but there’s not a cloud in the sky and the sun is warming things up quickly to a pleasant maximum of 23 degrees Celsius. The forest is alive with the sounds of numerous birds that are attracted to the flowering trees! Yes, in Queensland we have different blossoms in every season! Interestingly, the dominating colour of the flowers is white at the moment, which seems kind of fitting to match the concept of the winter season! Let me take you along and explore the 3 most abundant white winter blossoms in this forest today!

Wattle Blossoms

First, I encounter a stand of small Wattle Trees (Acacias). The majority of the about 1000 different Wattle species in Australia produce yellow flowers. Most species flower during spring and summer. But this species is flowering in winter with small, creamy-white fluffy globular-shaped flowers. Almost reminding me of tiny snowballs!

Sickle Wattle Blossoms  by Maryse Jansen
Sickle Wattle Blossoms

The leaves are not actually leaves, although they do look a lot like leaves to me! To understand what’s going on here, think about a regular leaf and how that is attached to the stem with a stalk. In some plants, and this is common in Australian Acacias, the stalk has become flattened and widened and true leaves are reduced or absent. The leaf-like looking things that we see are called phyllodes and they basically serve the tree in a similar way to a true leaf. Either way, in this tree they are 8-20 cm long and slightly sickle shaped. Hence, this is the Sickle Wattle!

The Sickle Wattle (Acacia falcata) is a shrub or small tree, ranging from 2-5m tall. It is endemic to Queensland and New South Wales and it prefers stony soils in open Eucalyptus forest, which is exactly where I am today. It will grow on a range of other soils as well. Acacias belong to the family of Fabaceae.

Paperbark Blossoms

As I move on, I spot a flowering Broad-leaved Paperbark Tree (Melaleuca quinquinerva). The flowers of this tree look like spikes in the shape of a Bottle Brush, where the stamens are connected in bundles to the floral tube. Generally, these trees don’t actually flower in winter, but apparently at the moment they do. Perhaps because the weather is quite warm this year. These flowers are attracting a lot of birds, especially honeyeaters. I spot some Brown Honeyeaters as well as Scarlet Honeyeaters feasting on the nectar.

Brown Honeyeater on Paperbark Flowers by Maryse Jansen
Brown Honeyeater on Paperbark Flowers

The Broad-leaved Paperbark is native to eastern Australia and grow in wet places, like here on the edge of the lake. To learn more about this species I recommend you visit my earlier post, completely dedicated to the uses and the beauty of the Broad-leaved Paperbark Tree!

Scarlet Honeyeater on Paperbark Flowers by Maryse Jansen
Scarlet Honeyeater on Paperbark Flowers

Gum Tree Blossoms

The most abundant blossoms I see today are on the Gum Trees. Tall trees, their crowns covered in heavy clusters of white flowers, the association with snow is again not far away. Like the Wattles, there are many species of Gum Trees in Australia. Although they are all known as Eucalypts, they do not all belong to the genus Eucalyptus. Other species belong to the Corymbia or the Angophora. All of them belong to the family of Myrtaceae. In total there are over 700 species, which may flower at different times of the year!

Gum Tree is a common name that refers to the sticky gum-like substance that some species exude from the trunk. This name has become generalised in Australia for most species. Most Gum Tree blossoms are white or cream-coloured, but some species produce bright pink or red flowers that can be quite spectacular! They have the shape of regular flowers, but instead of petals they are decorated with many stamens!

Abundant Gum Tree Blossoms by Maryse Jansen
Abundant Gum Tree Blossoms

The Gum Tree blossoms are attracting a lot of birds too! They are very popular with the Noisy Friarbirds, the Rainbow Lorikeets and again with the Scarlet Honeyeaters! These birds are making a lot of noise overhead in the trees while moving between flowers. Probably to let their families know that there is good food here!

Enjoy the sights and sounds of the birds and see the beautiful white winter blossoms in the latest episode of ‘Come for a walk in the Australian Bush’. The day is complete when we spot a koala, which is another species that relies heavily on the Gum Trees – not by feasting on the flowers of course, but rather by eating the leaves. Learn more about koalas here!

If you are interested in purchasing a print of the featured image ‘Abundant Gum Tree Blossoms 2’ or would like to see what the image looks like on the various merchandise products, please head to my shop. If you prefer ‘Abundant Gum Tree Blossoms’, click shop here.

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