The Blue Mountains of Australia are in New South Wales. The Blue Mountains cover more than 1,000,000 hectares of territory and are a United Nations World Heritage Area. Flora found in the Blues includes moss, lichen, deciduous and coniferous trees, numerous ferns, flowers and ground plants.
During the Australian spring and summer (November through May), the Blue Mountains host a variety of wildflowers in various stages of bloom. Epacris reclinata, a red bell-shaped flower, is usually found clinging to exposed cliffs in the western Blue Mountains. Red waratah (Telopea speciosissima) gives a bright red color during its bloom amidst eucalyptus trees. Species familiar to Westerners grow in the Blues, like the everlasting daisies.
Wattle trees comprise a majority of the tree species found in the Blue Mountains. Wattle is known to Westerners as acacia. The western areas of the Blue Mountains are wetter than the eastern areas, making prime growing conditions for eucalyptus, melaleuca, grevillea (silky oak) and allocasuarina (sheoak). The eastern side of the Blues hosts acacias. Wollemi pine was found in a remote valley in the Blue Mountains in 1994. Scientists believe the species belongs to a group of pines dating to the dinosaur days, making it a living fossil, according to the professionals reporting at About Australia through the Australian Government.
Lichens and Grasses
Various types of lichen (a symbiotic organism comprised of algae and fungi) grow in the Blue Mountains. Orange, green and white cotton lichen are among the various species found in the Blues. Grass species such as conesticks (Petrophile pulchella) have upright leaves, and 3-foot-high white beard (Leucopogon sp.) blooms with bunches of small white bells among the reeds and leaves. Kangaroo grass (Lomandra longifolia) is found throughout the mountains, and thickets of paperbark (Melaleuca linariifolia) grow in pools of standing water throughout the range.
Article Written By Eric Cedric
A former Alaskan of 20 years, Eric Cedric now resides in California. He's published in "Outside" and "Backpacker" and has written a book on life in small-town Alaska, "North by Southeast." Cedric was a professional mountain guide and backcountry expedition leader for 18 years. He worked in Russia, Iceland, Greece, Turkey and Belize. Cedric attended Syracuse University and is a private pilot.