The Mullewa District comes alive in late winter and spring each year, when dramatic displays of wildflowers brighten the bushland and road verges. Everlastings form vivid swaying carpets across expansive plains, especially in pastoral areas, while shrubs and small trees spring to life in a blaze of colour. And, of course, the wreath flower is the star attraction.
Lechenaultia macrantha is known as the wreath flower because of its unusual circular shape. It grows well in disturbed areas, and so is commonly found on road verges or in gravel pits or areas that have been recently burnt. It grows from a central root stock, with new branches being produced each year as older ones in the centre die off. It usually flowers between August and October, but this is determined by local rainfall events. Areas east of Mullewa, around Pindar and through the farming country around Tardun and Canna often have excellent displays – but it’s best to ask at the Visitor Centre for up-to-date information.
The Mullewa region is so rich in wildflower species because it straddles both geological and climatic transition zones. This produces great diversity across varying soil types and rainfall/temperature zones. Mullewa also contains both farmland, where human activity provides the “disturbance” favoured by many species, and vast pastoral properties, where nature remains little changed.
Plants of the Asteraceae or daisy family are short-lived annual herbs with soft papery flowers. Most everlastings fall into this family. Star species in the Mullewa area include the pink star everlasting (Schoenia cassiniana), the pom-pom everlasting (Cephalipterum drummondii), the splendid everlasting (Rhodanthe chlorocephalum splendida) and the pink sunray (Rhodanthe manglesii). The country east to Yalgoo and south-east to Payne’s Find is renowned for its everlastings – but again, ask at the Visitor Centre for current information.
Please remember, do not pick the wildflowers, they are protected.