Monday, September 21, 2009

Wildflowers in the Desert

Hello Mother Dearest,
Seeing as its Spring now, the Sturt Desert Pea’s have sprung!
It’s a really special moment up here, because all we see year round is red dirt - haha!
Love Son #4 xox (Who works in a remote site in far north South Australia).

Sturt's Desert Pea (Swainsona Formosa) is the Floral Emblem of my home state South Australia. It occurs in arid woodlands and on open plains, often following heavy rain. It can also withstand the marked extremes of temperature experienced in the inland deserts - searing hot days & often light frosts at night.

The original collection was made in 1699 by William Dampier on Rosemary Island in the Dampier Archipelago in Western Australia, where he collected a specimen from & described it as :
'A creeping vine that runs along the ground ... and the blossom is like a bean blossom, but much larger and of a deep red colour looking very beautiful'.

The name commemorates Captain Charles Sturt (1795-1869) a notable Explorer of inland Australia, who in his early notes refers several times to the beauty of the desert pea in flower and the harsh nature of its habitat.
'We saw that beautiful flower in splendid blossom on the plains. It was growing amid barrenness and decay, but its long runners were covered with flowers that gave a crimson tint to the ground'.


  1. Oh they are just beautiful.

    What a cheeky looking chap he is!

  2. Soooo pretty! i have never seen such flowers! thanks for showing.Take care,

  3. Millie, I'm a bit ashamed to admit that I've never seen a sturt desert pea up close & real. Think I'll have to rectify that because they look oh so lovely. Lee :)

  4. Brings back some memories! I spent my teenage years in the Northern Territory.

  5. Hi Millie
    I did grow a sturt pea here in my garden in Dernancourt Adelaide it flowered beautifully once and then seem to disappear.
    Kind Regards

  6. I didn't know of these beauties! Fascinating. Ahem... your young man is very handsome. Hope you have a divine day.

  7. Millie~ thank you for your sweet comment. Biker no.... scooter-girl, yes! No black leather chaps here- although that could be a lot of fun-at least once.

  8. Those flowers are so amazing! They remind me of little crepe paper lanterns.

    And that is one good looking hunk of a son!

  9. Fascinating post! These flowers have such an incredibly unique look, I have never seen anything like it! Hope that you have a great day.

  10. Strange yet beautiful looking flower. Our family is neck deep in Star Wars right now with my 7 year old boy and the first thing I thought of when I saw your post today was,"That flower looks like it's from another planet, maybe the one Luke Skywalker grew up on". It was also covered in lots of red dirt. Have a great day. Heidi

  11. wow, never heard of such things. very pretty! pam

  12. How pretty! I meant the flowers. :)

  13. Such unusual and beautiful flowers!

    And, your #4 son is very handome!

  14. now that is remote!!!
    is your son a scientist of some sort?

    the aerial view of the desert looks almost 'outer spacey.' and the flower looks like something from the tv show 'lost in space' with the boy
    'will robinson'.



And none will hear the postman's knock
Without a quickening of the heart.
For who can bear to feel himself forgotten?
~W.H. Auden

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