Fairfax Media Network

Weather News

Desert blooms in once-a-decade wildflower season

Caddie Brain, Wednesday September 25, 2013 - 10:16 EST

The desert has exploded in colour.

Central Australia is in the midst of a one-in-ten-year wildflower season.

To the south and west of Alice Springs, fields and fields of millions of yellow native daisies have popped up, hovering above the red dirt.

It's keeping the botanists at the Alice Springs Herbarium busy, responding to identification inquiries and collecting seed that may not be seen again for a decade.

Peter Latz has spent most of his life studying the vegetation of Central Australia.

He says the desert is showing off.

"I don't like the desert that much when it's like this," he said.



"It's like a woman who tarts herself up with lipstick and eye shadow and beautiful clothes.

"Where's the real you?

"It's the same with the desert. It's tarting itself up at the moment, looking like a... I won't say the word!"

Botanist Peter Jobson says soaking winter rains throughout May are responsible for the spectacular display.

"It's set it off.

"There's all different types of daisies, from a unique subset of Australian group of daisies, better known as 'billy buttons'.

"I'm just loving seeing this field of yellow for this year, knowing we may not see it again for years."

Mr Latz says while the last comparable wildflower season was in 2000, no two wildflower seasons are the same.

"That's what I love about the desert," he said.

"I've been studying it from before you were born, and when I think I've started to get an idea about what's going on, it will turn around and say 'up yours Latzy! You didn't think I could do this did you?'

"It keeps you on your toes."


- ABC

© ABC 2013

More breaking news

Sydney Morning Herald
ABC News
National Nine News
News Limited

Display Your Local Weather

Weather News

Thunderstorm asthma advice issued as storms loom in Victoria

21:33 EDT

Victorians who experience breathing difficulties or asthma have been advised to take extra care this evening, with a cool change and thunderstorms predicted for the state.

Queensland storms: Lockyer Valley, Ipswich clean up after night of destruction

19:24 EDT

Two homes in south-east Queensland were destroyed by fire during yesterday's super cell storms, which also overturned caravans and saw a teenager struck by lightning.

Stormy start to summer for southeast QLD

17:25 EDT

Saturday's storms produced large hail, intense rainfall and destructive winds to several locations across southeast Queensland as two large storms rolled over in quick succession.