Lemon Ironbark Eucalyptus staigeriana

    Originating in northern Queensland, this 6m tree with small, grey-green leaves imparts an uplifting citrus flavour with rosemary overtones. It can be used in sweet and savoury dishes and herbal teas, or mixed with mountain pepper for a lemon-pepper sprinkle. The quality of its oil also makes it an ideal candidate for aromatherapy and perfumery.

    See more illustrations of Australia’s edible flora here

    Photo Credit: Anne Hayes

    Eastern underground orchid Rhizanthella slateri

    Confined to small patches in eastern Australia, bizarrely, this cryptic, endangered species completely lacks chlorophyll, relying on its fungal partner for nourishment. The seed of this genus is unusual among Australian orchids, as it is carried in a berry-like fruit, in contrast to the dust-like seed of others. The flowers are thought to be pollinated by fungal gnats and the seed is eaten and distributed by bandicoots.

    See more illustrations of Australia’s orchids here

    Photo Credit: Anne Hayes

    Crimson spider orchid Caladenia clavescens

    Only discovered in 2007, this endangered orchid is known from very few plants in Victoria’s central Goldfields. Conservation efforts led to the reintroduction of 60 propogated specimens into the wild in 2012. This orchid is thought to deceive wasps into pollinating it and is reliant upon Sebacina-like fungi to germinate.

    See more illustrations of Australia’s orchids here

    Photo Credit: Anne Hayes

    A peanut tree Sterculia quadrifida

    In late summer, peanut trees are covered in creamy-white, lemon-scented flowers. These give way to large, leathery pods that change colour from green to fiery orange and red as they ripen. Once mature, the 8cm-long capsules split open to reveal up to eight shiny black peanut-sized seeds. These have a nutty texture and can be eaten raw or roasted. The seeds germinate easily, often within days of their release.

    See more illustrations of Australia’s plant seeds here.

    Photo Credit: Anne Hayes

    Mountain pepper Tasmannia lanceolata

    The leaves and berries of mountain pepper were popular among British settlers, who discovered it performed just as well as traditional pepper in dishes. The leaves are usually dried and then milled or ground; the berries, known as pepper-berries, are dried and crumbled or ground. This medium-sized tree occurs naturally in Tasmania and the wet forests of south-eastern Australia.

    See more illustrations of Australia’s edible flora here.

    Photo Credit: Anne Hayes

    Tulipwood Harpullia pendula

    Each winter, coastal forests and city streets burst into colour as clusters of yellow and orangey-red seed capsules form on the tulipwood’s branches. Each fruit features two inflated, papery valves that split open to reveal two glossy, pea-sized black seeds. In late spring, greenish-white flowers with salmon-pink stamens appear, once more beginning the plant’s annual seed cycle.

    See more illustrations of Australia’s plant seeds here.

    Photo Credit: Anne Hayes

    Blue banksia Banksia plagiocarpa

    Although initially collected in the 1860s, the blue banksia remained incognito until its rediscovery on Hinchinbrook Island, Queensland, in 1981. It boasts a spectrum of colours: blue-grey buds that open to pale yellow; and new foliage that matures to rusty brown then green.

    See more illustrations of Australia’s banksias here

    Photo Credit: Anne Hayes

    Matchstick banksia Banksia cuneata

    This is one of only three banksia species that belong to the sub-genus Isostylis, which boasts flowers in dome shapes rather than spheres or cylindrical spikes. From September to December, the shrubs feature pink and cream blossoms.

    See more illustrations of Australia’s banksias here

    Photo Credit: Anne Hayes

    Acorn banksia Banksia prionotes

    It’s not hard to see how this banksia earned its common name: the sight of a half-open flower spike would be enough to send a squirrel nuts. It’s known as a ‘keystone mutualist’ in the Avon Wheatbelt, WA, as it’s vital to the survival of a number of animals and plants there.

    See more illustrations of Australia’s banksias here

    Photo Credit: Anne Hayes

The botanical illustrations of Anne Hayes

By AG STAFF | September 29, 2017

Anne Hayes has completed several assignments on botanical themes for Australian Geographic. And like any AG commission, each one has been founded on accuracy attained through detailed and thorough research and observation. This is a selection of Anne’s work.