Bumper wildflower season in the Red Centre

By Australian Geographic 29 September 2021
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Take a journey through the vastness of the Red Centre to discover its beautiful wildflower season

Check out this blooming brilliance! Wildflower season is well and truly underway in the Red Centre where good rains and a rest during COVID-19 has resulted in what’s being called a bumper season. 

Bryce Shannon of the Alice Springs Desert Park says this wildflower season is the best he’s experienced since 2016.

Mulla mullas. (Image credit: Barry Skipsey)

“Last year, there wasn’t much going on because of Covid,” Bryce says. “The park was shut, so that gave us time to get on top of weed management and other issues. The soil was rested for a two-year period. There was also rainfall at the right time and good temperatures. It’s a heap of little small things that fell into place at the right time.”

While the desert peas and mulga are out in full force, Bryce, however, favours the blue pincushions. “They’re small and delicate and there’s not too many naturally flowering blue flowers. You also can’t go past the poached egg daisies.”

Blue pincushion. (Image credit: Wright Out There/Shutterstock)

Throughout the season, Bryce’s priority is seed collection. “Seed collection allows us to work out what we’re doing not just next year but over the following years. If you don’t do a good seed collection, you may miss a year and you may think you have a lot of seed but that seed may not be viable.”

Although most of us on the east coast are still in lockdown, those who are able to go should talk to locals first.

“Rainbow Valley, for example, is really good this year, but on the western side of the highway there’s nothing. Talk to your local tourism operators, parks and wildlife or phone up the desert park for advice on where to go. It’s not as simple as going every year and it’s always really good.”

Sturt’s desert rose. (Image credit: Barry Skipsey)