Sunday, 13 July 2014

Mulla Mulla

On our journey north along the Stuart highway the Mulla Mulla has been a standout plant, in a variety of habitats. It's a generic name that covers several species of the Ptilotus genus and all have a subtle beauty. All Mulla Mulla are a bit like daisies in that the flowerheads are actually numerous individual flowers.

Silver Mulla Mulla Ptilotus obovatus
The first one I saw was on the Oodnadatta Track near Marree, in a patch of mallee on sand. It doesn't immediately look like a Ptilotis but is is indeed Ptilotus obovatus.  Near the Stuart Highway end of the track near Marla the Yellow Tails Ptilotus nobilis were growing on gibber.

Yellow Tails Ptilotus nobilis
As we neared Alice Springs I found that Long-tails Ptilotus polystachyus commonly grow on the red sand dunes under Desert Oaks.

Long-tails Ptilotus polystachyus
At Kathleen Spring near Kings Canyon we found the beautiful mauve Mulla Mulla Ptilotus exaltatus growing in a massed display on a rocky hillside.

Mulla Mulla Ptilotus axaltatus
And near Central Mount Stuart north of Alice Springs I found another purple Mulla Mulla growing in sand near termite mounds. I think is Hairy Mulla Mulla Ptilotus helipteroidea.

Hairy Mulla Mulla Ptilotus helipteroidea

1 comment:

macmsue said...

They are certainly tough plants yet they look quite delicate.