Rare flannel flowers burst into bloom
If you needed any further proof that Mother Nature is a beautiful badass – just check out the Pink Flannel Flower! Native to the upper Blue Mountains, the seeds can lay dormant for years, basically refusing to germinate until the conditions are juuuuust right.
In much the same way Linda Evangelista refused to get out of bed for less than $10,000, the Flannel Flower seeds demand nothing less than an epic scorching, followed by a sustained soaking. So basically, only when catastrophic fires are followed by a deluge of rain will they even think about sprouting.
Flowers that bloom only post-flame are known as ‘bushfire ephemerals’ and similar species also exist in Western Australia. Fun fact: the heat isn’t even what triggers their germination, it’s the smoke.
Not dissimilar to a star of the silver screen, they’re literally just chilling in their dressing room – smoking! – and refusing to put so much as one toe on set until everything is perfect. This is some diva-ish behaviour if we’ve ever seen it.
Speaking of, the fact that they require such a specific sequence of events to grace us with their beauty means these babies are rare AF. Seeing them in the flesh is a once or twice in a lifetime occasion, and even some of the most seasoned bushwalkers have not had the pleasure.
Right now, thanks to a bit of wet weather, there is a mass synchronicity of flowering from Katoomba to Lithgow. Like a fabulous pink phoenix they have burst from the scorched land, proving once and for all that the flower that blooms in adversity is the most beautiful of all.
The contrast of the pink flannel flowers amid the bush’s charred remains is a visually stunning reminder of nature’s sheer tenacity, and the landscape’s ability to regenerate itself. The very thing that set to destroy it, is also what brought it back to life.
Lasting only a few short months, get amongst it while she’s feeling generous. If you’re in NSW, pop over for a little look yourself and if not – any excuse for a trip, right? Holidaying at home is a) pretty much the only holiday we’re getting right now anyway, and b) an excellent way to return some tourist trade to areas and communities hit hard by (and still recovering from) the fires.
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Friends don’t let friends miss flannel flowers!
Special thanks to Caro Ryan for the use of her image. Check out her insta for more stunning snapshots taken during offtrack bush walks around her Blue Mountains home.