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I have written a very popular series of four “Colour Guides to Spring Wildflowers of WA” which has sold 60,000 copies since 1999 and is available in tourist bureaus and bookstores across Australia.  This has been supplemented by "Colour Guide to Wildflowers of WA - Hyden and Wave Rock".

Western Australia has more than 12,000 species of flowering plants, making it one of the most botanically diverse areas in the world.  Many of these grow in the south west of Western Australia. These guides each contain photographs of 224 of the most common (and some not so common) wildflowers which can be found from July to November in the area between Karratha, Kalbarri, Perth, Albany, Cape Arid, Kalgoorlie and Marble Bar.


The wildflowers in these books are grouped by colour, making these books almost Botany for Dummies.  The sequence of colours is that of the colours of the rainbow, i.e. red, orange, yellow, green and blue, but also includes pink and white. There is a strip of colour on the edge of each page which identifies the colour section.


Within each colour section, the flowers are arranged approximately alphabetically by scientific name.  A common name is given for each plant.  The time of flowering, and how common the plant is, are indicated.


The distribution of the plant is indicated by a map and the main towns which bound the area where it may be found, but it may not be present everywhere within that area.  Where a plant grows is controlled by many factors including habitat and soil type.  The place where the photograph in the book was taken is the first entry in the box where you can record your own observations.  All towns are shown in the maps at the front of the book.  The maps show roads along which you can see a good wildflower display.


When you find a wildflower, turn to the relevant colour section and scan the photographs for a flower that looks similar.  Compare the real wildflower with the photograph.  Read the description which describes the flower and plant in very simple terms.  Note the size and shape of the leaves, and where the plant grows.  If you vaguely know the name of the plant, you might try going to the index of common or scientific names.

Colour Guide to Wildflowers of Hyden Cover.jpg

Wajon Publishing has also published "How to Enjoy WA Wildflowers" and "How to Enjoy Wildflowers Even More" by Jim Barrow. 


In "How to Enjoy WA Wildflowers", the different strategies plants use to cope with very nutrient deficient soils, and cool wet winters but hot dry summers is explained. These strategies include having underground tubers or stilt roots, having specialized roots to obtain nutrients, being short-lived, and coping with fire.

This book describes how plants attract birds, mammals or insects, and whether they use mimicry, sexual deception or buzz pollination, or other flagrant, and sometimes tricky, strategies.

This book also describes the origin of features such as gravelly laterites, sand plains and break-aways in the Barren, Stirling and Porongurup Ranges, and granite outcrops such as Wave Rock, and how their properties affect which and where plants grow.

The book is an indispensable reference when planning a wildflower tour of Western Australia as it will tell you good spots to look for wildflowers and how to put together touring routes ranging from Shark Bay to Hyden, Albany and Esperance. One-day trips from Perth (including walks in King’s Park) are described.  Possible places to stay are suggested. 233 species of wildflowers you are likely to see are mentioned, with many illustrated.

In "How to Enjoy Wildflowers Even More", typical and spectacular wildflowers in the Eucalypt, Melaleuca, Calothamnus, Daisy, Pea, Cycad, Banksia, Verticordia, Hakea, Grevillea, Wax Flower and Goodenia families are described and shown. Some aspects of plant growth, such as buzz pollination, phosphorus uptake and herbicide impacts are discussed. In addition, the biological, rather than the geological, formation of laterite is postulated.

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