Tuesday, 4 February 2020

Cradle Mountain, plants and ecosystems

Photo: Christmas Bells Blandfordia nobilis with Crater Lake behind.
This was my first visit to Cradle Mountain National Park and I was blown away by the variety of plant species and the variety and vastness of the ecosystems. In particular the alpine plateau above Crater Lake when following the Horse track with it's views over Cradle Mountain and Barn Bluff is just a mesmerising place, with a myriad of bryophytes, pin cushions and other alpine specialists. This is a habitat quite unlike anything that I have seen in Australia previously. I don't claim to be an expert in either the ecosystems or the plants of Cradle Mountain, the photos in this post are just a few which caught my eye. I'll do my best to identify them but I'm happy to be corrected if anybody spots a mistake.

Cradle Mountain from Marions lookout. It snowed on Cradle Mountain yesterday and there were still a few patches left today.

Looking across the alpine plateau towards Barn Bluff.

This is one of the commonest, most obvious and most beautiful of all the plants on the alpine plateau, snow everlasting Helichrysum milliganii.

Mountain eyebright Euphrasia gibbsiae

Rusty cushionherb Ewartia meredithiae.

Rusty cushionherb Ewartia meredithiae.

Heath Cushionplant Dracophyllum minimum.

Snowgentian Gentianella diemensis

Dwarf Pine Diselma archeri

Spreading guineaflower Hibbertia procumbens.

Alpine coral-fern Gleichenia alpina.

Masses of alpine coral-fern! It's a beautiful plant......

..... and it seems to make good wombat habitat as well!

Shining tea-tree Leptospermum nitidium.

Shining tea-tree Leptospermum nitidium.

Triggerplant sp. Sylidium sp.

Central Lemon Boronia Boronia citriodora.

Central Lemon Boronia Boronia citriodora.

Mountain rocket Bellendena montana.

Rodway's everlasting Ozothamnus rodwayi.

Scoparia Richea scoparia.

Wirey Bauera Bauera rubioides.

Not sure!

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