Friday 16 May 2014

Beard Heath

Image: Kevin Thiele
Hairy flowers!

I love hairy flowers! We've seen a few before but they've always been stink-pots who attract carrion-eating beetles and flies to do their pollinating. In that case, the hair helps to convince the hapless scavengers that they're visiting a fresh lump of steak. Extra rare. Slightly mouldy around the edges.

Image: Clare Snow
Leucopogon parviflorus
Beard Heaths are different. They attract good, ol' bees!

Image: John Tann
But they're so incredibly tiny...

Image: Jean and Fred
That they get utterly dwarfed by their visitors.

There are more than 150 species of Beard Heath, all belonging to the Leucopogon genus. Most of them are found in Australia, others live in New Zealand and various Pacific islands.

Image: Kevin Thiele
Most are white...

Image: Kevin Thiele
Leucopogon oxycedrus
Some are pink...

Image: Kevin Thiele
Leucopogon polymorphus
All are hairy!

Image: sunphlo
Leucopogon rufus
The rest of the plant is usually a shrub or small tree, often with long, pointy leaves. Sometimes the flowers are rather sparse...

Image: John Tann
Other times there's loads of them...

Image: Jean and Fred
And they're hairy!

Image: Kevin Thiele
Leucopogon plumuliflorus
The hairy flowers are really the star of the show, if you ask me. Not for the first time, either.


TexWisGirl said...

how very pretty!

Joseph JG said...

Thy sure are!

unknown3 said...

Amazing! Hoya carnosa still my favorite hairy flower though.

Joseph JG said...

That Hoya carnosa looks like marzipan cake decorations, haha!

Anonymous said...

Oh your show and tell are amazing. I caught you over at Texas pad.

So came in to see your photos. Interesting to say the least.

Joseph JG said...

Thank you!