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Wild Iris (fruiting)

Patersonia sp. (either P. sericea or P. glabrata)


This plant caught my eye for the simple reason that it looked like it was growing straight out of the rock. It must be one of the toughest plants on Earth, having endured years of drought, bushfires, extreme temperatures - both hot and cold, completely exposed to the elements whilst living in a crack with minimal soil or moisture. This spotting is one of two species of the genus Patersonia (see notes for links), commonly known as "purple flag, wild or native iris", in the family Iridaceae. Australian native found in the eastern states from southern Queensland to Victoria. I didn't recognise this spotting at first, thinking it was some unusual orchid, only to find out that it's a fruiting iris instead. PS: This is what I'm used to seeing - from 2014, a previous spotting of wild iris in flower, also in Girraween...


Spotted on the Mt. Norman Track in Girraween National Park. Enormous extremes between day and night temperatures, as this spotting is actually growing on the rocks. In 2019, drought conditions still prevailed. Here's some park info -


What I thought initially to be an orchid turned out to be an iris. Thanks to the folks at the Facebook group "Queensland Plant Identification" for their assistance. Patersonia sericea - native iris, silky purple flag... http://www.friendsoflanecovenationalpark... Patersonia glabrata - native iris, leafy purple flag... http://www.friendsoflanecovenationalpark...

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Neil Ross
Spotted by
Neil Ross

Queensland, Australia

Spotted on Jun 20, 2019
Submitted on Apr 13, 2020

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