Beckler's Botanical Bounty Botanic Art Plants Travels

Collecting our plants in Menindee

One of the delights of the Beckler’s Botanical Bounty Project is going out into the field to find our plants. The habitat here, in the arid areas of outback New South Wales, always looks so desolate. Driving along in the car all you see are salt bushes, Sennas and sometimes the white bobbing heads of daisies. 

As soon as you step a few metres away from the car you see a different world. Tucked away are little plants. Some are pretty like the blue wahlenbergias, some are stunning like the patches of Sturt Desert Pea. There can be swathes of purple swainsonia or poached egg daisies. 

There are many that you wouldn’t look twice at, or think they may be weeds, only to find out that they are little treasures. Believe it or not, this little one, nestled in the takeaway coffee cup, is actually a daisy.

So looking takes time. We wander around, with our heads down, admiring, wondering and identifying.

Then we take samples so that we can identifying the plants correctly in the hall. (We have permission to collect, and we collect according to strict herbarium guidelines, including only taking 10% of the population in the local environ.)

17 replies on “Collecting our plants in Menindee”

The blue flower is a wahlenbergia. They are daintly little things, but quite prolific. No flannel flowers, but there are different sorts of paper daisies, like the poached egg daisy – White with a vivid yellow centre. These daisies hadn’t come up when we were there, but lots of the button types.

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If it wasn’t for this project, Sandra, I wouldn’t have learnt about how much diversity there is just beyond the car. It has been a fabulous project in so many different ways. And our exhibition will be happening February 2018 at the Ballarat Art Gallery.

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They are so good at taking any opportunity to grow, and have their own micro habitats. One of the plants I have painted grows prolifically on flat open areas and yet another of the same species loves the more sandy banks.


Thank you! It has grown out of quite humble beginnings, and we feel now that we have contributed a little to the current understanding of plants in the area. And, as I said before, we are working to our exhibition in February 2018!

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what an interesting place…and yes as you drive by, you see absolutely nothing; but then you show what treasures are sheltering and flourishing within the harsh but protective bush…


Yes, like so many things….it is a matter of stopping and taking the time to look. The National Park has different treasures, but unfortunately it was too wet to get in there this year. The roads were closed.


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