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.)