The aftermath of a bushfire at Holsworthy, New South Wales.
A startling phenomenon occurs after a fire tears through a landscape. So what is it in bushfires that gives plants this kiss of life?
Waratah flowers stand out vividly in the bush.
Tim J Keegan/Flickr
In an often-muted bush landscape, the deep crimson of the waratah stands out like a shout.
The butterfly orchid grows beautifully.
The Conversation/John Dearlarney
The blotched butterfly orchid (Sarcochilus weinthalii) looks fairly unremarkable when it’s not flowering, generally resembling the far more common orange blossom orchid. But when it flowers, it is exquisite…
A hapless animal will swim by, triggering the sensitive hairs at the front of the bladderworts’ bladder, which open like a trap door.
On the outskirts of Darwin, small insects are gobbled up by strange plants. Enter the world of the bladderwort.
FEED me, Seymour!
Albany pitcher plants are more closely related to cabbages and roses than any other carnivorous plant.
The whaterwheel plant can snap up its prey in milliseconds.
Waterwheel plants use snap up mosquito larvae, tiny fish and even tadpoles in freshwater wetlands around the world – including remote parts of north Australia.
River red gums’ iconic silhouette is found across Australia.
The Conversation/Wikimedia Commons
Red gums connect the continental fringes of Australia with its arid heart, marching along waterways.
Sea grass meadows at Bonna Point.
Valentina Hurtado-McCormick, Author provided
Seagrass may look unassuming, but healthy oceans depend on the huge meadows that grow in temperate and tropical waters.
White cedar grows across Asia and Australia, as a hardy and resilient deciduous.
Mark Marathon via Wikipedia
Mulga is an Aussie icon: hardy, adaptable, and absolutely everywhere.
A boab tree in the Kimberley. Boab trees can live for thousands of years and their trunks hollow out as they get older.
The leaves, when boiled, can be eaten like spinach. The seeds can be roasted for a coffee substitute, and the pulp can be fermented to make beer.
The tree is thought to be the oldest remnant of a once substantial red gum forest in the region.
This massive red gum has stood for 300 years, as if in defiance of the modern world and the development that has encircled it.
Fresh and dried Kakadu plums. These native Australian fruits have a sour taste with an astringent finish.
The Kakadu plum is one of the richest sources of vitamin C of any fruit, and the increasing demand has started creating supply problems.
Tim Collins classifying a new species of eucalyptus tree, Eucalytus dalveenica, March 2019.
University of New England, Author provided (No reuse)
There are more than 850 different species of eucalypts in Australia, and possibly many more we don’t know about.
“Vic Stockwell’s puzzle”: a close but anciently separated relative of the eucalypts.
Stockwellia has links back to the epoch before Australia separated into its own continent and was mostly covered in rainforest.
Macquarie Island. Subantarcic bedstraw was likely dispersed by sea birds who travelled across vast seas.
This small herb hadn't been seen on Macquarie Island since it was first recorded in 1983, despite several searches over the next 30 years.
The desert raisin is a member of Australia’s native bush tomato family.
Mark Marathon/Wikimedia, CC BY
Tasting like a smoky sundried tomato, the desert raisin has been a staple for Australian desert communities for thousands of years.
Flowers of the mystical
Hildegardia australiensis. I.D. Cowie, NT Herbarium.
Author provided (No reuse)
With unusual inflated winged fruits growing on "sickness country", the tree flummoxed local botanists who had not seen anything like it before.
Dr Michael Whitehead is campaigning to rename the Gimlet Gum to the Sexy Gum.
Author provided (No reuse)
The Instagram-able Eucalyptus salubris, better known as the Gimlet Gum, is well worth getting off the beaten track for.
Swamp foxtail is prized in ornamental gardens across Australia.
Present in Asia and Australia, the origins of swamp foxtails have not always been clear. Genetic studies put uncertainties to rest.