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Wildflower show marks orchid rebirth

Grampians Wildflower Show''s Margo Sietsma and Kathy McDonald inspect luscious wattle species already blooming in the Grampians.

Orchid lovers will be in for a treat at this year’s 72nd annual Grampians Wildflower Show from October 1-4, where a colorful array of delicate orchid species endemic to the Grampians will be showcased alongside other native wildflowers unique to the region.
With spring the best time to experience Grampians wildflowers, this stalwart, volunteer-run event – to be held at Centenary Hall in Halls Gap – is expected to attract more than 2,000 people from across Western Victoria, Melbourne and across the South Australian border.
Once described as the ‘Garden of Victoria’ by the first Victorian Government botanist Ferdinand von Mueller, the Grampians is home to more than one third of the state’s flora, and has the highest number of wildflower species endemic to the region compared to anywhere else in Australia.
Spokesperson Kathy McDonald said this year’s Grampians Wildflower Show would have a special emphasis on the ‘rebirth’ of local orchid species.
“There have been dramatic changes to the Grampians’ natural environment in recent years which have influenced the growth of native flora, particularly the orchids,” said Ms McDonald.
“After the 2006 fires, the reduced forest canopy, combined with a hot summer and wet autumn have really encouraged the rebirth of the orchids – some which have not flowered for years.”
Visitors to the Grampians Wildflower Show can get up close and personal with wildflowers presented according to woodland, heathland, wetland and threatened species, and ask questions of local wildflower experts.
There will be guided walking tours and bus tours held around Halls Gap throughout the weekend so visitors can experience the wildflowers in their natural environment. There will also be plenty of activities for the children.
Other event highlights include a presentation by botanist Brendan Nugent from the Threatened Species Group on October 1, where he will discuss research into one of the Grampians’ rare plant species the Grampians Bitter-pea.
“People who are passionate about the natural environment, or who simply love beautiful flowers will experience Australia’s best at the Grampians Wildflower Show in Halls Gap,” said Ms McDonald.
Other organisations participating in the event include Project Platypus, Friends of the Grampians, Wimmera Catchment Authority and Parks Victoria, which is currently celebrating 25 years since the official recognition of the Grampians National Park.
The Australian Plant Society Expo (Pomonal Hall October 3-4) and the Moyston Art Show (Moyston Hall October 2-4) are also being held at the same time, making the Grampians a particularly appealing September school holiday destination.
Entry to the Grampians Wildflower Show is $5 adults, $4 concession and 50 cents children. Open from 9.30am to 5.30pm each day. Visit grampianswildflowershow.org.au or phone 5356 4679 for information.

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Posted on Sep 23 2009

Posted by on Sep 23 2009. Filed under Arts Entertainment. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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