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05 July 2005
12/2005
Commemorative Issue

Australian Wildflowers

Australia
There are some 18000 species of flowering plants native to Australia, grouped in about 200 families. Like the continent's distinctive fauna, the flora has evolved in isolation for 50 million years, and many plants and flowers are found nowhere else on earth.

Sturt  

Sturt's Desert Pea (Swainsona formosa)

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This prostrate biennial or annual plant grows in arid regions of the Northern Territory and all mainland states except Victoria. The leaves and stems are covered in downy hairs and vivid red flowers are about nine centimetres long and arranged in clusters of six to eight on short, thick erect stalks.

The fruit is a legume measuring about five centimetres long that splits at maturity releasing several flat kidney-shaped seeds. The spectacular flowers are the floral emblem of South Australia.

Coarse-leaved Mallee (Eucalyptus grossa)  

Coarse-leaved Mallee (Eucalyptus grossa)

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A small mallee from three to six metres high, this eucalypt is distinctive for its large, thick glossy leaves. The bullet-shaped buds are red and the attractive yellow to yellow-green flowers appear in axillary umbels of up to seven from August to November.

Each of the blooms measure up to four centimetres in diameter. The tree occurs naturally south from Salmon Gums, and westward to the area near Newdegate, in Western Australia.

Common Fringe Lily (Thysanotus tuberosus)  

Common Fringe Lily (Thysanotus tuberosus)

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Blooming in spring and summer, this lily is an erect perennial herb growing up to 60 centimetres high.

The mauve flowers have three broad, finely fringed petals, in groups of one to eight at the ends of branched stems up to 80 centimetres long. The plant is widespread in heath, woodland and open forest and can be found in all mainland states.

Swamp Daisy (Actinodium cunninghamii)  

Swamp Daisy (Actinodium cunninghamii)

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This plant is a small shrub growing up to a metre in height, with wiry, erect stems. It is not a true daisy but belongs to the myrtle family.

The flower heads, around three to four centimetres in diameter, consists of clusters composed of white sterile outer flowers and fertile smaller pink inner ones. The shrub is native to low-lying, moist sandy areas in the south-west of Western Australia.

Technical Information

Issue Date: 2005-07-05
FDI Withdrawal Date: 2005-08-02
Denominations: Four x 50c
Designer: Janet Boschen, Australia Post Design Studio
Printer: SEP Sprint
Paper: Tullis Russell
Paper (self-adhesive): B100
Printing Process: Lithography
Performations: 14 x 14.4
Sheet Layout: 50
National Postmark: Botany NSW 2019
copyright notice: This material has been reproduced with permission of the Australian Postal Corporation. The original work is held in the National Philatelic Collection.
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