A Raoulia rally. Really!

(I have taken the liberty of adding Jo Wakelin's comment to the front: "I'm so glad you enjoyed our Mahaka Katia salt pan reserve Panayoti. It is a treasure trove of biodiversity with many uncommon and rare natives, having escaped complete modification. You would love the tiny Convolvulus verecundis, the un-named Craspedia, and the tiny halophyte which lives on the edge of the salt pans, Atriplex buchananii.I'm glad we found you a few last flowers on a Myosotis uniflora cushion!")

 As dirty rotten luck would have it, my camera failed me: it refused to focus properly, and half my pictures were fuzzy (and the others not so crisp as I'd like). Then it rained. And this is when we finally came to the area around Cromwell, in Otago province of New Zealand--the semi-arid plateau which most resembles Denver's climate (though not nearly as hot in summer nor cold in winter)--probably more like the steppe just east of the Columbia River Gorge, perhaps. The lady with the umbrella is Jo Wakelin, a horticulturist and instructor at a College nearby with one of the most beautiful gardens I've ever seen. Her garden is next to this nature preserve (Mahaka Katia salt pan reserve) which has an fabulous colony of Raoulia australis. The plants here looked far more like the tiny plant sold for years as Raoulia lutescens, (a synonym of australis) than the silvery plant usually sold under that name. 

Steve Newell admiring a blooming mass of Raoulia australis
 I was fascinated by this hill, and couldn't resist taking lots of pictures...the difference in bloom time, in color, and in maturity from one plant to the next was amazing.


I will include a series of pictures--close up and vista--to give you a sense of this fascinating plant and its wonderful habitat...



Here is a silvery one...


Fabulous vistas in the distance...











This is a miniscule yellow-flowered Myosotis (Jo advises that it was M. uniflora) growing with the raoulia: how frustrating to have my camera go on strike--there were flowers on these I'd love to have you see...Here is a link to show you a closeup taken elsewhere of a much less yellow form. Not too many other native plants I could identify, but these two were more than worth it. I would love to grow a range of both of these one day! New Zealand truly is a marvellous place!

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  1. I'm so glad you enjoyed our Mahaka Katia salt pan reserve Panayoti. It is a treasure trove of biodiversity with many uncommon and rare natives, having escaped complete modification. You would love the tiny Convolvulus verecundis, the un-named Craspedia, and the tiny halophyte which lives on the edge of the salt pans, Atriplex buchananii.I'm glad we found you a few last flowers on a Myosotis uniflora cushion!

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