5th Window Discovered!
Darwinia sp. Gibson
Every colour changes for this Darwinia wildflower under UV light, apart from one. The rose-shaped petals turn purple, the sepal (spikey structure that holds the flower together) turns almost white – but the stamens stay yellow! What an interesting reaction, completely opposite from the way other wildflower’s stamens react under UV.
Found in fewer than five locations, all of which are under immediate threat, Darwinia sp. Gibson is classified as “Priority 1”. This means that this species is a candidate to be classified as “Rare Flora” but more surveying is required before a decision can be made. There are many reasons why this wildlfower is under threat, in the area it is found there has been a dramatic changes to the land’s use due to a golf course development and agriculture.
Separately, further north Darwinia plants have a most unlikely ally. The species that are found in the Mt Gibson Sanctuary (no relation), a 131,812 hectare wild space dedicated to the conservation of plants and animals, are prey to a fantastic-looking marsupial. The Greater Bilby consume the seeds of many plants and wildflowers as part of their omnivorous diet, this includes the seeds of the Darwinia found there. Once eaten, some seeds survive digestion and are conveniently distributed far and wide as the Greater Bilby moves on (with a healthy deposit of fertiliser to get started with!).
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Clue for the 6th Window
Back into the Sandplains Zone! Believed to be the final Window, this one is a little harder to find, hidden along one of the sandy paths.
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