Rainfall and desert flowers

Opened to the public in 1985, the Olive Pink Botanic Garden now has over 600 central Australian plants including 40 rare or threatened species.

Many species have a preferred time of the year to flower, but if is too dry – they wait for the rain. Then, the desert comes alive spectacularly!

Download the Sustainable Science Trail App and contribute to a citizen science study that correlates arid-zone rainfall to flowers in bloom.

Rainfall and desert flowers

The Olive Pink Botanic Garden is a significant regional, arid zone botanic garden. It was founded in 1956 by Miss Olive Muriel Pink, as the Australian arid regions flora reserve.

Miss Pink worked in the honorary curator for over 20 years to achieve her vision of:

“…. forty-nine acres of ground on which to preserve and grow, native trees, shrubs and flowers– as a ‘soulfeeding’ antidote to the restless rush and materialism of what ‘modern living’ entails for so many in this isolated town.”

Today we carry on this tradition, specializing in the flora from Australia’s vast arid interior.

Water and rainfall are the key drivers of the ecology of Central Australia. Desert plants can survive for long periods with little or no rain. They have a variety of adaptations that allows them to cope. One adaptation is flowering not just seasonally, but after rain as well. But different species react differently.

How much rain is required for flowering? When does the rain have the most effect? How do different species react? With climate change affecting rainfall patterns, knowing the effect rain has on the flowering of different desert plant species will tell us more about how different plants may react in a world with a changing climate.

Total Trails: 4 Total Visitors/Participants: 1438 Avg Monthly Visitors/Participants: 20

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