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Blue Mountains Wildflowers
Pea Flowers, Orchids, Lilies & Irises
Spotted Sun Orchid Spotted Sun Orchid
With over 1,100 species, the Pea Flower family (Fabaceae) is one of the largest in Australia.

There are about 1,000 species of Orchids (family Orchidaceae) in Australia and as many as 35,000 species worldwide - making it the world's largest flower family.

Most of the Australian Lily species (family Liliaceae) have recently been reclassified into a dozen or so other botanical families.

The Iris family (Iridaceae) is represented throughout the world by freesias, gladiolis and irises - and in Australia by the Genus Patersonia.

Index to our collection -

Pea Flowers
Australian Indigo
Broad-leaf Wedge Pea
Clustered Bitter-pea
Common Hovea
Creeping Wedge-pea
Dainty Wedge Pea
Dense Phyllota
Dillwynia brunioides
Dillwynia elegans
Dwarf Wedge Pea
Gorse Bitter Pea
Halo Bush-pea
Handsome Flat Pea
Heathy Mirbelia
Heathy Parrot Pea
Large Wedge Pea
Large-flowered Mirbelia
Leafless Globe-pea
Mirbelia baueri
Native Holly
Pultenaea canescens
Red Wedge Pea
Rough Bush-pea
Sword Bossiaea
Variable Bossiaea
Winged Bitter Pea
Orchids
Bird's-mouth Orchid
Chocolate-Lip Leafy Greenhood
Dusky Fingers
Eastern Tiny Blue China Orchid
Large Duck Orchid
Large Tongue Orchid
Native Potato
Nodding Greenhood
Pink Fingers
Red Beardie
Slender Sun Orchid
Small Waxlip Orchid
Spotted Sun Orchid
Tall Leek Orchid
Lilies
Agapanthus *
Alania endlicheri
Branching Fringe Lily
Common Fringe Lily
Golden Weather-grass
Milkmaids
Mountain Christmas Bell
Nodding Chocolate Lily
Rush Lily
Tufted Blue-lily

Irises
Dwarf Purple Flag
Leafy Purple Flag
Pretty Grass-flag
Silky Purple Flag
Swamp Iris
* Introduced species (weed)

Pea Flowers - family Fabaceae
pea flower botany
Pea flowers have five petals -
Bossiaea genus

Sword Bossiaea
Sword Bossiaea

Bossiaea ensata
This low sprawling plant has no leaves. Its green keel, and the red at the back of the standard, is a good way to identify it - see large image. Its flat stems are 4-5mm wide; the flowers 10mm across.
Variable Bossiaea
Variable Bossiaea

Bossiaea heterophylla
Flowering in Autumn, this, plus its variable leaves and largish crimson keel identify it. The leaves vary on the plant and may be ovate or thin, and also vary in size.
Daviesia genus

Gorse Bitter Pea
Gorse Bitter Pea

Daviesia ulicifolia
This common pea flower is characterised by its sharp but flat leaves and sharp branches (spines). It flowers in spring.
Clustered Bitter-pea
Clustered Bitter-pea

Daviesia corymbosa
A stunning display of dark yellow and crimson pea flowers clustered together.
Winged Bitter Pea
Winged Bitter Pea

Daviesia alata
Its orange pea flowers and strap like leaves identify it. The flowers are 6mm wide.
Dillwynia genus

Dillwynia brunioides
Dillwynia brunioides


Sadly, this beautiful plant has no common name. The flowers are about 13mm wide and the warty leaves 7-8mm long.
Here's another image that shows the more usual spreading leaves.
Dillwynia elegans
Dillwynia elegans


The broad standard identifies it as a Dillwynia species. Dillwynia elegans is identified by its terete (cylindrical), glabrous (non-hairy) and warty leaves that have a point that is occasionally bent, and its glabrous calyx.
It was formerly called Dillwynia floribunda var. teretifolia.
Heathy Parrot Pea
Heathy Parrot Pea

Dillwynia retorta
Probably the most common Dillwynia, it is recognised by its twisted leaves
Here's another image showing it being eaten by what looks like a weevil.
[There's an estimated 80,000 beetle species in Australia.]
Gompholobium genus - Golden Glory Peas

There's 11 species of Gompholobium in NSW - 10 of which can be found in the Blue Mountains.

Large Wedge Pea
Large Wedge Pea

Gompholobium grandiflorum
Distinguished from its siblings by its sets of three heavily recurved leaves.
The flowers are 20mm wide.
Dainty Wedge Pea
Dainty Wedge Pea

Gompholobium glabratum
Its 10mm wide flowers have the most beautiful yellow colour. It is identified by its pinnate leaves and warty stems.
Here's another image.
Broad-leaf Wedge Pea
Broad-leaf Wedge Pea

Gompholobium latifolium
Identified by its broad leaves - well, broader than the Large Wedge Pea - and its ciliate (hairy) keel.
Growing up to 3 metres in height, it is the largest of the Wedge Peas.
Dwarf Wedge Pea
Dwarf Wedge Pea

Gompholobium minus
The apex (ends) of its leaves are strongly recurved (bent) and they have a point.
Its flowers are 7mm wide.
Red Wedge Pea
Red Wedge Pea

Gompholobium uncinatum
Its red-orange flowers and 3-foliolate recurved leaves help identify this small plant.
Here's another image.
Creeping Wedge-pea
Creeping Wedge-pea

Gompholobium inconspicuum
This small "inconspicuous" plant is identified by its prostrate form and warty stems.
Here's another image.
Mirbelia genus

Heathy Mirbelia
Heathy Mirbelia

Mirbelia rubiifolia
The pink pea flowers and heavily "veined" leaves identify this delightful small plant.
The 10-20mm leaves are in threes along the stem.
Here's a white variant.
Large-flowered Mirbelia
Large-flowered Mirbelia

Mirbelia platylobioides
Historically called Mirbelia grandiflora it also exhibits the heavily veined leaves of its sibling to the immediate left.
The flower is 10-12mm wide.
Here's another image. [Note: The name "Large-flowered Mirbelia" is not commonly accepted.]
Mirbelia baueri
Mirbelia baueri


The flowers are 10mm long & wide. The plant shown here had upturned wings and was prostrate; its 8-10mm leaves were smooth with a ridge on the top.
Here's another image.
Pultenaea genus - Bush Peas

Rough Bush-pea
Rough Bush-pea

Pultenaea scabra
Identified by its squared-off leaves that have weak mucro, and the tell-tale stipules that characterises the Pultenaea genus.
[Stipules are the small leafy growth at the base of leaves.]
Halo Bush-pea
Halo Bush-pea

Pultenaea linophylla
A small scraggy plant whose spring flowers are about 6mm across and have a red keel.
Its leaves are 10mm long, have a down-turned tip and are hairy underneath.
It is also known as the Small-leaved Bush-pea.
Pultenaea canescens
Pultenaea canescens


Only found in the upper Blue Mountains, it is identified by its hairy concave leaves and yellow keel. Its bracteole is reddish brown which helps distinguish it from P. tuberculata (which has a red keel).
other peaflower genera

Common Hovea
Common Hovea

Hovea linearis
Flowering in late winter, this beautiful pea flower is also known as the Erect Hovea or Blue Bonnet. The latter being a delightful name.
Leafless Globe-pea
Leafless Globe-pea

Sphaerolobium minus
Differentiated from S. vimineum by its shorter wings that expose its keel, and having only a hint of red on some flowers, and none on most.
The flowers are barely 5mm wide and long.
Dense Phyllota
Dense Phyllota

Phyllota squarrosa
Yet another stunning pea-flower. It is separated from its siblings by its yellow mucro (leaf tip).
Its elongated standard is 8mm high, and its leaf margins revolute (rolled-back).
Native Holly
Native Holly

Podolobium ilicifolium
Easily identified by its holly like leaves, it is also known as the Prickly Shaggy Pea. Shaggy Pea being the common name of the Podolobium genus.
Handsome Flat Pea
Handsome Flat Pea

Platylobium formosum
subsp. parviflorum

Recognised by the prominent veins on its leaves. The back of the standard is red.
Subsp. parviflorum has long leaves; whereas subsp. formosum's leaves are roundish.
Australian Indigo
Australian Indigo

Indigofera australis
Found throughout Australia, its pink flowers and grey leaves help identify it.


Orchids - family Orchidaceae - also see our Orchids web page.

Large Tongue Orchid
Large Tongue Orchid

Cryptostylis subulata
Also known as the Duck Orchid due to its bill or tongue like labellum - which is around 30mm in length. The sepals and other petals are small and spike like.
Large Duck Orchid
Large Duck Orchid

Caleana major
Resembling a duck in flight, with its sepals for wings, its labellum as its head and its column for a body. This small orchid's labellum snaps shut against the column trapping the visiting insect and turning it into a pollinator.
Native Potato
Native Potato

Gastrodia sesamoides
On first appearance it looks like a withered orchid - but its light brown flowers and stems are its natural colours. Also known as Cinnamon Bells.
Pink Fingers
Pink Fingers

Caladenia carnea
A small orchid that is 20-30mm across whose colour varies from near white to dark pink.
Here is an image showing its distinguishing characteristics.
NSW Flora Online says that Caladenia carnea "hybridizes with C. catenata and C. fuscata, so larger populations may incorporate confusing hybrid swarms."

just what the amateur
botanist wants to hear ...

C. catenata isn't found in the Upper Blue Mountains, and as far as I can ascertain -
  • C. carnea's labellum lobe doesn't protrude, its labellum tip is yellow and it tends to be pinker.
  • C. fuscata's labellum lobe protrudes and its labellum tip is white, and it is smaller.
Dusky Fingers
Dusky Fingers

Caladenia fuscata
Flowering in early Spring, Dusky Fingers' sepals and petals are less than 7mm long.
Here is an image showing its distinguishing characteristics.

Slender Sun Orchid
Slender Sun Orchid

Thelymitra pauciflora
A small orchid about 12mm wide. Its petal-like labellum is narrower than the other petals & sepals.
Here's a paler form.
Slender Sun Orchid
Spotted Sun Orchid

Thelymitra ixioides var. ixioides
Also known as the Blue Sun Orchid, it has dark blue dots on its upper three segments. The flower is 25mm wide, but needs a sunny day to open. It is best identified by the finger like papillae as not all Spotted Sun Orchids have spots.
Pink Fingers
Small Waxlip Orchid

Glossodia minor
A small orchid that is 20mm wide. The flower stem is leafless - the leaf leaving the stem near the ground.
Tall Leek Orchid
Tall Leek Orchid

Prasophyllum elatum
Also known as the Piano Orchid, this orchid occurs in all other Australian States except the North Territory. Its long leaf stem can be seen in the background.
Nodding Greenhood Orchid
Nodding Greenhood Orchid

Pterostylis nutans
One of the more easily recognised Greenhoods due to its nodding stance. It appears from late Autumn through to Spring.
The 3-6 leaves of its rosette have scalloped edges.
Chocolate-Lip Leafy Greenhood
Chocolate-Lip Leafy Greenhood

Bunochilus chocolatinus
Similar to the Tall Greenhood this Central Tableland's species is distinguished by its milk chocolate coloured labellum.
The Tall Greenhood's labellum is also hairy. There's no rosette.
The Leafy Greenhoods have been placed in a new genera - Bunochilus
Red Beardie
Red Beardie

Calochilus paludosus
Also known as the Red Beard Orchid, it is distinguished from its siblings by the lack of glands on its "collars".
Its long, exposed and bent labellum is another key.
Here's another image.
Eastern Tiny Blue China Orchid
Eastern Tiny Blue
China Orchid

Cyanicula caerulea
This small orchid is barely 20mm wide and was found in the Kedumba Valley. It is also known as the Blue Caladenia as it was until recently in the Caladenia genus.
It is the only Cyanicula species in NSW.
Bird's-mouth Orchid
Bird's-mouth Orchid

Orthoceras strictum
Also known as the Horned Orchid, it is the only species in this genus in Australia.
Although the plant is about 50cm tall, its colours camouflage it well.
Here's another image.
Lilies

Branching Fringe Lily
Branching Fringe Lily

Thysanotus juncifolius
[Family ANTHERICACEAE]
The fringe on the petals of this small (20mm) flower is stunning.
Distinguished from the Common Fringe Lily (T. tuberosus) by the absence of basal leaves - as this image shows.
Common Fringe Lily
Common Fringe Lily

Thysanotus tuberosus
subsp. tuberosus

[Family ANTHERICACEAE]
Very similar to the Branching Fringe Lily (T. juncifolius), but it has very long basal leaves - as this image shows.
Rush Lily
Rush Lily

Sowerbaea juncea
[Family ANTHERICACEAE]
Flowering in spring and liking damp heath, it is also known as the Vanilla Lily due to its scent.
It is the only species of this genus in NSW.
Here's two more images - one showing the flower open; the other showing the many flowers in a cluster.
Nodding Chocolate Lily
Nodding Chocolate Lily

Dichopogon fimbriatus
[Family ANTHERICACEAE]
This spring and summer flowering lily has a downward facing light blue flower that is 8mm wide.
It is identified by its bent filaments and the double appendage at the end of its anther.
Apparently it has a chocolate scent - which I will sense next season.
Here's another image.
[The stamen consists of an anther and a filament (stalk).]
Tufted Blue-lily
Tufted Blue-lily

Thelionema caespitosum
[Family PHORMIACEAE]
Distinguished from the Dianella and Stypandra genera by its upward facing flowers and coiled anthers.
There are three species in this genus. T. umbellatum has white flowers; T. grande isn't found in the Blue Mountains.
The flowers are 25mm across and appear in spring and summer.
Alania endlicheri
Alania endlicheri

[Family BORYACEAE]

This tiny (4 mm wide) summer flowering lily is found on damp cliff faces.
It is the only species in the genus.
Mountain Christmas Bell
Mountain Christmas Bell

Blandfordia cunninghamii
[Family BLANDFORDIACEAE]
This threatened species is distinguished from the other Christmas Bells by its many (more than a dozen in a cluster) 6cm long flowers.
It grows along cliff edges in early summer.
Milkmaids
Milkmaids

Burchardia umbellata
[Family COLCHICACEAE]
Its umbel* helps identify it and distinguish it from other family members. This image shows the umbel. Here's another image.
Its flowers are 15mm wide.
[umbel* - flowers or flower stalks arise from one point.]
Agapanthus
Agapanthus

Agapanthus praecox subsp. orientalis
[Family ALLIACEAE]
Introduced species (weed)
Spectacular large flowers in summer, it is an indestructable weed that is marching from the villages into the national park.
Its tuberous rootstock is hard to completely remove. Here's an image of its leaves.
Also known as African Lily and Lily of the Nile.
Golden Weather-grass
Golden Weather-grass

Hypoxis hygrometrica
[Family HYPOXIDACEAE]
Also known as yellow stars, the flower has a 25mm wing-span.

Irises - family Iridaceae - also see our Native Irises web page.

In NSW, there are 4 species of the Patersonia genus, all are found in the Blue Mountains.


Dwarf Purple Flag
Dwarf Purple Flag

Patersonia longifolia
It can be distinguished by its leaves - which are bluish-green, very narrow (2mm), sometimes twisted and have hairs crisscrossing them.
The flowers also seem to be a deeper purple.
Silky Purple Flag
Silky Purple Flag

Patersonia sericea
Its 50mm flowers appear in spring and early summer. It can be identified by the silky hairs on its spathe (bud), wider leaves (5mm) and its flower stems coming from its fan-like base.
Leafy Purple Flag
Leafy Purple Flag

Patersonia glabrata
The Leafy Purple Flag's flowers and leaves
are borne on a stem.
Like its siblings, its flowers last barely a day.
Swamp Iris
Swamp Iris

Patersonia fragilis
Found in damp sheltered areas, it is identified by the lack of hairs on the flower's spathe and the layout of the base of the plant.
The light blue tepals are 20mm long.
Pretty Grass-flag
Pretty Grass-flag

Libertia pulchella
Found in wet sheltered areas.
Distinguished from the Branching Grass-flag (L. paniculata) as that plant's leaves are longer than its scape* and its pedicels (stalks) are only 1cm long.
This is shown in the full image of the Pretty Grass-flag, and this image showing its 3cm long pedicels.
[* scape - the stem-like flowering stalk.]
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