Pink Flannel Flowers

On the long weekend walk I was talking to some of the other walkers about the spectacular site at Kanangra Walls during March last year (2010) of a multitude of pink flannel flowers. The pink flannel flower (Actinotus forsythii) it seems only flowers after two events – fire and then a lot of rain.

Before March 2010 there had been a bushfire on part of the Kanangra Plateau (I think it was due to a hazard reduction burn). After that was a wet period and the result was quite amazing. Under the burnt bankias and isopogons was a profusion of these beautiful flowers. It seems a mass blooming like this is a rare event.

I wonder if they had been recorded at Kanangra Walls – on the Plateau before? Perhaps this was the first time the Plateau had been burnt for a long while? And how long had the seeds been dormant and still viable? Interesting questions! Perhaps seeds are also at the nearby Ti-Willa Plateau?

Two other species of flannel flowers are quite common. Actinotus helianthi (Flannel Flower) and Actinotus minor (Lesser Flannel Flower).

Actinotus helianthi

Actinotus minor (near Mt Hay)

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15 Responses to Pink Flannel Flowers

  1. Col Gibson says:

    Just the most exquisite thing. I have been looking closely at Blue Mountains flora for three decades now, but have never seen this species in the wild. Check the book “Seldom Seen” by Alan Fairley for other places where this species has been recorded.

    • Dave Noble says:

      Pink flannel flowers are now out in flower on Narrow Neck at Katoomba – in a small burnt out area near the Climbers Carpark (on the knoll just above the barrier – that goes down to the old Waterboard Ladders)

  2. Col Gibson says:

    Dear me, not in Seldom Seen (that’s how seldom seen it is). At any rate Benson’s Ecology (“Cunninghamia”) says “Rare, Newnes Plateau northern limit – localised and poorly known”. Keep an eye out also for Actinotus gibbonsii (flowers are pink buttons) recorded on the Newnes Plateau in 1992.

  3. Digi Dave says:

    Hi Dave, nice photos and great to document such a rare occurrence.

  4. sim ung says:

    Thank you for sharing these amazing pictures of the flowers!

  5. David Wennerbom says:

    Please email me when you see the Pink Flannel Flower out again, or ring me on 0411 462 511. I live on the Central Coast NSW and will only take a bit over a couple of hours to get there.

    • Dave Noble says:

      It could be worth looking in areas that were burnt out in bush fires last season – e.g. Cahills Lookout area at Katoomba.

  6. Beth says:

    Has anyone seen pink flannels recently?
    Looking to shoot these beautiful flowers and have never seen them

    • Dave Noble says:

      I have not heard of any been seen lately – they only appear after good rain a year or so after a bushfire – and then only when the seeds are present. It seems the seeds can remain dormant for many years (100 years or more?). But I do know some people from the Gymea Wildflower Group managed to cultivate some – so you may want to check out their nursery.

      • Adam Duus says:

        Hi there. Just thought I’d ask the same question again seeing the last reply-comment was a few months ago. Any Pink Flannel Flower seen by anyone?

        • Dave Noble says:

          I have not heard of any being seen lately. Note that you need a bushfire and then rain, a year of so later.

          • Adam Duus says:

            Thanks very much David.

            And for anyone interested, the Menai Wildflower group are having their quarterly meeting presentation on cultivation attempts of Pink Flannel Flower. 25 Feb I think. Check the website or facebook.

  7. Lloyd Hedges says:

    I will be leading a workshop on growing white and pink flannels tonight at the Sutherland APS at the Gymea Community Centre

  8. Frances Therese Scarano says:

    What are the growing conditions needed to.successfully grow the white and pink flannel flower from seed?
    Thanks Who has seed or plants sourced from the Blue mountains?
    The photos show that the plant is glorious and should be in gardens everywhere instead of exotics from Africa or anywhere that is not Australia .It is time that native plants were used instead of exotics particularly in places near bush. Having native plant gardens will help to safeguard our native plant biodiversity and provide habitat and food supply for out native wildlife, birds and insects.

    • Dave Noble says:

      I am no expert on growing native plants. For pink flannel flowers from seed – I would contact Menai Wildflower Group, or visit their nursery. One member has managed to propagate their seeds – I think using smokey water.

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