WA native Christmas tree
Whiteman Park is home to hundreds of specimens of the fascinating WA native Christmas trees (Nuytsia floribunda), which are considered sacred to the local Noongar people. It is believed to be the largest member of the mistletoe family, attaching itself to the roots of other trees and vegetation around it to ‘feed’.
These trees bloom in spectacular fashion, with masses of brilliant orange/yellow flowers giving the canopy a fiery blanket of colour around the festive season, typically best from November to December.
(L) The festive blooms of the WA native Christmas tree; what the mistletoe looks like for the rest of the year (R).
A range of paperbark, or Melaleuca, species are another significant group of trees within Whiteman Park. These species are characterised by the papery-textured bark on their trunks and snowy flowers which are produced throughout the warmer months, often giving the effect of snow-capped trees!
The stout paperbark (Melaleuca preissiana) is the most commonly seen by visitors, as it can be spotted in low-lying and dampland areas around the Village and Mussel Pool.
(L) The iconic papery bark of the swamp paperbark, Melaleuca rrhaphiophylla, courtesy of S. Stevenson; (R) the finger-like flowers of the stout paperbark, Melaeuca preissiana.
The beautiful golden wreath wattle (Acacia saligna) showcases masses of yellow flowers from August to September. These trees are excellent colonising species and are found in the low lying areas of the Wunanga Bush Trail, as well as amongst the Park’s revegetation sites.
The rest of the wattle species found in the Park are all shrubs, growing to heights of between one to four metres.
The brilliant orange flowers of the WA native Christmas tree, or Nuytsia floribunda, courtesy of K. Morley.