Orchid lovers will be in for a treat at this years 72nd annual Grampians Wildflower Show from October 1-4, where a colorful array of delicate orchid species endemic to the Grampians will be showcased alongside other native wildflowers unique to the region.
With spring the best time to experience Grampians wildflowers, this stalwart, volunteer-run event - to be held at Centenary Hall in Halls Gap - is expected to attract more than 2,000 people from across Western Victoria, Melbourne and across the South Australian border.
Once described as the Garden of Victoria by the first Victorian Government botanist Ferdinand von Mueller, the Grampians is home to more than one third of the states flora, and has the highest number of wildflower species endemic to the region compared to anywhere else in Australia.
Thysanotus tuberosus Comon Fringe-lily
Spokesperson Kathy McDonald said this years Grampians Wildflower Show would have a special emphasis on the rebirth of local orchid species.
There have been dramatic changes to the Grampians natural environment in recent years which have influenced the growth of native flora, particularly the orchids, said Ms McDonald.
After the 2006 fires, the reduced forest canopy, combined with a hot summer and wet autumn have really encouraged the rebirth of the orchids some which have not flowered for years.
Visitors to the Grampians Wildflower Show can get up close and personal with wildflowers presented according to woodland, heathland, wetland and threatened species, and ask questions of local wildflower experts.
Thelymitra ixioides- Spotted Sun-orchid
There will be guided walking tours and bus tours held around Halls Gap throughout the weekend so visitors can experience the wildflowers in their natural environment. There will also be plenty of activities for the children.
Other event highlights include a presentation by botanist Brendan Nugent from the Threatened Species Group on Thursday, October 1, where he willdiscuss research into one of the Grampians rare plant species the Grampians Bitter-pea.
People who are passionate about the natural environment, or who simply love beautiful flowers will experience Australias best at the Grampians Wildflower Show in Halls Gap, Ms McDonald said.
Other organisations participating in the event include Project Platypus, Friends of the Grampians, Wimmera
Catchment Authority and Parks Victoria, which is currently celebrating 25 years since the official recognition of the Grampians National Park.
Caladenia possibly Formaosa - spider orchid
The Australian Plant Society Expo (Pomonal Hall October 3-4) and the Moyston Art Show (Moyston Hall October 2-4) are also being held at the same time, making the Grampians a particularly appealing September school holiday destination
Entry to the Grampians Wildflower Show is $5 adults, $4 concession and 50 cents children. For more information visitwww.grampianswildflowershow.org.auor phone 035356 4679.