Alice Springs Flora •

Alice Springs FloraAnnual Yellowtop Fork-leaf Corkwood Ghost Gum Native Bluebell Rat’s Tail Striped Mintbush Sturt’s Desert Pea Weeping Bottlebrush

Australian Bluebell, also known as Tufted Bluebell and Native Bluebell (Wahlenbergia gracilis), belong to the Bluebell family Campanulaceae. The Australian bluebell belongs to the genus Wahlenbergia, that includes both annuals and perennials.

Native Bluebell (Wahlenbergia gracilis), Araluen Cultural Precinct, Alice Springs NT
Native Bluebell (Wahlenbergia gracilis), Araluen Cultural Precinct, Alice Springs NT

With several species in Central Australia / Northern Territory, the bluebells are distinguished by the leaves (lower leaves being alternate or opposite), the size and shape of the flower petals, and the shape of the seed pod. Similar species also found in Alice Springs and Central Australia include Wahlenbergia queenslandica.

Native Bluebell (Wahlenbergia gracilis), Araluen Cultural Precinct, Alice Springs NT
Native Bluebell (Wahlenbergia gracilis), Araluen Cultural Precinct, Alice Springs NT

The main leaves are found at the base of the plant, whilst the flowers appear on erect stems, that can also be branched. The bell shaped flower has 5 petals. The stamens are free and the style can be 2, 3 or 5 branches.

Native Bluebell (Wahlenbergia gracilis), Araluen Cultural Precinct, Alice Springs NT
Native Bluebell (Wahlenbergia gracilis), Araluen Cultural Precinct, Alice Springs NT
Native Bluebell (Wahlenbergia gracilis), Araluen Cultural Precinct, Alice Springs NT
Native Bluebell (Wahlenbergia gracilis), Araluen Cultural Precinct, Alice Springs NT
Native Bluebell (Wahlenbergia gracilis), Araluen Cultural Precinct, Alice Springs NT
Native Bluebell (Wahlenbergia gracilis), Araluen Cultural Precinct, Alice Springs NT

  • Scientific classification
  • Kingdom: Plantae
  • Phylum: Charophyta
  • Class: Equisetopsida
  • Subclass: Magnoliidae
  • Superorder: Asteranae
  • Order: Asterales
  • Family: Campanulaceae
  • Genus: Wahlenbergia
  • Species: W. gracilis
  • Binomial name: Wahlenbergia gracilis
Native Bluebell (Wahlenbergia gracilis), Araluen Cultural Precinct, Alice Springs NT
Native Bluebell (Wahlenbergia gracilis), Araluen Cultural Precinct, Alice Springs NT

Footnote & References

  1. Wahlenbergia gracilis, Greening Australia, https://www.greeningaustralia.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/FACT-SHEET_Wahlenbergia_gracilis.pdf
  2. Wahlenbergia queenslandica, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wahlenbergia_queenslandica (last visited July 24, 2022)

Alice Springs FloraAnnual Yellowtop Fork-leaf Corkwood Ghost Gum Native Bluebell Rat’s Tail Striped Mintbush Sturt’s Desert Pea Weeping Bottlebrush