Sturt’s Desert Rose: A rare find in Outback Queensland

Sturt's Desert Rose

Guests on BOOBOOK Ecotours most recent Wheat, Wells and Wildlife Day Tour in Outback Queensland have been treated to views of one of the Roma region’s most spectacular wildflowers – Sturt’s Desert Rose, known scientifically as Gossypium sturtianum.

Viewing the Sturt's Desert Rose on tour

Viewing the Sturt’s Desert Rose

It was a surprise for many guests to see this plant which is more often spotted within drier and more remote regions of Australia. BOOBOOK’s guides know of several places to see Sturt’s Desert Rose around Roma and elsewhere in Queensland’s Outback, however due to their rarity in our region, you could easily miss them.  Travelling with one of BOOBOOK’s guides is the best way to make sure you don’t miss out on this and many other of the lesser known native plants and wildlife Australia has to offer.

Sturt’s Desert Rose is the Northern Territory’s floral emblem and it has previously featured on Australian stamps. The large, pink flowers form the shape of a rose when in full bloom. But despite the similarity to a rose you might be surprised to learn that Sturt’s Desert Rose is actually a member of the hibiscus family. The plant flowers most prolifically in late winter to spring so as winter gets left behind and we head into the warmer months we hope to see more and more of these stunning wildflowers. As wildflower season approaches consider joining our knowledgeable guides for our upcoming Wildflower Wanders.

It doesn’t matter what season it is, there is always something to see – even in the middle of winter when this tour took place.  Some of the other species seen on the day were Native Hibiscus (Hibiscus sturtii), Pretty Wattle (Acacia decora), Fan-leaf Wattle (A. amblygona) and Purple Bush-pea (Hovea longipes). The birds were singing at our lunch spot at Eurombah Creek including Fan-tailed Cuckoo, Brown Honeyeater and Australian King-parrot.

Sturt's Desert Rose

Sturt’s Desert Rose

Here’s what some of the guests on the tour had to say:

  • Thank you – exceeded all expectations! Great day, lots to see and learn.
  • Trip Highlights – “Everything”
  • Fantastic, very informative, great balance of topics, highly recommend.
  • Good way to immerse yourself in the region.
  • Informative and entertaining.
  • Enjoyed talking with Peter Thompson (property owner) on Farming.
  • Craig, BOOBOOK’s tour guide, was excellent and very knowledgeable.

Want to come and check out one of Australia’s wildest frontiers?