Wildflower hunters at mercy of warm weather

A sea of white, yellow and pink colours the landscape as Betty O'Callaghan looks out across a renowned wildflower spot near her hometown of Coorow.

But the resident of 47 years said recent dry weather meant tourists might not have long to catch the WA gems in their glory this wildflower season.

"We haven't had any rain for the past few weeks and it has been windy and warm, which tends to dry things up," she said.

"Some of the flowers are quite nice - the yellow pom-poms and white everlastings have been spectacular."

Mrs O'Callaghan said pink everlastings were unusually sparse in her area this year because of sporadic rainfall.

Further north at Mullewa and east to Yalgoo, wildflowers sprouted earlier than usual, which attracted thousands of tourists.

"We had a lot of good early rains so the season started a lot earlier than usual," Sharon Hay, of Mullewa Community Resource Centre, said.

"Pom-poms were starting to pop their heads up by early July and we were having reports of orchids by then too."

She said the season usually peaked in August when Mullewa held its wildflower show.

"What started as a beautiful season is now starting to worry us," she said.

"The unseasonably warm change and winds have made the crops and flowers think the season is over.

"We are crossing our fingers for rain."

Ms Hay said up to 100 tourists came through the town each day over the past fortnight to get among the wildflowers. She said wreath flowers stood out as Mullewa's top flower this season.

"We are famous for our wreath flowers and they are shaping up very well," she said.

Ms Hay advised wildflower enthusiasts heading through WA to stop at local tourist or community resource centres to get the best information about the best places to go.

The West Australian

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