Grevillea and Southern Emu-wren Grevillea acanthifolia and Southern Emu-wren  (Fiona Lumsden)

The unique hanging swamps, that cling to seepage points in the Blue Mountains bush, have their own surprises.

Grevillea laurifolia and Teddy Bear Bee Grevillea laurifolia and Teddy Bear Bee  (Fiona Lumsden)
Grevillea acanthifolia is a local species with a sprawling bushy habit, unusual spiky leaves and candy-pink spidery flowers. It likes its feet wet in upland swamps and beside streams.

Look to the edges of the swamp in surrounding drier sandstone bushland and you can also find its cousin Grevillea laurifolia. Spidery flowers, again, but deep red this time, with ovate leaves and a ground-hugging, prostrate growth habit.

And where you get these 2 species growing close by each other, you may also find an unusual pairing: Grevillea x gaudichaudii, a natural hybrid that combines the prostrate form of G. laurifolia with the pink flowers of G. acanthifolia and leaves somewhere between the two. (G. x gaudichaudii, by the way, also makes a great garden plant.)

Grevillea acanthifolia and Caper White Butterfly Grevillea acanthifolia and Caper White Butterfly  (Fiona Lumsden)
The thick, and sometimes rather spiky, rush and shrub mountain swamps harbour special, secretive inhabitants: like the tiny, fragile Southern Emu-wren with its long wispy tail.

Nectar rewards from grevilleas are used by more wide-ranging foragers.

I’ve shown, here, Caper White butterfly - a western species that sometimes moves through the mountains in very large numbers, and some of our many native bee species, including the attractively furry Teddy Bear Bee.

About Fiona Lumsden

Fiona grew up in Mt Wilson amidst the wilderness of the Greater Blue Mountains. It was there that she began learning about the birds, animals and plants of the wild places that surrounded her. She has lived in and explored the upper Blue Mountains area ever since.

She has been painting Australian birds for over forty years now: studying their form, habits and habitat, primarily on her numerous field trips throughout Australia but also in zoos, aviaries, museums and literature.

For her original paintings she uses watercolours, gouache, pastels, inks and pencil on 100% cotton rag watercolour paper.

Here's Fiona's website and Facebook.

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