Australian Plants and Flowers, Nature
Comments 5

Tall Mulla Mulla – Icon of the Outback

Tall Mulla Mulla Ptilotus exaltatus Hamelin Pool Western Australia

Visiting some of our favorite Australian National Parks is not always easy as many of them are located in the northern part of the continent. Distance is not the major obstacle, as traveling just costs time and petrol, however, it is the climate that makes things complicated. In summer the tropical regions can be unbearable hot with temperatures exceeding 40°C, while the cyclones and heavy rainfall of the so-called ‘wet’ season hinder access to many areas. Unfortunately our leave is mostly taken during summer holidays with the result that many wild places are still on our bucket list. This is exactly why we’re so excited that finally we’re heading up north this July, to visit Karijini National Park in the Pilbara region of Western Australia; an outback adventure we have been dreaming about for many years! The Tall Mulla Mulla (Ptilotus exaltatus) we spotted around the Shark Bay area late last year will definitely be one of many attractions, as this magnificent wildflower is a true icon of the outback.


  1. Lots to look forward to it seems, Maurice!

    These flowers look almost like a brush used to clean baby bottles! Brilliant photograph.

    • Absolutely Dries, we have been thinking about this trip since we came to WA more than 12 years ago. Hopefully we’re not too early for the wildflowers as it’s truly spectacular up there when they start blooming; loads of Mulla Mulla. Flowers called Bottlebrush do actually exists – according to Van Wyk’s field guide to Trees of Southern Africa they were imported for ornamental purposes, mainly in Zimbabwe. I’ll promise to post one soon!

  2. I love the Mulla Mullas too and managed to buy a plant at a local nursery but it only lived for the one season, guess Adelaide is just too different from it’s natural area.

    • They’re popular in many gardens indeed – not sure about their performance. Regarding the poor and dry conditions they grow in over here I assume they just need watering at the right time, rocky soils and loads of sun!

      • We have tough growing conditions but maybe they prefer sandy soils rather than the clay we have here.

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