Some Tough Characters in Alexandra

The characters I’m introducing to you today are tough plants. They tough it out in a dry climate that’s hot in summer and cold in winter, and most of them you’d be just as likely to call weeds. But I find it interesting how they thrive in such a dry, barren, rocky environment. And when they’re flowering or fruiting they make the landscape look very beautiful. These photos were all taken by me at the same Lookout from which I took the photos that were in my last blog-post; photos taken on 12 March 2018.

** Click twice on any horizontal photo to view larger-size version **


Everywhere you look around here you see wild thyme! Its a joy to walk about because it releases the wonderful scent of the crushed thyme. In these first two photos we see wild thyme and wild rose plants.

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Some colourful rosehips…

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Here’s a weed that I love for its vivid blue flowers – Vipers Bugloss:

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When in flower Vipers bugloss and thyme are both useful for honey production.

The plants I’ve shown you so far are exotic plants (i.e. they are introduced plants that are not native to New Zealand).

Nigel found a type of native clematis scrambling over and through some rose plants. We were really excited to see it – a native clematis that we’ve never seen for ourselves in the wild before! We think it is Clematis petriei. It has fabulous seedheads.

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Lastly I have some more photos of the wild rose plants…

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Further Information

Article from New Zealand Geographic about thyme and how it came to Alexandra, its local history and how its used, and the Alexandra Thyme Festival – Thyme; thyme on your hands

Informative article about Central Otago with photographs taken by Arno Gasteiger, from the same writer at New Zealand Geographic

The wild rose plants – I think the rose plants that we saw at the Lookout are Rosa rubiginosa (Sweet Briar) as per the description and photos in this information from TERRAIN

Vipers bugloss – information from TERRAIN


Text and Photos by Liz; Exploring Colour (2018)

8 thoughts on “Some Tough Characters in Alexandra

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    1. Thanks Candice. It does look similar although your rose may be more uniformly pink perhaps. Our version has petals that are white at the centre of the flower. They seem pretty similar!

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