New Discovery In The Kimberley
There’s no place like home! Especially, if you live in the Kimberley. Our area has recently been found to be even more remarkable and unique with the discovery of a staggeringly beautiful new species of water lily.
An international team of botanists set out in search of the lily in helicopters and boats, and made the exhilarating discovery that it is growing in two remote billabongs. Getting there was quite the escapade, as the remote area, off the Gibb River Road, is notoriously difficult to access. This type of lily had been spotted before, but inadequate samples were taken last time, so the team was pretty excited to make the discovery official this time, with a world expert on exotic water lillies from the UK along for the ride. Professor Dixon from the Perth Botanical Gardens called the mission to find the lily, “Indiana Jones-style botany”.
Although it has yet to be named, samples of the species, including its seeds, have been carefully catalogued. Now scientifically recorded for the first time, the pale blue lily adds to the picture of amazing biodiversity in the region. Apparently, around 4000 varieties of flora alone have been recorded here in the last 30 years, and when it comes to waterlilies, the Kimberley region is one of the most diverse places in the world.
The scientists in charge of the recording are taking no chances, keeping seed samples in Broome, Perth, and London, England. They hope that in due course seeds will be publicly available, so locals will have a chance at growing the gorgeous specimen in their back yards. Until then, we are incredibly lucky to have such magnificent natural wonders on our doorstep!