The roadsides between Dalby and Jandowie are glorious after the recent rains. The cracking black soil is covered with sheets of bluebells, yellow buttons, and white daisies, as well as a number of other little flowering herbs.
The table drains, especially towards the Jandowie end of the road, are a blaze of yellow buttercups among the nardoo.
Most buttercups are water-loving plants, but there are some, among Australia’s 30 or so species of native buttercups, which cope very well with drought.
Ranunculus meristus is one of them.
The roots of these tough plants survive below the soil’s surface in dry seasons, a habit which also keeps them safe from frost. Each year when the wet comes around again, they pop up as good as new.
So go on. Pack up a picnic and the Aerogard, and head out to see what must be one of the best spring wildflower displays in the country. Take your gumboots too, as you’ll probably want to have a close look at some things in slushy places. (And do be careful not to park your car on any blacksoil. “Bogged up to the axles” is an embarrassing condition which any Darling Downs resident understands well.)
(NOTE: A rather similar-looking plant to this is the river buttercup, Ranunculus inundatus, which we see growing in our red soils along the range. It has similar, but brighter green, leaves, and its flowers are fewer, smaller and much less showy. It is intolerant of drying out.)
For a description of yet another native buttercup, See Sep 2009