21 MARCH 1931, Page 15


It is astonishing how little is known locally of the flora

(and sometimes, of the smaller fauna) of some of the richest districts of the Empire. I was amazed, even on the edge of winter, at the flowers of Western Australia, in that lovely corner of the continent that lies along a line drawn from, say, the neat little harbour of Albany to the more artificial harbour of Perth. It was virtually useless to make inquiries on the spot about either the local or more scientific name of any flowers beyond a few of the most salient, such as the velvety kangaroos or most common, such as the " blue bush." Nor could I acquire on the spot any handbook. I do not know whether the Director of Kew has ever con- sidered the claims of Western Australia to a more thorough combing that it has yet received, but cannot but feel con- vinced that it harbours delightful flowers which would be transferable to Britain. The number of species and varieties is beyond question unusually large.