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Richea Pandanifolia, or pandanis, as they are more commonly known, are a small tree endemic to Tasmania’s western alpine areas. They grow to be anywhere from 2m (6′) to 12m (39′) tall, and their leaves can grow up to 1m (3′) long.
Pandanis are much loved by Tasmanians, most likely for their quirky looks, which (in my opinion) resemble small people with wild hairdos.
Mt. Field National Park in southern Tasmania is about an hour northwest of Hobart and is much loved by locals and tourists alike. At the top of Mt. Field lies Lake Dobson and the alpine hiking tracks to the tarn shelf and Mt. Field West. The best views at Mt. Field (in my opinion) are obtained from the top of the Rodway Range and Mt. Field West, where successive layers of mountain ranges in Tasmania’s Southwest National Park World Heritage Area are visible in good weather.
I took this photograph near Twilight Tarn on the tarn shelf at Mt. Field. My mission was to shoot the fagus (nothofagus gunnii), the only native deciduous tree in Tasmania, but its autumn colour was not yet turning enough to make spectacular photos. The lighting was really stark, so although it was a gorgeous day, it was a total dud by photographic standards. That’s when this beautiful baby pandani caught my eye. It was the only photo I took that day worth keeping.