Native Plants / Australia
Australia Native Plants
A plant is considered native if it has occurred naturally in a particular region or ecosystem without human introduction. There are many benefits in growing native plants. First, these plants are better adapted to soils, moisture and weather than exotic plants that evolved in other parts of the world. They need less fertilizers, pesticides or use less water. Second, they are unlikely to escape and become invasive, destroying natural habitat. Third, they support wildlife, providing shelter and food for native birds and insects, while exotic plants do not.
Fast-growing, Acacia baileyana (Cootamundra Wattle) is a large, graceful evergreen shrub or small tree adorned with a wide-spreading canopy and weeping branches clothed in feathery, finely cut, blue-gray leaves. The foliage remains appealing all year round. In late winter to early spring, clouds of bright golden-yellow, small, rounded flowers held in axillary racemes cover the branches
Good-looking, tough and durable, Acacia craspedocarpa (Leatherleaf Acacia) is a dense, upright to rounded, evergreen shrub or small multiple trunk tree with alternate, oval, bluish-green, silver or gray-green leaves. The foliage is rough to the touch, like leather. Blooming profusely in spring and sporadically until fall, bright yellow, puff-like flowers with prominent stamens, strongly attract bees.
Acacia cultriformis (Knife Acacia) is a small, multi-stemmed, evergreen tree of rounded to vase-shaped habit adorned with silvery-gray leaves shaped like paring knife blades. The foliage remains lovely all year round. In spring, masses of scented, fluffy, yellow flowers cover the branches and create a striking floral display. Relatively long-lived (50 years), Knife Acacia makes a dramatic focal point.
Fast-growing, Acacia dealbata (Silver Wattle) is an evergreen shrub or small tree of loose and architectural habit with a high canopy of finely divided blue-green to silver gray leaves, 3-5 in. long (7-12 cm). The foliage remains appealing all year round. In late winter to early spring, clouds of fragrant, ball-shaped, fluffy yellow flowers held in large racemes appear on the branch tips.
Fast-growing, Acacia podalyriifolia (Pearl Acacia) is a large evergreen shrub or small tree adorned with silvery-gray round leaves that are satiny to the touch. The foliage remains lovely all year round. In late winter to early spring, masses of scented, fluffy, pale yellow flowers cover the branches and create a striking floral display.
Fast-growing, Acacia retinodes (Swamp Wattle) is a large spreading evergreen shrub or small tree of oval or rounded habit with narrowly lance-shaped, gray-green to light green leaves. Blooming intermittently through the year, clouds of bright lemon-yellow, small, rounded flowers held in short axillary racemes cover the branches and create a striking floral display. The blossoms attract nectar feeding birds and butterflies.
A striking beauty with its dramatic, gigantic leaves, Alocasia macrorrhiza (Giant Taro) is a rhizomatous evergreen perennial which is excellent for bringing a lush look to gardens. Resembling the ears of an elephant, thick, prominently-veined, ruffled, green leaves are borne on rigid stalks (petioles) which jut vertically from a stout upright trunk.
Native to Australia, Anigozanthos (Kangaroo Paw) are tufted evergreen rhizomatous perennials with vibrant flower colors atop fans of narrowly strap-shaped leaves. Borne on leafless flowering stalks, the remarkable flowers are clustered at the ends of the stalks. Tubular, they are covered with velvety hairs and have pointed lobes, which are curved at their tips, giving them the appearance of kangaroo paws
Native to Australia, Anigozanthos flavidus (Kangaroo Paw) is an evergreen rhizomatous perennial with interesting flower shapes atop fans of slender, strap-shaped leaves. Borne on long, leafless flowering stalks, the remarkable flowers, are usually yellow-green, but can be orange, red, pink or green.
Asplenium nidus (Bird's Nest Fern) is an evergreen fern forming a remarkable rosette of broadly lance-shaped, glossy, bright green fronds adorned with contrasting dark midribs and wavy margins. Unusual for a fern, the fronds are undivided, giving the plant a substantial appearance.
Named for its unusual trunk, Brachychiton rupestris (Queensland Bottle Tree) is a picturesque tree with a heavily swollen trunk resembling a rounded bottle. Narrow and straight in youth, the trunk becomes bottle shaped with age as it stores water. It can reach 3 to 10 ft. in diameter (1-3 m) at breast height. The formation of the unique bottle shape is not visible until the tree is about 5 to 8 years old.
Brasenia schreberi (Watershield) is an aquatic perennial with floating, oval, bright green leaves, 4 in. long (10 cm), with reddish purple undersides. Resembling miniature water lily leaves, they are borne on long petioles that are attached to the center of the leaf. They create a lovely backdrop for the purple to burgundy flowers, 1 in. across (2.5 cm), that arise above the floating leaves. Blooming in summer and early fall, the flowers have a two-day blooming period.
Callistemon citrinus (Crimson Bottlebrush) is an evergreen shrub with arching branches clothed with lance-shaped leaves that emerge coppery before maturing to gray-green. The leaves release a lemony scent when bruised. Bright crimson bottlebrush-like flower spikes, 4 in. long (10 cm) bloom intermittently throughout the year in frost free areas.
Award-winning Callistemon linearis (Narrow-Leaved Bottlebrush) is a bushy, small to medium-sized, evergreen shrub with linear leaves, 4 in. long (10 cm), that are aromatic when crushed. Bright red bottlebrush-like flower spikes, 5 in. long (12 cm) bloom from late spring to early fall, providing a lovely display.