Top 6 Australian Native Flowers You Should Know

There are amazing wonders in Australia, not just in terms of culture, the people, the rich history, and the views, but also in the world of plants.

Depending on your climate, you may even be able to grow some of these in your own slice of paradise, or, as houseplants (depending on plant rarity, protected species, and avoiding any that are invasive in your area, of course).

Let’s take a look.

Acacia Pycnantha ‘Golden Wattle’

We can’t very well create a list of amazing flowers native to Australia and leave the national flower off the list. 

Known as golden wattle, this tree produces fuzzy butter-yellow flower balls which contrast well against the dark, sickle-shaped leaves. These flowers attract a lot of native pollinators, and depending on where you live, they may attract more pollinators into your garden, too.

It grows quickly and may even reach 26 feet tall if you can replicate the native conditions of the plant.  

Anigozanthos ‘Kangaroo Paw’

Popular with gardeners, houseplant enthusiasts, and florists, the kangaroo paw is a fabulous plant known for its unique flowers. 

The flowers are covered in soft hairs, and as you might imagine, they look like a kangaroo’s paw. 

There are 11 different species, all belonging to the bloodwort family, and these hail from parts of Southwest Australia. 

Most species produce red flowers, but they are also available in black, yellow, pink, and green.

They also contain a lot of nectar, making them perfect for attracting pollinators. These plants also do well in pots, as long as they can get as much warmth and sunlight as possible.

Banksia

Part of the Protea plant family, banksia plants are Australian wildflowers often grown as ornamental garden plants.

They produce huge cone-shaped flower spikes in different colors, usually red or yellow, and in the right conditions, these will be followed by fruits, too.

You do need to be careful what type you choose, however, as some may get up to 100 feet tall!

Grevilleas ‘Spider Flower’

One of the most unique-looking flowers out there (which is really saying something), the spider flower looks a little like the flower of honeysuckle, if it was spider-shaped.

These beautiful flowers come in yellow, green, pink, orange, and red, and attract pollinators like a magnet, thanks to their abundance of nectar. 

Telopea ‘Waratah’

One of the most famous Australian flowers next to the golden wattle is the waratah, native to Southeastern Australia. It’s also the state emblem of New South Wales.

It has nearly fluorescent red flower heads, which are actually tiny but pack so densely together that they form a composite flower head or spike. These clustered blooms can reach 15cm wide, making a dramatic display in any garden.

It’s endemic to Australia and can be difficult to establish outside its native area, however. It’s worth seeing on boards and forums if anyone has tried growing this plant in your area so that you can learn from their experiences.

Xerochrysum ‘Everlasting Daisy’

A plant that you might be familiar with is the everlasting daisy, available in a variety of colors, usually white or pink, but it does come in other colors. 

The everlasting daisy looks a little similar to a common daisy with its sunny center, but the petals that surround it are multi-layered, giving the flower a ruffled appearance.

These plants love plenty of heat and sunlight, so they are worth growing as an annual in summer if you only get these conditions at the height of the season.

They will happily grow in pots or in the ground, and work well as part of a mixed flower border.

The reason why they are called the everlasting daisy is that they are very popular as dried flowers. Unlike most blooms, they keep both their form and color when dried, so they make a beautiful display in vases.

They also make a long-lasting, pretty cut flower, if dried flowers aren’t your thing.

It also helps that this plant and its hybrids are readily available and grow well from seed. This makes them a fairly inexpensive option to provide your garden with lots of colors.

They also attract plenty of butterflies and bees, too, which will benefit the health of your whole garden.

How To Care For Australian Native Plants As Houseplants

If you live somewhere that’s colder than these Australian native plants would tolerate, some plants will make amazing houseplants.

For those that won’t be happy in anything less than full sunlight, grow them in a greenhouse or protected porch. 

If you don’t have either of these, a very sunny and warm windowsill may be enough, depending on the plant and what it will adapt to. Failing that, you could use a grow light to simulate its natural environment a bit better.

Keep these plants away from drafts, as this is something that they won’t be used to. A drafty position may even kill the plants, so be careful where you put them.

Depending on the plants, they may go dormant during the winter, in which case they will need less water than you would give them in summer. Scale back the fertilizer, too, to allow the plants to rest.

It’s worth noting that some plants that are native to Australia are used to infrequent downpours, and the better you can simulate their natural environment, the better they will thrive.

How To Care For Australian Native Plants Outside

Like with any new plant, you will need to do your research to make sure that Australian native plants can live in your climate. 

Some species that are native to Australia will only grow as perennials in USDA zones 10 to 11, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t grow them outside these areas.

Instead, you can treat them as annual plants, which mostly live for the warmest part of the year, and die down once winter arrives.

As many native Australian plants will live in pots, you can also bring them to a greenhouse or indoors during winter, and bring them back outside once all risk of frost has gone. 

It’s worth noting that some Australian native plants will not tolerate the brief watering that we tend to give indoor plants. 

In their natural environment, they are used to the roots being absolutely soaked when it rains, so you will need to replicate this to keep the plants healthy.

It may also be necessary to get a different fertilizer to supply these plants with the nutrients they need to survive, depending on the plant you choose.

Final Thoughts

Many fantastic plants are native to Australia but are grown all over the world for their beauty. 

When choosing a non-native plant to have as a houseplant or in your own garden, it is necessary to make sure that it is responsibly grown and sourced from a reputable seller), and that it will suit the place you have in mind for it.

Another thing worth thinking about is having enough native plants in your garden, which helps bolster the health of your garden by attracting native wildlife. 

Then you can add non-native plants into the mix to create a truly magical garden.

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