Don’t you find the topic of native flowers fascinating? It’s a wonderful way to understand the basic structure of life in a given place, established before the onslaught of civilization. Whether you are researching New York flowers or ones from Australia, you can capture a feel for what life must have been like thousands of years before animals appeared.
Australia has such a wide variety of climates that it is easy to find flowers from just about every genus. But there are some that stand out as particularly native; here are our top half-dozen choices:
Acacia – Aussies call these Wattles, and there are over 650 species. The predominant color is yellow, and they vary greatly in size. The usually bloom as winter is ending. You can find Blackwood Wattle in Eastern and Southern Australia, and the Golden Wattle is found in the South Eastern region, and also in more dessert-like climates. Golden Wattle is the floral emblem of Australia.
Banksia – most every species of Banksia can be found in Australia. The distinctive-looking spiky flowers predominate in orange, yellow and red. Named after famed explorer Joseph Banks, these ubiquitous plants prefer the South Western region as well as the Eastern parts. Banskias thrive in poor soil, and provide sweet nectar that is a favorite drink among the Aboriginal peoples. Callistemon – a favorite flower of New South Wales, but can be found throughout the country.
The plant is also called the Bottlebrush, due to its flowering habit of bright colorful petals sticking out from the stem like a brush. There are about two dozen species, with the Crimson, Prickly, and Weeping Bottlebrush plants predominating. Kangaroo Paw – no list of Australian flora would be complete without this popular species.
It is often planted by gardeners in the Eastern region, but grows wild in the West. In fact, the floral emblem of Western Australia is the Mangle’s Kangaroo Paw. Flowers come in a variety of colors, but all have a velvety feel and tubular structure that makes them immediately recognizable. Sturt’s Desert Pea – a lovely annual flower with bright red petals that stem from a tiny black pea-shaped ball located at the bottom of the petal.
It prefers the dry interior sections of Australia, and is the floral emblem of South Australia. The Desert Pea waits for a heavy rain before it blooms. Waratah – this is a Telopea, and has a distinctive red flower. It is the floral emblem of New South Wales, and is also found in Victoria. Its flowers stand out from the background, making it one of the country’s most beloved flowers.
All the above flowers make perfect mothers day flowers arrangements for that special once a year holiday: Mother