Australia is home to a rich selection of flora and fauna. The Australian flora exotic and wild with many species of plants that cannot be found anywhere else in the world. Apart from the rare, wild plants with breathtaking flowers, there are some common plants and flowers that are quintessentially Australian. These are flowers that are popular and found commonly. They symbolise the Australian flora system and are quite popular as garden plants.
Here’s a look at five common Australian flowers, what makes them unique and whether they should be part of your garden landscape design.
Common Australian Flowers
Chamelaucium or Waxflower
Popularly known as waxflower because of the waxy feel of its flower petals, Chamelaucium is a genus found in western Australian. It is Australia’s most popular commercially used flower. Waxflowers have become quite popular as cut flowers in countries around the world such as the U.S, Canada, Japan, China and Hong Kong. Waxflowers are very resilient and can thrive even during droughts. With proper irrigation, you can harvest some high-quality flowers which are much in demand. Waxflowers are tiny flowers that look beautiful in bouquets as fillers or on their own in flower vases. The flowers have five petals and come in shades of pink and blue. With proper care and garden maintenance, a waxflower plant will last for decades.
Acacia Pycnantha or Golden Wattle
With over nine hundred varieties, Acacia is the largest genus found in Australian flora. Acacia Pycantha, or Golden Wattle as it’s commonly called, boasts of bright yellow flowers that bloom in Spring. The contrast between the green leaves and the golden flowers is striking. The flowers are dense and very picturesque, with a sweet scent to them. It is a popular garden plant, thanks to its beautiful sweet-smelling flowers. It grows well in most soil types, although it does require adequate drainage. Owing to the flowers fragrant smell, they have been used to make perfumes.
Telopea Speciosissima or Waratah
With its bright crimson flowers, Waratah makes for a great garden plant. There are white, pink and yellow versions of it that have been cultivated, but the red waratah flowers are the most popular ones. The flowers make for perfect cult flowers as they last well in water. Pruning helps the shrub to flourish and produce more flowers the next year. The exotic-looking flower attracts birds and so is quite popular amongst home owners looking to set up a garden that attracts butterflies and birds.
Gossypium Sturtianum or Sturt’s Desert Rose
Sturt’s Desert Rose or Darling River Rose contains flowers with pale petals, with a deep red centre. The shrub needs excellent drainage as the roots are susceptible to waterlogging. Since the petals close soon after the flowers are cut, Sturt’s Desert Rose flowers are not a good option for cut flowers. But they are quite popular for gardens as the flowers look very beautiful. They are also relatively easy to maintain as Sturt’s Desert Rose bushes do not need a lot of water. They are drought-resistant and produce flowers throughout the year, with their peak flowering season occurring during late winter.
Dendrobium Phalaenopsis or Cooktown Orchid
Found in abundance in Cooktown, Queensland at one time, the Dendrobium Phalaenopsis or Cooktown Orchids produce a lot of flowers. A plant can have anywhere from three to twenty flowering branches. The lilac coloured flowers bloom during the dry season (sometime between March to July). The Cooktown Orchid won the most popular choice in a public poll for the Queensland Floral Emblem.
Australian Garden Weeds
When it comes to garden care, weeds are every gardening enthusiast’s nightmare. What’s even more frustrating is the fact that, while the plants that you care for struggle to do well, these pesky weeds seem to thrive. If left untreated, they can take over your garden, sucking up water and leaving little to nothing for your precious plants. Spotting weeds before they have a chance to spread their roots is very essential to save your plants.
As the name suggests, these weeds have a one-year life cycle. They produce a lot of seeds which can then sprout into more weed. The best way to curb them is to opt for a proactive—prevention is better than cure—approach. You need to get rid of them completely the minute you spot them as they can quickly multiply if left untouched. The seeds spread and sprout easily and when neglected, the situation can quickly get out of hand. Procrastination is just not an option when faced with the annual weed variety.
Biennial and Perennial
Biennial and Perennial weeds have a longer life cycle and are much more stronger. Weeds belonging to these categories tend establish deep roots, from which the plants keep growing. If left untreated, the roots grow wide and deep, encroaching on the other plants’ space, slowly killing them. The only way to get rid of these type of weeds is to get to the root of the problem (which in this case is literally the root). You will need to invest in some good root uprooting tools and root weed killer herbicide to get rid of the problem once and for all.
Australia has a lot of beautiful flora to offer. From wildly exotic flowers that are spectacular, to quaint and pretty flowers that will look perfect in a cosy home garden, the variety here is truly fascinating. You can see nature in all its glory, with vivid colours—the beauty of which no camera can manage to capture, the wonderful fragrances that get your senses into an overdrive and the interesting textures, of course. There are the waxy flowers, the prickly ones, the leathery ones, the fluffy ones and the soft and delicate ones. Flowers are one of nature’s most precious gifts to us. In the hustle and bustle of our busy lives, we sometimes tend to overlook the beauty all around us. So, maybe it’s time to stop and smell the roses.