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Australian Native Flowers: Our Top Picks

Native flowers are becoming more and more popular with Australian gardeners.

Featured Image: Brachyscome multifida I Krzysztof Golik I Wikimedia I CC BY-SA 4.0

Native flowers not only attract birds, bees and butterflies to your garden, but they are also generally much lower maintenance than exotic varieties. They are also more resistant to drought and other challenging growing conditions.

Ready to add a touch of Australia to your backyard? Below we list our favourite Australian native flowers and then provide some tips for incorporating them into your garden.

Native Australian flowers for your garden

Native Fuchsia (Correa reflexa)

Correa reflexa Native Fuchsia | Native plants
Correa reflexa / Photo by peganum / Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0

Correas are some of our favourite flowers because they’re just so easy to care for and display lovely bell-shaped flowers almost all year round.

This particular species can grow to a height of around 1.2 metres and a width of around 1 metre.

The pretty tubular bell-shaped flowers can be either cream, red, yellow, or pink. The plant does prefer well-drained soil and will tolerate light frosts. 

Other popular Correa species include Correa alba (White Correa) and Correa glabra.

Bower of Beauty (Pandorea jasminoides)

Pandorea jasminoides Bower of Beauty | Native plants
Pandorea jasminoides / Photo by Rl / Wikimedia / CC BY-SA 2.5

Also known as the Bower Climber or Bower Vine, this popular native climber has a vigorous, spreading growth habit.

The bower is a tall climber that will clamber up trees, fences and other supports to grow more than 3 metres high.

It produces clusters of white or pink trumpet-shaped flowers in Spring.

Grevillea Gin Gin Gem (Grevillea obtusifolia)

Grevillea obtusifolia ‘Gin Gin Gem | Native plants
Grevillea obtusifolia / Photo by Melburnian I Wikimedia (cropped) I CC BY 3.0

Grevilleas are hardy Australian natives that are adaptive to different soil conditions. They’re also fairly low-maintenance and are loved by all the birds that visit our gardens. 

This dense grevillea ground cover makes an ideal weed suppressor. It has small spidery red and cream flowers.

This variety is particularly suitable for coastal areas and will benefit from a yearly prune after flowering.

It will tolerate light frosts and can grow in both full sun and lightly shaded spots.

Sydney Golden Wattle (Acacia longifolia)

Acacia longifolia | Native plants
Acacia longifolia / Photo by Donald Hobern / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

You’ll be absolutely stunned by the mass of bright yellow flower spikes that appear in late winter and early spring. This beautiful wattle can reach a height of around 7 metres.

If you’re looking for an effective screening plant, then this wattle may suit your needs as it can spread to a width of 4 metres.

Acacia longifolia is also both frost and drought-tolerant. It prefers to grow in full sun and well-drained soil.

Did you know?

Many native Australian plants are adapted to low-nutrient soils, especially low in phosphorus.

Over-fertilising, particularly with high phosphorus fertilisers, can harm these plants. It’s best to use a slow-release, low-phosphorus fertiliser, specifically formulated for native plants.

We recommend this native fertiliser from Amgrow, designed to promote healthy root growth, lush foliage, and increased flowering, without overwhelming native species.

Lemon myrtle (Backhousia citriodora)

Lemon myrtle Backhousia citriodora | Native plants
Backhousia citriodora / Photo by Krzysztof Ziarnek / Wikimedia / CC BY-SA 4.0

The lemon myrtle is one of our all-time favourite plants. Nothing beats the lovely citrusy scent of the glossy green leaves as you brush past this tree and the stunning display of the large white pom-pom-type flowers.

The lemon myrtle makes a great feature plant in your garden. It needs well-drained soil and protection from heavy frosts but it will tolerate light frosts. You can grow this native flowering tree in full sun or part shade. 

The lemon myrtle is a small to medium tree growing in height from 3 to 20 metres. However, it will rarely get to its full height when grown in a suburban garden.

In general, most rainforest trees will only reach around a third of their maximum height when cultivated in home gardens.

Blue leschenaultia (Lechenaultia biloba)

Blue leschenaultia lechenaultia biloba | Native plants
Lechenaultia biloba / Photo by Gnangarra / Wikimedia / CC BY 3.0 AU

Blue leschenaultia is a beautiful flowering native that grows up to 1m tall and wide.

This low, spreading plant grows best in full sun. The open-petalled blue flowers bloom in spring or winter.

It is endemic to Western Australia, and it can grow in drought and light frost conditions.

Yellow Buttons, Common Everlasting (Chrysocephalum apiculatum)

1024px Chrysocephalum apiculatum Flambe yellow | Native plants
Chrysocephalum apiculatum / Photo by Captain-tucker / Wikimedia / CC BY-SA 3.0

Chrysocephalum apiculatum belongs to the Asteraceae family, which also includes daisies and sunflowers.

It blooms year-round but mostly in spring and summer with bright yellow flowers that form compact heads.

The thin stems of the plant are covered in silky hairs which can give it a green/grey colour.

It generally grows up to 60 cm tall and 50 cm wide, although the appearance of this plant varies widely due to its wide distribution around the country.

Pincushion Hakea (Hakea laurina)

Hakea laurina | Native plants
Pincushion Hakea / Photo by Jean and Fred / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

Hakea Laurina is only a small tree that can reach a height of around 6 metres.

The red, white, cream, and pink pincushion flowers appear from late autumn and throughout winter. 

The Pincushion Hakea has a non-invasive root system so is suitable for planting close to a house.

Purple Coral Pea, Happy Wanderer (Hardenbergia violacea)

Hardenbergia violacea | Native plants
Hardenbergia violacea / Photo by KENPEI / Wikimedia (cropped) / CC BY-SA 3.0

Hardenbergia violacea is an evergreen Australian native climbing plant with twining stems.

It’s indigenous to the Adelaide region of South Australia but can also be found in VIC, NSW, TAS and QLD.

Hardenbergia violacea flowers are pea-shaped and grow in clusters, with colours ranging from light pink to deep purple, and occasionally white.

In spring, they bloom and cover the top of the bush in a stunning display of colour. They’re also perfect for pollinators like bees and butterflies.

Climbing Guinea Flower, Snake Vine (Hibbertia scandens)

Hibbertia scandens | Native plants
Hibbertia scandens / Photo by Karelj / Wikimedia / CC BY-SA 3.0

The Climbing Guinea Flower, or Snake Vine, is a hardy native Australian ground cover or climber. It makes a great feature plant with its beautiful large flowers.

It is a vigorous climber that can reach 1-2 metres in height and 4-5 metres in width. The flowers are large star-shaped and yellow in colour, blooming in spring and summer.

This plant prefers full sun to part shade and is drought-tolerant once established. It tolerates light frost as well as soil salinity.

Blue Pincushion (Brunonia australis)

Blue Pincushion brunonia australis | Native plants
Brunonia australis / Photo by jeans_Photos / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

The Blue Pincushion is a small, evergreen native groundcover that can thrive in full sun or partial shade and a range of soil types.

The plant is indigenous to the Adelaide region of South Australia but can be found in all Australian states.

Blue Pincushion will grow up to 0.3 metres high and wide. The flowers are bright blue balls that bloom from spring through summer.

The plant requires minimal watering and will tolerate drought conditions as well as moderate frosts. It’s a great choice for people who want an easy care perennial groundcover.

Coastal Rosemary (Westringia fruticosa)

Westringia Fruticosa 1 | Native plants
Westringia fruticosa / Photo by Georgios Liakopoulos / 500px, Wikimedia I CC BY-SA 3.0

Coastal Rosemary is a compact, rounded shrub that grows up to 2 metres tall and up to 4 metres wide, making it well suited for low hedging or as an ornamental plant in a native garden.

It has dense green foliage and small fan-shaped lilac or white flowers that bloom in the spring and summer months but can appear year-round.

Westringia fruticosa thrives in coastal areas, particularly the coastal regions of eastern Australia. It’s a hardy plant that prefers full sun and well-draining soil.

Grevillea ‘Peaches and Cream’ (Grevillea banksii x Grevillea bipinnatifida)

Grevillea Peaches and Cream | Native plants
Grevillea ‘Peaches and Cream’ / Photo by Cas Liber / Wikimedia

Grevillea ‘Peaches and Cream’ features stunning lemon and peach-coloured flowers that are a hit with many native birds.

This hybrid grevillea would make an excellent informal hedge plant thanks to its fast growth and hardiness. It grows to around 2m tall.

This variety is also drought tolerant once it is fully established.

Cut-leaf Daisy, Native Daisy (Brachyscome multifida)

Brachyscome multifida | Native plants
Brachyscome multifida / Photo by Krzysztof Golik / Wikimedia / CC BY-SA 4.0

Cut-leaf Daisy is a hardy perennial ground cover native to Australia. Its white, pink, or mauve flowers will add a pop of colour to your garden.

This easy-to-grow ground cover likes full sun and well-drained soil. It can tolerate drought conditions and doesn’t need much water once established.

You can use Native Daisies in your garden as either ground covers or border plants; they look great with other Australian native grasses and perennials.

Anigozanthos ‘Amber Velvet’ (Kangaroo Paw)

Anigozanthos Kangaroo Paw | Native plants
Anigozanthos / Photo by Peripitus / Wikimedia / CC BY-SA 3.0

Kangaroo paws love living in a sunny position in your garden as long as they’re planted in well-drained soil.

Their lovely green foliage adds a little height and cover to bare areas and their delightful flowers will brighten up your garden during spring and summer.

This particular variety has gorgeous red, orange, and yellow flowers. However, there are other varieties in varying flower colours.

These plants are drought-resistant and require very little maintenance.

Why grow Australian native flowers?

Growing native plants is the perfect way to add a touch of Australia to your backyard.

Native plants are easier to grow and maintain than exotic species, plus they provide food and shelter for local wildlife and help support our environment.

If you’re looking for inspiration to get started with natives, here are some reasons why growing native plants can be beneficial:

Low maintenance and easy to grow: Native plants are naturally suited to the local climate and soil, meaning they require less watering and fertiliser. They are also usually more resistant to pests and diseases.

Provide habitat and food for local wildlife: Native plants provide food, shelter and nesting areas for a huge range of local wildlife. For example, they provide a home for native birds, with their fruits and seeds being an important source of food.

Require less water and are drought tolerant: Native plants are well suited to their local environment. They’re typically adapted to the climate, soil, and other conditions. In Australia, this means our native plants are more likely than non-natives to survive in dry climates and hot temperatures.

Sustainable and support a healthy environment: If you want to grow a sustainable garden that preserves natural biodiversity, native plants are the best option. Unlike exotic species, native plants require very little in the way of fertilisers and pesticides.

Beautiful bright flowers: Australia’s native flowers are unique, beautiful, and come in a range of colours, shapes and sizes. They can be fragrant too. Some species have an intoxicating scent that attracts birds, bees, butterflies, and other insects.

Versatile and useful: Not only will they grow in areas where others won’t, but native plants are also great for a variety of different uses in the garden. This includes as a feature plant or an underplanting for larger trees or shrubs, or as ground cover to prevent erosion on slopes. They can also be used for privacy screens, windbreaks, or shade.

Tips for native Australian garden design

When you’re designing your Australian native garden, there are a few things that you need to consider before you start:

The size of your garden: This will determine how many plants you can comfortably fit in the space.

Your climate: There are native plants available for every part of the country but some are better for cooler southern climates while others prefer the more sub-tropical and tropical regions of the north.

Your soil type: As most Australian natives prefer slightly acid soil, you may need to test your soil and make some amendments in order to accommodate this.

Shade or sun: If you already have a few tall trees, your garden may be shaded for part of the day. Therefore, you need to select plants that can handle the shade.

Formal or free-flowing: Most native gardens are fairly free-flowing but you can create a more formal garden by using natives as border plants or for hedging.

Native Flower FAQ

What is the native flower of Australia?

The golden wattle is Australia’s floral emblem, and it can be seen blooming in spring and summer in parts of New South Wales, South Australia, and Victoria.

How many native plants are in Australia?

According to the Australian National Herbarium, there are around 16k native Australian plants. Queensland and Western Australia are the states with the largest number of native plants.

Is there an Australian native Rose?

Boronia serrulata, commonly known as Native Rose, is a flowering shrub that grows naturally on the New South Wales central coast. It has four-petalled pink flowers.

Photo of author

Steve Kropp

Based in Melbourne, Steve's passion is vegetable gardening, and he’s been writing about it for almost 5 years. He also loves all things DIY and is always looking for a new project. When not working on his own garden projects or blogging, Steve enjoys spending time with his family, cooking meals with produce harvested from his garden, and coaching his son’s footy team.

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