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9 Australian Native Shrubs and Bushes

Australia’s native shrubs are not only a beautiful addition to your garden but also provide important habitat for native wildlife.

Aussie natives are great for Australian backyards as they are easy to grow and care for, hardy, and versatile.

In this article, we list some of our favourite Australian native shrubs and bushes to provide you with inspiration for your garden.

Correa reflexa (Native Fuchsia)

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

Correas have pretty bell-shaped flowers in a variety of different colours. These plants are some of our favourites and are very low-maintenance. They prefer to grow in full sun but will handle some shade. 

You could plant out an entire garden bed with different species of Correa for the ultimate in low-maintenance gardening.

Alyogyne huegelii (Native Hibiscus)

Alyogyne huegelii | Plant varieties
Alyogyne huegelii / Photo by Cygnis insignia / Wikimedia

This native Hibiscus is a medium/large-sized shrub reaching about two metres tall and wide. Its beautiful large purple flowers appear in Spring and Autumn.

Alyogyne huegelii can mostly be found in Western Australia and is a perfect plant for coastal areas.

This hibiscus is a great option for any gardener who wants something that adds a pop of colour and requires minimal maintenance.

Banksia spinulosa (Hairpin Banksia)

Banksia spinulosa | Plant varieties
Banksia spinulosa

Nothing is quite as stunning as this native banksia. It’s a low-growing variety that will only reach a height of around 0.5 metres.

The soft green foliage looks lovely on its own but the plant really comes to life when the golden-yellow upright flowers appear in autumn and winter.

Like most banksia varieties, this one is perfectly low-maintenance and will handle a little frost while also being drought-tolerant. You can even trim your Hairpin Banksia to create a low-growing hedge.

Westringia fruticosa (Coastal Rosemary)

Westringia fruticosa 01 | Plant varieties
Westringia fruticosa / Photo by Danielle Langlois / Wikimedia / CC BY-SA 3.0

For people who garden in coastal areas, Westringia fruticosa is a great choice for a low-maintenance hedging plant. It has lovely grey-green foliage and small white or lavender flowers.

Westringias will grow to a height of 1.5 metres and spread to a width of 1.3 metres. This makes them a lovely rounded shrub that is perfect for more formal landscape plantings.

This plant has dense green foliage and small fan-shaped flowers that bloom in the spring and summer months but can appear year-round.

These flowers are covered in small hairs and the upper petal is uniquely divided into two lobes. The leaves are needle-like and are covered in tiny hairs.

Westringia fruticosa hedge | Plant varieties
Westringia fruticosa

Westringias prefer well-drained soil and are drought and frost-tolerant. These plants are also quite useful for creating low-growing hedges as they do respond well to pruning.

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.

Melaleuca thymifolia (Thyme-leaf Honey-myrtle)

Melaleuca thymifolia | Plant varieties
Melaleuca thymifolia

This small shrub is part of the Myrtaceae family and typically grows to a height of around 1 metre, making it perfect as a groundcover or low-growing hedge.

The evergreen leaves on Melaleuca thymifolia are narrow and pointed while its purple flowers can bloom all year round. This plant is also great for attracting insects and birds to your garden.

Rhagodia spinescens (Spiny Saltbush)

Rhagodia spinescens Spiny Saltbush cropped | Plant varieties
Rhagodia spinescens / Photo by Daderot / Wikimedia (cropped) / CC0 1.0

This hardy shrub has the loveliest silver foliage and is as low-maintenance as they come.

This small native tree only grows to a height of around 1.5 metres but will spread nicely to cover an area of around 4 metres. It produces pretty little cream flowers in summer.

This plant is also useful for hedging and can be tip-pruned to encourage bushier growth.

It’s both frost and drought-tolerant and can even handle coastal areas that have salt spray.

Hardenbergia violacea (Purple Coral Pea)

Hardenbergia violacea | Plant varieties
Hardenbergia violacea (Purple Coral Pea) / Photo by KENPEI / Wikimedia (cropped) / CC BY-SA 3.0

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.

The leaves are glossy and around 10 cm long, with prominent veins running along their surface.

Melaleuca pulchella (Claw Flower)

Melaleuca pulchella | Plant varieties
Melaleuca pulchella / Photo by Melburnian / Wikimedia / CC BY-SA 3.0

Claw Honey-myrtle, or Melaleuca pulchella, is a small shrub with a spread of 1 – 2 metres. This Australian native prefers a full sun location and can tolerate drought and moderate frost.

The small light green leaves provide the backdrop for its unique clawed mauve flowers which bloom in Spring.

Chorizema cordatum (Heart-leaf Flame Pea)

Chorizema cordatum | Plant varieties
Chorizema cordatum / Photo by Dr. Alexey Yakovlev / Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0

The Chorizema cordatum is a dense shrub with heart-shaped leaves that grows to between 1 and 2 metres tall and spreads up to 1 metre wide.

Also known as Heart-leaf Flame Pea, this Western Australia native blooms from spring through summer, producing yellow, orange, or red flowers.

Chorizema cordatum flowers | Plant varieties
Chorizema cordatum / Photo by HelenaH / Wikimedia / CC BY-SA 3.0

The Heart-leaf Flame Pea attracts butterflies and bees with its pretty blooms, making it an excellent choice for habitat planting.

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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