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7 Stunning Feature Plants for Australian Gardens

A feature plant can create a striking visual impact. Unique shapes, colours, or textures can spark curiosity and interest in your garden.

When it comes to selecting the best feature plants for Australian gardens, there are so many choices that you could not grow them all unless you have a massive garden.

In this guide, I’m going to share with you some of the favourites that I believe are both outstanding and relatively easy to grow and care for.

Here they are:

Acacia cognata (Green Mist River Wattle)

Acacia cognata | Plant varieties
Acacia cognata / Photo by Melburnian / Wikimedia (cropped) / CC BY 3.0

This is an Australian wattle that I find intriguing because it has an unusual growth habit that is entirely different to many other wattle species. It grows in a mound with soft and graceful foliage that is weeping.

The foliage is a deep green colour and the plant can add some architectural style to your garden.

In spring, the plant will produce the typical ball-shaped wattle flowers to signal in the warmer weather.

It looks great as a feature plant growing near some large rocks or even in a large pot on your patio.

Banksia spinulosa (Birthday Candles)

Banksia spinulosa cherry candles | Plant varieties
Banksia spinulosa

This has to be one of the most outstanding banksia cultivars with its masses of banksia flowers in shades of yellow and orange.

This is a smaller growing banksia with quite a compact and rounded growth habit.

This makes it ideal for planting as a feature in a rock garden or even on your front nature strip if your local council will allow it.

You could also grow banksia spinulosa in a large pot to brighten up your outdoor entertainment area. 

Correa alba (White correa)

Correa alba Pinkie | Plant varieties
Correa alba

I’ve fallen in love with this native correa since I was first introduced to it after moving to my current location. It grows as a native around my area and I was delighted to find that my local nursery had this available.

So, I eagerly purchased one and planted it in a garden bed next to the house.

This spot gets a fair bit of sunlight so I had to ensure that I gave the plant plenty of water while it was young. Luckily, it told me when it was thirsty by drooping a little.

In the two years I’ve had this plant, it’s doubled in size and has delighted me with its dainty white flowers and interesting growth habit.

I’ve noticed that it responds well to pruning and this is an excellent way to bush it up and keep it a little more compact.

I could see this plant as being ideal for hedging or even shaping into a topiary.

Cycad revoluta (Sago Palm)

Cycad revoluta Sago Palm | Plant varieties
Cycad revoluta

Take your garden back to the Jurassic era with this amazing cycad. This stunning plant will definitely add some drama to your garden and it’s so easy to care for.

It’s primarily a foliage plant with a thick and gnarly trunk and tall, arching frond-like palm leaves.

The edges of the leaves can be quite sharp so plant your sago palm away from high-traffic areas and watch it thrive in a sunny position.

Leucadendron stelligerum

Leucadendron stelligerum | Plant varieties
Leucadendron stelligerum / Photo by Tony Rebelo / iNaturalist / CC BY-SA 4.0

Leucadendrons are native to South Africa and are closely related to proteas and banksias. They make striking feature plants and will wow you with their floral display in spring.

This particular species has creamy white flowers with bright yellow pompom centres and if grown in full sun, the plant will be completely covered with these gorgeous blooms.

Best of all, these plants are low-maintenance and drought-tolerant.

Plus, they make great cut flowers so you can use them to decorate your home.

Strelitzia reginae (Bird of Paradise)

Strelitzia reginae Bird of Paradise 2 | Plant varieties
Strelitzia reginae

Although this is not a native plant, you simply can’t ignore the dramatic impact it can have on a garden. Not only are the leaves big and bold but the intriguing flowers are simply amazing.

This is definitely an impressive feature plant and needs a prominent spot in your garden. It can even be grown in a large pot so that you can enjoy its beauty on your patio or verandah.

Make sure you plant it in a sunny spot if you want an abundance of flowers.

These are also ideal for cutting and putting in a vase because they last for quite some time.

Also, make sure that you give this plant plenty of space as it can grow to a height and width of 1.2 metres.

Xerochrysum bracteatum (Wallaby Cherry)

Xerochrysum bracteatum | Plant varieties
Xerochrysum bracteatum

I’ve had a love affair with everlasting daisies ever since I can remember. I adore their papery flowers that always make your feel cheerful whenever you spot them in a garden.

This is a lovely feature plant to grow in a rockery or garden bed as it will always put on a magnificent show when it’s in bloom.

The flowers will appear from spring through to autumn and you can even dry them and display them indoors for years to come.

Photo of author

Annette Hird

Annette Hird is a gardening expert with many years of experience in a range of gardening related positions. She has an Associate Diploma of Applied Science in Horticulture and has worked in a variety of production nurseries, primarily as a propagator. She has also been responsible for a large homestead garden that included lawn care, fruit trees, roses and many other ornamental plants. More recently, Annette has concentrated on improving the garden landscape of the homes that she has lived in and focused a lot of energy on growing edible plants as well. She now enjoys sharing her experience and knowledge with others by writing articles about all facets of gardening and growing plants.

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