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Purple Flowering Shrubs and Bushes to Grow in Australia

Looking to add a splash of purple to your garden? Dive into our list of vibrant purple-flowering shrubs.

If you love purple flowers and want to add some more to your garden, here are some shrubs and bushes that have magnificent purple flowers.

Alyogyne huegelii (Native Hibiscus)

Native Hibiscus Alyogyne huegelii | Plant varieties

This Western Australian native plant will amaze you with its stunning large, deep purple flowers. It’s a fast-growing shrub that can reach a height of 2.5 metres. It’s also found growing naturally in South Australia in sandy soils.

This shrub has dull green leaves that are hairy and either 3 or 5 lobed. The flowers are large and showy and look like hibiscus flowers.

It’s important to keep this plant well-pruned so that it doesn’t become too woody. It has the capacity to sprout new foliage from old wood, so don’t be afraid to cut it back hard after it’s finished flowering to maintain a compact shape.

Magnolia liliiflora (Purple Magnolia)

Magnolia liliiflora Purple Magnolia | Plant varieties

This deciduous magnolia will blow you away when it breaks out in bloom in spring on bare branches. The flowers are a gorgeous deep purple colour and really stand out against the bare wood.

After flowering, the plant will grow new leaves that are dark green in colour and have a downy underside. In order to protect the plant’s natural graceful shape, it’s recommended that you don’t prune it. 

Cotinus coggygria (Purple Smoke Bush)

Cotinus coggygria Purple Smoke Bush | Plant varieties

A purple smoke bush in full bloom is an amazing sight. Not only does the bush have dark purple leaves but it also produces mist-like purple flowers in late spring and early summer.

These look like little puffs of smoke above the foliage. After flowering has finished, the leaves turn into a striking crimson in colour before falling off. This plant will definitely add a vibrant touch of colour to your garden.

It grows to a height of 3 metres with a spread of around 2 metres. 

Eremophila maculata (Spotted Emu Bush)

Eremophila maculata | Plant varieties
Photo by Stan Shebs / Wikimedia / CC BY-SA 3.0

The spotted emu bush is another Australian native flower that has bright purple fuschia-like blooms. These start out as bright pink to purple buds and open up to reveal gorgeous spotted petals.

The plant itself is quite attractive with mid-green leaves and a fairly compact growth habit. It can reach a height and spread of around 1.8 metres. There are also varieties with red or pink flowers.

This bush responds well to pruning after it’s finished flowering to maintain a nice compact shape.

Melaleuca decussata (Cross-leaved Honey Myrtle)

Melaleuca decussata | Plant varieties
Photo by Solarence / Wikimedia / CC0 1.0

The cross-leaved honey myrtle puts on a spectacular display when it blooms with its brush-like purple flowers in spring. The plant has small green leaves on long arching branches. 

This pretty native flowering shrub will attract birds to your garden when it’s in bloom. It can grow to a height of 3 metres and a spread of around 2.5 metres. 

To keep the shrub nice and bushy, it’s a good idea to give it a prune after it’s finished flowering.

Eremophila bignoniiflora (Bignonia Emu Bush)

Eremophila bignoniiflora | Plant varieties
Photo by Allthingsnative / Wikimedia / CC BY-SA 4.0

This is another emu bush with delightful pale purple flowers. The flower buds are white, to begin with, and then open up to reveal delicate pale purple petals. The lower of these is usually spotted. 

This shrub likes to spread and can grow to a width of 5 metres and it also grows to a similar height. It occurs naturally mainly in inland arid areas of NSW and Queensland, but can also be found in the Northern Territory, South Australia, Western Australia and the north-west of Victoria.

The widespread occurrence of this plant in nature means that it will adapt to a wide range of growing conditions as long as there’s not too much humidity.

Melaleuca wilsonii (Violet Honey Myrtle)

Melaleuca wilsonii | Plant varieties
Photo by Melburnian / Wikimedia (cropped) / CC BY 3.0

Melaleucas are well-known for their vibrant floral display and this species is no exception. It has stunning bright purple brush-like flowers that are much darker than the cross-leaved honey myrtle.

This native Australian shrub is suited more to the temperate climate of southern Australia as it’s found naturally in south-east South Australia and north-west Victoria. It can grow to a height of 3 metres.

This is a good choice if you have an area in your garden that is constantly damp.

Melaleuca pulchella (Claw Honey Myrtle)

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

The claw honey myrtle has a different flower structure to the other honey myrtles mentioned so far. This species has small claw-like flowers that can be either pink or purple. These usually appear on the ends of branches.

It’s quite a compact shrub, only reaching a height of around 1.2 metres with a width of 1.5 metres. Branches are often weeping, giving this plant a highly attractive form. 

This is a Western Australian native so it prefers well-drained soil and a sunny position in your garden.

Tremandra stelligera 

Tremandra stelligera | Plant varieties
Photo by Allthingsnative / Wikimedia / CC BY-SA 4.0

This is another Western Australian native, primarily from the southwest corner of the state. It has a spreading habit and can reach a height of 2 metres.

The flowers on this shrub are a very vibrant purple. They have four or five petals and are cup-shaped. The stems and leaves on this plant are somewhat hairy.

Melaleuca thymifolia (Thyme-leaf Honey-myrtle)

Melaleuca thymifolia | Plant varieties

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.

Westringia ‘Blue Gem’

Westringia | Plant varieties
Westringia eremicola / Wikimedia / CC BY-SA 3.0

Westringias are hardy, low-maintenance plants that grow happily in full sun. This particular hybrid has the most spectacular blue-purple flowers that cover the entire plant in spring.

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

Hibiscus syriacus

Hibiscus syriacus | Plant varieties

Hibiscus can grow quite large and are perfect for smaller yards as a feature tree. This species can reach a height of 4 metres. There are numerous cultivars available that have either single or double purple blooms.

Although I’ve always associated Hibiscus with sub-tropical and tropical regions, this species can actually be grown in most parts of the country because it will tolerate frost, mild drought conditions, and either full sun or part shade.

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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