In the garden – flowers of Australia

Click on the thumbnails to see larger images.

Grevillea "Robyn Gordon" is an Australian hybrid that has as its parents a west coast species, Grevillea bipinnatafolia, and an east coast species, Grevillea banksii "Forsters". It produces a multitude of large flowers all year long. The flowers are loaded with nectar and so are popular with honeaters (Australia) and humming birds (North America). (Photo March 2004)

The Rosemary Grevillea, Grevillea rosemarinifolia, is a native of southeastern Australia. It is popular in cultivation, and is the most common Grevillea I have noticed in souithern California. Quite a lot of hybrids have been developed from it. (Photos February 2004)

Grevillea banksii, or Red Silky Oak, is a native to southeastern Queensland. It forms a small to moderate erect tree, sometimes in considerable numbers beneath taller, open eucalypt forest. The flowers are rich in nectar, and thus popular with Australian honeyeaters, and in this case the North American hummingbird (probably a male Anna's Hummingbird). In the wild, flowers are either red (like this specimen) or creamy-white, although each individual tree produces only one of these colors.

The Lemon-flowered Gum, Eucalyptus woodwardii, has really spectacular blossom. It has a restricted distribution in the arid area of Coolgardie in Western Australia. It is a small to moderate sized tree. (Photo March 2004)

The Bell-fruited Mallee, Eucalyptus preissiana, is a large shrub or small tree common in the sandy coastal parts of southwestern Western Australia. In our garden, it blooms during winter. The flowers produce large quantities of nectar and it's common to see hundreds of ants invading the flowers to obtain the nectar. The fruit are large, woody capsules. (Photos February 2004)

Eucalyptus caesia, or Gungurru, is one of the most widely cultivated eucalypts in temperate climates, and one of the most beautiful. It is a tall shrub or small tree, occurring naturally only in a very small region around granite outcrops in the wheat belt of Western Australia. In the photo at the left, the other eucalyptus blossom is Eucalyptus preissiana, described above. (Photos April 2000, left, and February 2004, right)

Eucalyptus erythrocorys, common name Illyarrie, is a small tree that is native to the central coastal areas of Western Australia. The flowers are some of the largest of all the eucalypts, as are the woody fruit. The bright-red four-lobed cap of the bud is unique in eucalypts. In this picture, the flowers in the vase are, from lower left to upper right, Eucalyptus woodardii, Eucalyptus preissiana, and Eucalyptus erythrocorys. The first two are described above on this page. (Photo October 2003)

The Ridge-fruited Mallee, Eucalyptus angulosa, is native to coastal areas of South Australia and Western Australia. The flowers are notable for their rich, perfume-like smell, which makes them excellent for honey production. (Photo March 2004)

Eremophila oppositifolia, the Twin-leaf Emu-bush, or Weeooka, is from low rainfall, inland areas of southern Australia. The tubular flowers are up to 3 cm long. {Photo February 2004)

The Spotted Emu-bush, Eremophila maculata, is a small shrub found in the inland areas of all Australian mainland states. It is very common in cultivation, and is known for its great variation in flower color. {Photo March 2004)

Common Emu-bush, Eremophila glabra. This species can have flowers that are yellow, red, or green. This green specimen is said to come from the Ouyen district of western Victoria. (March 2004)

Stackhousia monogyna, known as Candles, is from forest country in the southeastern states of Australia. This one is from Tasmania. (Photo March 2003)

The Heart-leaved Flame Pea, Chorizema cordatum, is a native of the far southwest of Western Australia. It produces masses of flowers in spring. This is the most commonly grown species of Chorizema. (Photos March 2004)

The Fringe Myrtle, Calytrix tetragona, is a small, spreading shrub very common across southern, eastern, and western areas of Australia from Queensland to Western Australia and Tasmania. The masses of spring blossom are impressive, especially when there are large numbers of these plants growing adjacent to one another, as is common in the wild. (Photos March 2004)

Lemann's Banksia, Banksia lemanniana, is from the Eyre district on the south coast of Western Australia. We have seen it growing there in large numbers as a small, dense tree on sandy soil. The flowers shown here, one of which is only partly developed, are large, about 20 cm (8 inches) long. (Photo May 2001)

The Saw Banksia, Banksia serrata, is native to the coastal area of eastern Australia from southern Queensland to Victoria and Tasmania. It is one of the commonest banksias in the eastern Australia states. It grows as a medium sized tree that in some places is up to 15 m high, with a wonderfully gnarled trunk. The flowers are large, - this one is about 20 cm (8 inches) tall. Our specimen originates from eastern Victoria. (Photo June 2003)

The Rock Thryptomene, Thryptomene saxicola, is a native of the far southwest of Australia. It is a small shrub, typically up to 1 meter high, and is covered with masses of tiny pink flowers in late winter to spring. It makes an excellent cut flower, especially as background to other more prominent, larger flowers in a bouquet. (Photos February 2004)

Prostanthera ovalifolia "Excellent Purple" is one of the cultivars of the Purple Mint Bush, P. Ovalifolia, which is a native to eastern Australia, and possibly the most commonly grown Prostanthera. All told there are about 120 species of Prostanthera throughout Australia. This one has a really strong mint smell, especially when the leaves are crushed. (Photo March 2004)

Callistemon "Little John" is a cultivar of Callistemon viminalis, itself well-known in garden settings as a small tree. "Little John" is small, only about 1 meter tall. The bottle-brush flowers are shorter than in the parent species. These plants bloom multiple times each year. (Photo February 2004)

Melaleuca hypericafolia, or Hillock Bush, is a delightful shrub that each spring bears many pink-red bottle-brush flowers on short stalks, right against the branches. This makes it less suitable as a cut flower, but the bush itself is picturesque. It is a native of the south coast of New South Wales. (Photo May 2002)

The One-sided Bottlebrush, Calothamnus quadrifidus, is a Western Australia coastal species. It is a large shrub or small tree, and we have had several of them in the garden since the mid 1990s. They were most interesting to grow from seed because the seeds are extremely fine, almost like powder. They need to be sprinked on top of soil in a pot that stands in water, so that the water soaks up into the pot, the so-called bog method of germination. (Photo May 2002)

The Golden Everlasting is widespread throughout Australia in a number of forms. This one, Helichrysum brachteatum "Dargan's Hill Monarch", is a cultivar originating from a large-flowered shrubby variant common on escarpments in the McPherson Ranges of southeastern Queensland. These plants are not long lived, but this one lasted several years, producing many of these paper-daisy flowers.

Next: Flowers of Southern Africa

Return to Garden Page.