Australia is home to some of the most incredible flowers found anywhere in the world, from the colorful bottlebrush flower to the spectacular and iconic waratah.
With this in mind, many flower-lovers around the globe often look to add a touch of Australian color and beauty – whether they’re designing a special bouquet, or even growing their own garden.
In this guide, we’ll take a closer look at 18 of the most popular and beautiful flowers that are native to Australia. We’ll also look to answer a couple of the frequently asked questions in relation to their cultural significance.
The first Australian flower on our list is the popular native kangaroo paw. As the name suggests, this low-maintenance flowering species has the distinctive look of a kangaroo paw, and can come in many different single, bi-colored, and even tri-colored forms.
Some varieties of this flower can grow up to two meters tall, so long as they’re planted in slightly acid soil with full sun exposure and good drainage.
Pink Rock Lily
Pink rock lilies are tough, easy to grow, and produce some of the most beautiful and delicate flowers. The colors of this Australian native plant can range from pure white through to purple and pink. For the best growing results, pink rock lilies thrive in warm and humid conditions.
Unlike many of the other native Australian flowers on our list, billy buttons are incredibly easy to grow because their seeds don’t require scarification.
This perennial, gold-colored plant is often the perfect choice for dried flower arrangements as a result of its impressive ability to hold both its structure and color.
This perennial Australian plant is perfect for adding some vibrant color to a garden as it features golden yellow flowers and silver grey foliage.
Desert flame can grow up to 20 to 30 centimeters tall and provides an impressive amount of ground cover. The best conditions for this plant are temperate ones, so plant it in either full sun or partial shade.
The next flower on our list is the grevillea, which grows all over Australia. It’s an easy-maintenance shrub that flowers in large amounts, and can come in several different sizes – from ground covers to tall screening plants.
Grevilleas require well-drained soil and plenty of sun to prosper, so make sure you plant them in full sun, sheltered from strong winds.
While this perennial shrub is one of the more difficult flowers to grow, it’s completely worth the extra effort.
Flannel flowers feature silver-green stems, velvety white flowers, and provide a unique, soft woolly feel, hence the plant’s name. The best time for flannel flowers to bloom are typically during the Spring and Summer months.
Waxflower is one of Australia’s most commercially grown flowers. The popular shrub features star-shaped flowers in either pink or white that can grow up to three meters in height.
A waxflower can be used effectively as both a compact shrub or a low-growing groundcover, so long as it’s planted in well-drained soil in partial sun.
Best known for their characteristic cylindrical flower heads, banksias are an incredibly popular Australian plant that can tolerate pretty much all soil types. Banksias come in a wide range of colors and sizes, and have a particularly impressive vase life, making them excellent cut flowers.
So, if you’re looking for a hardy flower that’ll also give your bouquets and arrangements some added color, Banksias are a good choice.
Canberra bells produce red and cream bell-shaped flowers during the Autumn for some beautiful color. They’re great for mixed garden beds due to the fact that they prune lightly after they flower to maintain a nice, compact shape.
While canberra bells can grow in most soil types, the preferred conditions for growth are light sandy soil with effective drainage.
The next Australian flower on our list is the silver spurflower. This blue and white, drought-tolerant plant is typically covered in short silver hairs, making it a stunning and unique addition to any floral arrangement.
Moreover, a silver spurflower can grow in both full sun and partial shade, so it’s one of the easier shrubs to look after.
The aussie box is a relatively new popular shrub that can grow up to 60 x 60 centimeters in size. This drought-hardy plant produces small mauve flowers on and off throughout the year, and is well-suited as a low hedge.
In terms of ideal growing conditions, the aussie box prefers full sun to light shade, and can tolerate pretty much all soil types.
The waratah is one of Australia’s most iconic shrubs, and is considered by many as the most beautiful of all native wildflowers.
Its striking, blood-red flower heads are often recognized as the New South Wales state emblem, while the distinct foliage is equally as pretty. To give waratahs the best chance of growing, plant them in free-draining, slightly acidic soil with partial sun.
Thryptomene is a small evergreen shrub that can grow up to one meter tall. This type of native plant is best known for its arching branches that are typically covered with pink flowers over the Spring and Winter.
The best thing about growing thryptomene is the fact that it’s drought-tolerant and hardy, so you should be okay with both full sun and partial shade conditions.
One of the fastest-growing plants on our list, wattles grow rapidly from seed, and produce vibrant yellow flowers from a surprisingly young age.
This plant is hardy by nature, and grows best in sunny spots with well-drained soil. It’s worth noting that the golden wattle is considered the national flower of Australia.
The Australian daisy is comfortably one of Australia’s most popular native flowers. These delicate mauve, white, and blue flowers are highly adaptable, and provide the perfect ground cover. To give Australian daisies their preferred conditions, plant them in well-drained soil in either full or half sun.
A fairly low-maintenance plant, the bottlebrush gets its name from the distinctive, vibrant red flowers it produces through the Spring and Summer, which look similar to a bottle cleaning brush.
The bottlebrush is a hardy, fast-growing plant that usually thrives in most conditions, even damp ones, so an excellent choice for most gardens.
Chorizema is an evergreen shrub that features spectacular orange, red, and pink flowers in Winter and early Spring. This plant is incredibly versatile, so you can use it as a groundcover, let it sprawl across your garden beds, or support it to grow as a climber.
While chorizema generally doesn’t react well to frequent wet conditions, it does sometimes benefit from a soaking during the Summer.
Pink (Common) Heath
The final Australian flower on our list, and by certainly no means the least, is pink heath. This plant is a generous bloomer, and tends to flower pretty much all-year-round.
The color of common heath varies from deep crimson to pink to white, while its size is usually around 50 centimeters tall and wide. For the best growing results, plant this shrub in well-drained sandy soil with partial shade.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are Some Traditional Flowers Important To Particular States?
Yes, there are some native flowers which are incredibly important to the particular Australian state in which they grow.
For example, the waratah is a treasured symbol of New South Wales, whereas the cooktown orchid, royal bluebell, and sturt’s desert rose, are all seen as important symbols of Queensland, Australian Capital Territory, and the Northern Territory, respectively.
What Flowers Are Native To Sydney?
There are an abundance of flowers that are native plants for Sydney gardens. Some of the most popular include bottlebrush, grevillea, kangaroo paw, blueberry ash, coastal rosemary, fan flower, lemon myrtle, and correa.
Is Protea An Australian Native?
No, Proteas are native to South Africa. However, it’s worth noting that they do belong to the same family of plants (Proteaceae) as some of Australia’s native flowers such as banksias, waratahs, and grevilleas.
The Bottom Line
To conclude, there are a wide range of native Australian flowers that are cherished as part of the country’s culture. So, if you ever come across any of the 18 flowers included in our list above, make sure you take the time to appreciate their full beauty and significance.