Pseuderanthemum variabile is a creeping perennial plant to 25 cm tall, with dark green opposite leaves up to about 7 cm long by up to 4 cm wide. The small flowers which appear between November and May can be white, lilac, purple or blue, often with spots near the middle. It is a food plant for caterpillars of a number of butterflies.
Zieria prostrata is a member of the Rutaceae family and is a prostrate shrub that will form dense mats at least 50 centimetres in diameter. Leaves are divided into three narrow leaflets. The centre leaflet is longer than the others. The foliage is glossy green, strongly aromatic and dotted with prominent oil dots.
Vittadinia cuneata is a small woody annual or perennial herb reaching a height of about 30 centimetres. The leaves are wedge-shaped or oblong. Small daisy flowers are pale mauve to blue and the seed heads are similar to miniature dandelion heads (see thumbnail). Both flowers and seed heads are prolific. Spring and summer are the main flowering periods with sporadic flowers appearing at other times.
Verticordia plumosa is a member of the Myrtaceae family and there are about 100 species in the genus. With the exception of a few species, found in northern Western Australia and the Northern Territory, the lion’s share of verticordias occur in the south-west of Western Australia. Their common name is Featherflowers.
Veronica perfoliata is a dwarf to small shrub that reaches a height of one metre in our garden. Many stems arise from a woody rootstock. Leaves are ovate, opposite, clasped tightly to the stem and with a leathery texture. The leaves are similar in appearance to the juvenile foliage of some eucalypts. In fact, when not flowering, visitors often ask: “what sort of miniature gum tree is that?”
Veronica arenaria is a member of the Scrophulariaceae family in company with the exotic Snapdragons and Foxgloves. Veronica arenaria is a small, multiple-stemmed shrub. The stems are usually upright. The light green leaves may be entire or with irregular lobes. The flowers are produced in terminal racemes. They vary in colour from pale violet-blue to deep violet-blue and are both profuse and extremely conspicuous.
Scaevola ‘Mauve Mist’ is a member of the Goodeniaceae family and is a cultivar of Scaevola albida. Species in this genus are usually known as Fan Flowers which refers to the flower shape. ‘Mauve Mist’ is a dense, suckering ground cover that forms a mat that may reach a diameter of one metre.
Scaevola ‘Aussie Salute’ is a cultivar of the well known Scaevola aemula. This handsome, upright variety reaches a height of 40 centimetres with a spread of 50 centimetres. The lobed leaves are up to ten centimetres long and light green. During spring and summer plants become covered with large, purple-blue fan-shaped flowers. An ‘Aussie Salute’ in full flower is an eye-catching horticultural spectacle.
Rhodanthe anthemoides, commonly known as Chamomile Sunray, is a compact native daisy with dark green foliage that grows to a maximum height of 30 centimetres. Rose-pink buds appear in winter and they are followed by masses of white flowers that are carried for many months. Light pruning is appreciated as flowers fade.
Pycnosorus globosus, Billy Buttons, a member of the Asteraceae (Daisy) family, is a dense ground cover with a spread of at least 50 centimetres. Soft leaves are grey, long and narrow. Golden globular flower heads are carried above the foliage on long stems. A large number of flowers appear in spring and summer. Mature plants may carry dozens of flower heads. The foliage provides a background to the flowers.
Prostanthera serpyllifolia is known as the Thyme-leaved Mintbush. It is a dwarf, spreading shrub reaching a height of one metre with a similar spread. Small leaves are one centimetre long, ovate, deep green, crowded and glossy. As with most mintbushes the foliage is aromatic and rather attractive.
Prostanthera sejuncta, Spiny Mintbush, is a scrambling; more or less prostrate ground cover that may reach a height of 50 centimetres. Many spreading branches have small, ovate, aromatic leaves that are pale to deep green above and paler beneath.
Prostanthera saxicolais a prostrate to erect shrub that may reach a height of 2 metres. Small leaves are crowded to scattered, up to 15 millimetres long, aromatic and covered with white hairs. The flowers are axillary, white to mauve and appear from July to February. Tip pruning, after flowers fade, is appreciated.
Podolepis jaceoides, the Showy Copper Wire Daisy, is an herbaceous plant with a perennial rootstock. Few or many stems arise from the rootstock annually and reach a height of about 50 centimetres. The number is probably dependent on weather conditions. Young stems are hairy.
Pelargonium australe is found in all Australian states in coastal dunes and further inland in semi-arid areas. There are about 7 Australian members of the genus and Pelargonium australe is the best known and most widespread. Pelargonium and Geranium are often confused – however they do differ from each other by the shape of the flowers, with Pelargoniums having two larger petals while Geraniums have petals all of similar size.
Melichrus urceolatus is a member of the Ericaceae family and is known as the Urn Heath. This dwarf shrub reaches a maximum height of 30 centimetres with a spread of 50 centimetres. Leaves are triangular, pale green, often arched back with a sharp point and parallel veins on the lower surface (a characteristic of the Ericaceae family). Flowers are carried from March to November.
Melaleuca violacea is a native of Western Australia and is a small shrub, reaching a height of less one metre with a spread of 1.5 metres. This species has layered branches that form an interesting flat top. Mauve-purple flowers are carried in lateral or axillary clusters during spring. The clusters are small but what the blooms lack in size they make up for in quantity. During the flowering period the stems are covered in flowers.
Melaleuca incana ‘Velvet Cushion’ is a dwarf form of Melaleuca incana and develops into a compact, rounded shrub 60 centimetres high by 60 centimetres wide. Soft, hairy grey leaves are carried on pendulous branches. Small cream brushes appear in late spring and early summer.
Melaleuca ‘Ulladulla Beacon’ is a low growing form of M. hypericifolia that was selected from a wild population on coastal headlands near Ulladulla, New South Wales. The cultivar was registered in 1985. ‘Ulladulla Beacon’ is a low, spreading mounded ground cover that reaches a height of 50 centimetres with a spread of at least 1.5 metres.
Kunzea ‘Badja Carpet’ is a mounded ground cover with a spread of several metres. The dark green leaves are small and aromatic. New stems are dark red. Small clusters of white flowers are carried on the ends of branches. Early summer is the main flowering period when plants become covered in blooms. Tip pruning will improve foliage density and increase flowering.
Isotoma axillaris is widespread from Victoria through New South Wales and southern Queensland. It grows naturally in damp crevices or shallow soil in rocky areas. It is a great small plant, growing to about 40 cm high and about that wide, with a prolific display of blue star flowers that are about 3 cm in diameter.
Isopogon petiolaris is an eyecatching low mounded ground cover usually less than one metre high by one metre across. Light green leaves are lobed and up to 14 centimetres long. The petiole (or leaf stalk) is nine centimetres long which is two thirds of the leaf length. The species name refers to the lengthy petiole. The yellow flowers are carried in terminal globular clusters, at least two centimetres across and appear in the warmer months.
Hibbertias are commonly known as Guinea Flowers, referring to the resemblance of the flower shape and colour to the ancient Golden Guinea coin. They flower best when they receive almost full sun; however plants still flower well with less sun than that. Hibbertia vestita is a fairly long-lived species, adaptable to most situations as long as the soil has good drainage. It appreciates the extra bit of water during dry times.
Grevillea scortechinii is known as the Black Grevillea and is a spreading almost prostrate shrub with branches extending to at least 1 metre. Prickly, holly-like leaves are up to six centimetres long, dark green with a leathery texture. Unusual toothbrush flowers are black or very dark maroon and up to 50 millimetres long. This flower colour is unusual in Grevilleas in particular and Australian plants in general.
Grevillea rosmarinifolia ‘Lutea’ is a small shrub reaches a height of 40 cm with a spread of 50 cm. The leaves are light green, 2 cm long, linear with a sharp point. Flowers are cream with a waxy texture and held in large, conspicuous clusters. The lengthy flowering period extends from winter to late spring.
Grevillea ‘Forest Rambler’ is said to be a hybrid between Grevillea shiressii and one of the umpteen forms of Grevillea juniperina. It is a spreading shrub with bright green, prickly leaves and unusual translucent pale purple-pink flowers. Spring is the main flowering period although some flowers may appear at other times. The flowers are rich in nectar.
Grevillea crithmifolia has two forms. One is a compact two metre tall shrub. The other is a dense ground cover with a spread of at least two metres. The groundcover form is the one most favoured by gardeners. Light green leaves are divided at the end into three narrow segments. In spring plants are covered with dense clusters of white or pink flowers. Honeyeaters are attracted to the flowers.
Grevillea ‘Bedspread’ is a hybrid whose parents are said to be Grevillea ‘Royal Mantle’ and Grevillea wilkinsonii a rare species from southern NSW. It is a dense ground cover with a spread of at least two metres. Dark green leaves are ten centimetres long by five centimetres wide and have serrated margins.
Grevillea ‘Austraflora Canterbury Gold’ is a hybrid developed by Austraflora Nursery, Victoria. The hybrid arose in a garden in Canterbury Road, Blackburn, Victoria in 1971 (hence the hybrid name) and was registered in the late 1970s. Grevillea ‘Austraflora Canterbury Gold’ is a low growing shrub.
Grevillea ‘Allyn Radiance’ leaves are linear, lanceolate, about 15 millimetres long and crowned with a sharp point. Flowers are dark red and carried in dense clusters. The prominent blooms are carried mainly from July to February with sporadic blooming at other times.
Grevillea acropogon is a prostrate to erect shrub reaching a height of 1.8 metres. The leaves are light green, lobed with a sharp point on the end of each lobe. Flowers are held in terminal racemes and are an eye-catching red. Blooms are rich in nectar and are frequently visited by honeyeaters. Flowering extends through spring.
Eryngium ovinum is known as the Blue Devil and is in the Apiaceae family in company with flannel flowers and the carrot. It is a perennial herb, which dies down during autumn and emerges in late winter to flower in summer. Blooms last for many weeks and are an impressive sight with their bright and unusual blue colour.
Eremophila glabra ‘Kalbarri Carpet’ develops into a dense ground cover spreading over two metres. Foliage is soft and silvery-grey. The tubular flowers are yellow, rich in nectar and form a ring around the stems at the base of each leaf. Blooms are profuse, conspicuous and appear in spring and summer. The leaves and flowers form a stunning living carpet.
Eremophila densifolia is a mounded ground cover reaching a height of 60 centimetres with a spread of 1.5 metres. The narrow leaves are closely spaced (hence the species name) and have serrated margins. Leaf colour is variable and may be bright green or grey with a purplish tinge. Flowers are tubular, 12 millimetres long, purple, violet or blue. They form clusters close to the ends of the branches.
Eremophila debilis, Winter Apple, is a ground cover with a spread of about one metre. Leaves are bright green and tend to curve upwards, with a succulent feel. Five-petalled flowers are white, tinged with lilac and appear in spring and summer. Blooms are followed by small, fleshy fruits that turn purple when ripe and look like miniature apples, hence the common name.
Dampiera stricta is a dwarf, suckering perennial reaching a height of 60 centimetres with a spread of up to one metre. The leaves may be up to 6 centimetres long, two centimetres wide, linear to elliptic in shape and may have a few coarse teeth. The flowers are nearly three centimetres across, sky-blue to deep mauve-blue.