Acacia gunnii grows to 1 metre high and wide in dry sclerophyll communities, in various soil types. Widespread in New South Wales (western areas of coastal subdivisions, tablelands and western slopes), as well as South Australia, Victoria, Tasmania, Australian Capital Territory, and Queensland.
Acacia bynoeana is a small shrub growing to 0.5 m high, in heath and dry sclerophyll forest, in sandy soils. It has a limited distribution in NSW, found mainly south from Morisset area to the Illawarra region, west to the Blue Mountains and it is uncommon in the wild, hence it is listed as a threatened species in NSW.
Acacia baueri is a small shrub to 1 m tall, with a decumbent to spreading habit with hairy and warty branches. It grows mainly along the coast, north from the Illawarra Region of NSW, up into Qld.
Epacris pulchella is a slender erect shrub to 1.5 m high but usually shorter, it grows in scrub, heath and dry sclerophyll forest on sandy soils. Its range is on coast and tablelands, north from Conjola and Ettrema Creek into SE Queensland.
Philotheca nodiflora var. lasiocalyx is a small upright shrub about 50 cm tall by 30–50 cm wide which forms a ground cover. It has fine hairy grey foliage which has a strong aroma when crushed, due to the volatile oils. The terminal clusters of delicate lilac-blue 5-petaled flowers ageing to purple appear in late winter to early spring and are about 10–15 mm in diameter.
Grevillea synapheae is a highly ornamental and hardy spreading shrub to 20-40 cm high by 1 to 1.5 m wide and can form a solid groundcover. It has attractive slightly glaucous foliage and bronzy new growth. The leaves are normally divided into 3 to 7 lobes. It flowers profusely with clusters of cream to yellow flowers over a long period from late winter to spring. The shape of the inflorescences resembles a catkin, a type of inflorescence produced in plants like birches, beeches and oaks.
Acacia dorothea has bright to deep yellow very small flowers produced in globular heads, although the heads can be globular to short cylindrical spikes. Flowering is August to October. Restricted range and not known in cultivation.
Epacris microphylla is an attractive and hardy plant to 1 m when grown in well-drained soil. It needs a consistently moist but not over wet soil. Prune after flowering to keep compact and promote flowering and mulch around the base to help retain soil moisture. A good container plant.
Hovea linearis occurs predominantly in NSW on the coast, between Newcastle and Nowra but extends to the tablelands and western slopes; also in south-eastern Queensland. Mainly found in sandstone in dry sclerophyll forests and woodlands.
Boronia ledifolia grows naturally in moist, semi shaded positions with free draining lighter soils. Very showy in sandstone woodlands when in flower. In some seasons, it can be noticed on the sandstone cliffs above the Pacific Highway between Sydney and Gosford. A desirable garden plant in flower from late winter, although Boronia generally are notoriously difficult to grow.
Dampiera purpurea is widespread in open eucalypt woodland in Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland in eastern Australia. A small perennial suckering shrub that reaches 1 to 1.5 metres high and can spread to 2 metres across. It has erect angular woody stems that are sparsely branched and densely hairy. Leaves are 1–6 cm long, 0.5–2.5 cm wide.
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.
Melaleuca blaeriifolia is a small, spreading shrub that reaches a height of one metre with a similar spread. The small leaves are oval, may be spirally arranged around the branches and are bright green. Small flower heads are yellowish-green to green. They may be carried on the ends of branches or on old wood. Flowering extends through spring and summer.
Melaleuca pulchella, Claw Honey-myrtle, is a small shrub with a spread of 1.5 metres. The branches are pendulous and spill onto the ground. Small leaves are light green and oval to oblong in shape. Mauve flowers are carried in clusters with their staminal bundles curling inwards similar in appearance to a claw (hence the common name).
Micromyrtus ciliata is found from south-eastern New South Wales through western Victoria to south-eastern South Australia and grows in a variety of habitats from sandy coastal heaths to rocky slopes. It is a low spreading shrub with long arched and tapered branches. The plant will grow to about 1.2 metres wide and up to one metre high.
Olearia elliptica is known as the Sticky Daisy Bush. This medium shrub has elliptical, alternate, dark green and very sticky leaves. The foliage has an enamelled appearance. Plants have masses of white daisy flowers in terminal clusters during summer and autumn.
Olearia tenuifolia, the Shiny Daisy Bush, is a small shrub reaching a height of about one metre. The dark green leaves are linear and alternate. The flower heads are about four centimetres in diameter. The ray (outside) florets are blue to mauve and the disk (inside) florets yellow. The flowers are profuse, conspicuous and carried for most of the year. Both foliage and flowers are attractive features.
Ozothamnus diosmifolius is a shrub that will reach a height of 2 metres. Flowers appear in winter and spring at the ends of branches in dense globular clusters. Buds may be pink and they open to small white to pink flowers. What the flowers lack in size they make up for in quantity.
Prostanthera aspalathoides is a dwarf, erect shrub that reaches a height of one metre. The small, crowded leaves are deep green and, typical of most mintbushes, very aromatic. Tubular flowers are two centimetres long and come in a range of colours including red, orange, yellow and cream. The upper and lower lobes are equal in length.
Prostanthera cryptandroides is a small shrub reaching a height of 1 metre. Young growth is sticky. Mature leaves are elliptical leaves to ovate, about one centimetre long and very aromatic. Flowers are 1.5 centimetres long, white to lilac with a purple-spotted throat. Flowering is conspicuous and profuse between September and April.
Prostanthera cuneata, Alpine Mint Bush, is a delightful dwarf to medium spreading shrub. The strongly aromatic leaves are roughly oval in shape and taper to the base. They are dark green above and paler beneath. Flowers are 1.5 centimetres long and white with coloured blotches in the throat. They are said to be sweetly fragrant.
Prostanthera granitica is a small, spreading shrub that reaches a height of about 1 metre. Small, aromatic leaves are 15 centimetres long, moderately crowded, mid green and feel like sandpaper to the touch. Flowers are one centimetre across, mid violet to purple and carried in the upper leaf axils.
Prostanthera striatiflora is known as Jockey’s Cap. This common name refers to the shape of the flowers. This attractive Mint Bush develops into a dwarf to medium shrub with the usual aromatic foliage. Large flowers are about two centimetres across, white to cream with orange blotches on the lower lobe and purple strips in the throat. Masses of flowers are produced between August and November.
Spyridium scortechinii is a small, rounded shrub that reaches a maximum height of 80 cm to 1.5 metres with a spread of 60 centimetres. Lanceolate leaves are about 2 centimetres long. Masses of white, woolly flowers are carried in dense terminal heads and cover plants in spring.
Thryptomene baeckeacea is one of the myrtle family and has profuse tiny pink or white or pinky mauve flowers in clusters from May to October, as well as spot flowering during summer and autumn. When purchasing this plant, it is best to do so when it is flower so you know what the flower colour is. It grows to about one metre high (or a bit less) and about 1.2m wide with a slightly weeping habit.
Westringia eremicola is a member of the Lamiaceae family in company with the Prostantheras and culinary mints. There are about 25 species and the genus is native to Australia. There are also many cultivars. This is a small shrub with linear, slightly prickly leaves. The leaves are carried in whorls of three around the stem. Unlike the Prostantheras, Westringias do not have aromatic foliage.
I have been growing Lysiosepalum involucratum for many years, in my garden in the northern Sydney suburb of Westleigh. It is a small rounded shrub that grows to about 60 cms high and one metre wide and produces masses of pink to mauve cup shaped flowers, from late winter to spring. The petals are very small and the sepals provide the colourful parts of the flowers. The rough, narrow leaves are 10 – 25 mm long and grey-green in colour.
Lissanthe strigosa is a member of the Ericaceae family and is known the Peach Heath. Lissanthe strigosa is one of a number of small shrubs that have regenerated on our property Yallaroo east of Armidale, after sheep were removed. Lissanthe strigosa is a small, upright shrub reaching a height of one metre. The species is said to sucker but we have seen no evidence of suckering.
Hibiscus is a widespread genus of the family Malvaceae, consisting of 250 species, growing in regions ranging from tropical to temperate. Of these species, 35 are native to Australia and are largely restricted to the east coast.
Halgania preissiana is a member of the Boraginceae family in company with the exotic Borage and Comfrey. It prefers well-drained sites in full sun or light shade. Our specimens cope with frosts and drought. Remove old branches to keep plant dense and bushy.
Grevillea oldei is a small, open shrub with arching branches and may reach a height of one metre. The leaves are narrowly ovate to almost triangular with a sharp point. Bright red flowers are carried in pendulous, terminal globular clusters.
Grevillea ‘Lemon Daze’ is a small one metre high shrub. Narrow leaves are light green. Large pendulous flower heads are a dazzling yellow and pink. Honeyeaters visit the blooms. The lengthy flowering period extends from autumn to spring.
Grevillea leiophylla is a small shrub with linear-lanceolate leaves up to 30 millimetres long. Pink flowers are held in terminal, spidery clusters and appear in spring and summer. This small species is a native of Queensland and is found north of Brisbane.
Grevillea lanigera ‘Mt Tamboritha’ make an excellent compact ground cover as they grow to about one metre (or less) in diameter to about 20 cms high in situations with full sun to partial shade in fairly well drained soils. Its attractive grey/green foliage is a good colour contrast to its flowers, and is best shown if planted in groups of three.
Grevillea humilis is an erect to spreading shrub that may reach a height of just over one metre. Flowers are carried on the ends of branches and may be white or pink. Peak flowering occurs in spring and summer with sporadic flowering at other times.
Grevillea ‘Fireworks’ is a small shrub. The specimens, in our garden, reach a height of one metre with a similar spread. Foliage is soft and blue-green. Flower heads are carried on the ends of short branches. Blooms are bright red and yellow.