Plant database

Australia has a wide range of ecosystems driven by climate and environmental conditions and plants have adapted. While many Australian plants are very hardy and adaptable, it is still worth considering these factors, as well as the specific microclimate in which they’ll be growing.

In considering what to grow, we have categorised the plants by their form and size:

Trees – generally have a single trunk, are self supporting and are over 6 metres tall

Shrubs – these often have multiple woody stems and are categorised as over 1 m and under 1 m

Ground covers – generally under 1 metre and can be prostrate, dwarf or herbaceous plants

Grasses and clumping plants – are generally herbaceous with the distinctive flowing shape of grasses

Vines and scramblers – adapted to either growing up or out across the ground

Ferns – those plants without flowers, reproducing with spores

Other – this picks up wetland plants and many others that don’t fit into the above categories

Click on a category below to see thumbnail images of all plants in the category, and then click through to more detailed profiles.

Use the search and filtering features in the table below to find plants of interest and then click on a plant’s Image or Title to view plant details.

Please note that the table of plants can be alphabetised by clicking on the heading at the top of each column. 

Also, any plants such as cultivars that use inverted commas e.g. Banksia ‘Giant Candles’, appear after those without any inverted commas, such as Banksia robur

ImageBotanical NameCommon NameCategorySummaryplant_category_hfilter
flowers
Acacia acinaceaGold Dust Wattle

Acacia acinacea is a small to medium shrub that is found in south-eastern South Australia, most of Victoria and southern NSW. Phyllodes are small, elliptic with an offset mucro (pointed end). There is a small gland near the centre of the phyllode margin. The flowers are in globular heads with 8-20 flowers in each head. Blooms are bright golden and carried in pairs at the base of each phyllode.

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Acacia amblygonaAcacia amblygona

Acacia amblygona is a small shrub reaching a maximum height of 1.5 metres. All forms have dark green, rigid, almost triangular, prickly phyllodes and there is a prostrate form registered as ‘Austraflora Winter Gold’.

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Acacia amoenaBoomerang Wattle

Acacia amoena is known as the Boomerang Wattle this name probably refers to the shape of the phyllode but this name could apply to any number of species with similar phyllodes. Acacia amoena is an erect shrub that reaches a height of two metres in our cold climate garden.

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Acacia ashbyi, image ©Warren and Gloria Sheather
Acacia ashbyaeAshby's Wattle

Acacia ashbyae is a very decorative wattle with long, spreading branches. In our garden plants have proved to be hardy once established, fast growing and free flowering. Pruning is appreciated after flowering.

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Shows flowers
Acacia blakei ssp. diphylla Gorge Wattle

Acacia blakei ssp. diphylla  is known as the Gorge Wattle. This common name refers to one of the species’ strongholds in the gorge country, east of Armidale in northern NSW. It grows in northern NSW near Gloucester with populations in south east Queensland

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Acacia boormaniiSnowy River Wattle

Acacia boormanii is a beautiful wattle. In spring plants are covered with blooms. The grey-green foliage provides a contrasting background to the flowers. Prune behind the flowers when they fade to keep plants bushy and blooming bounteously.

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Acacia browniiHeath Wattle

Acacia brownii, the Heath Wattle, is a small shrub reaching a height of one metre. The phyllodes are rigid, 4-angled, about two centimetres long and crowned with a sharp point. The flowers are held in globular clusters with 12-30 flowers in each cluster and bright yellow.

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Acacia buxifolia, image ©Warren and Gloria Sheather
Acacia buxifoliaBox-leaf Wattle

Acacia buxifolia, the Box-leaf Wattle, is a native of Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria. The Box-leaf Wattle is usually a medium shrub reaching a height of two to four metres. There is a form growing on the Northern Tablelands of NSW that develops into a dwarf shrub reaching a height of one metre.

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Acacia caesiellaTablelands Wattle

Acacia caesiella, Tablelands Wattle, is an erect or spreading shrub normally with multiple stems and reaching a height of 3.5 metres. The bark is smooth, grey or brown. Flowers are held in globular clusters with 12-16 individual flowers in each cluster. They are deep yellow and cover plants in spring.

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Acacia calamifolia
Acacia calamifoliaReed-leaf Wattle

Acacia calamifolia, the Reed-leaf Wattle, is a bushy, tall shrub reaching a height of four metres. The flowers are held in globular heads that are profuse, conspicuous and golden yellow in colour. The flowers are held in globular heads that are profuse, conspicuous and golden yellow in colour. Our specimen carries some flowers for most of the year.

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Acacia cardiophyllaWyalong Wattle

Acacia cardiophylla is widely known as the Wyalong Wattle and is said to grow to a height of four metres. The plants in our cold climate garden, reach a height of two metres with a similar spread. The bipinnate foliage is soft and greyish-green. Golden yellow flowers are carried in globular heads with 20-30 blooms in each head. 

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Acacia cheeliiMotherumbah

Acacia cheelii is a small tree with flaky bark inclined to be ribbony. The long phyllodes are up to 16 centimetres long by three centimetres wide, sickle-shaped, bluish-green with three prominent veins. The rod-shaped, golden flower heads are up to six centimetres long and held in clusters of two or three in the phyllode axils. The flowering period extends from September to November.

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Acacia convenyi close up, image Jeff Howes
Acacia covenyiBlue Bush

Acacia covenyi, the Blue Bush, is a tall hardy shrub that grows 3 to 6 metres with blue/green foliage and heads of ball shaped yellow flowers during August to September. In cooler climates, it only grows to about 4 metres.

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Acacia cultriformis, image Warren and Gloria Sheather
Acacia cultriformisKnife-leaf Wattle

Acacia cultriformis, the Knife-leaf Wattle, is a bushy, medium to tall shrub. The triangular-shaped phyllodes (hence the common name) are crowded along the branches. The size of the phyllode varies from 20 to 30 millimetres long by 6 to14 millimetres wide and bluish green in colour.

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Acacia dawsoniiPoverty Wattle, Mitta Wattle

Acacia dawsonii is known as the Poverty or Mitta Wattle, and is a small, erect shrub with long, narrow phyllodes. Golden yellow, globular flower heads cover plants in spring. Each flower head is composed of four to eight individual flowers.

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Acacia dealbataSilver Wattle

Acacia dealbata, Silver Wattle, develops into a medium-sized tree that will reach a height of 30 metres. The flowers are held in globular clusters with 25-35 bright yellow flowers in each cluster. Blooms are carried from late winter to spring.

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Acacia deaneiDeane’s Wattle

Acacia deanei, Deane’s Wattle, is a tall, upright shrub or small tree with light green bipinnate foliage. Plants carry pale yellow, globular flowers throughout the year. Both foliage and flowers are features of this attractive wattle. Deane’s Wattle will bring that spring time feeling to the garden throughout the year.

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Acacia doratoxylon
Acacia doratoxylonSpearwood

Acacia doratoxylon, Currawong or Spearwood, is an upright small tree that may reach a height of eight metres. The bark is hard and fissured. Phyllodes are more or less linear, up to 20 centimetres long and 7 millimetres wide and grey-green. Usually glands are absent but occasionally a small gland is present at the base of the phyllodes.

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Acacia fimbriataFringed Wattle

Acacia fimbriata is known as the Fringed Wattle because of the microscopic hairs along the phyllodes. The Fringed Wattle develops into a bushy shrub and if left unpruned will reach the height of a small tree. We prune our specimens annually to keep them bushy, at tall shrub height and flowering profusely.

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Acacia fimbriataBrisbane Golden Wattle, Fringed Wattle

Acacia fimbriata is naturally found from Sydney to southern Queensland, occurring on the coast and in the adjoining tablelands. It grows in open eucalypt forests on hillsides, preferring well drained, moist sandy loams in a semi-shaded to full sun protected positions. Once established it has a low water requirement

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Acacia graniticaGranite Wattle

Acacia granitica, the Granite Wattle, comes in two forms. One is a low and spreading shrub with a flat top whilst the other is tall with a rounded growth habit. Both forms have long, narrow, leathery phyllodes with many fine parallel veins. Flower heads are small, ovoid in shape, bright yellow and carried at the base of each phyllode.

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Acacia implexaHickory Wattle

Acacia implexa, the Hickory Wattle, is a small to medium sized tree that will reach a height of 12 metres. Bark is rough and greyish. Phyllodes are sickle-shaped and up to 20 centimetres long with a small basal gland.

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Acacia ingramii

Acacia ingramii is a tall, dense shrub or small tree that may reach a height of seven metres. Phyllodes are linear, about 10 centimetres long with a small hook. They are said to carry two glands on the margin. One is near the base and the other about halfway along. Close examination of our specimen revealed a prominent basal gland on all phyllodes but no evidence of a second gland.

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Acacia iteaphyllaFlinders Range Wattle

Acacia iteaphylla, the Flinders Range Wattle, is a native of South Australia and comes in several forms. There is a dwarf form and others that are either medium to tall shrubs with upright growth habit or pendulous branches.

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Acacia ixiophyllaSticky Wattle

Acacia ixiophylla, Sticky Wattle, is a medium, upright shrub. The phyllodes are sticky and about 30 millimetres long by 6 millimetres wide. There is a gland near the base of each phyllode. Bright yellow, globular flowers appear in spring.

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Acacia leptoclada flowers
Acacia leptocladaTingha Golden Wattle

Acacia leptoclada is an attractive, spreading shrub, a native of northern New South Wales. The common name is Tingha Golden Wattle. Tingha is a village near Inverell on the Northern Tablelands of NSW. One of the strongholds of this acacia is the Goonoowigall State Conservation Area. This large, bushland area protects a range of interesting native plants including Acacia leptoclada and is situated near Inverell.

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Acacia ligulata
Acacia ligulataDune Wattle, Sandhill Wattle, Small Cooba, Umbrella Bush

Acacia ligulata is known by several common names including: Dune Wattle, Sandhill Wattle, Small Cooba and Umbrella Bush. It is a rounded, compact shrub that will reach a height of from one to five metres. Our cold climate garden specimen has reached a mature height of 1.5 metres.

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Acacia linifolia
Acacia linifoliaWhite or Flax-leaved Wattle

Acacia linifolia is known as the White or Flax-leaved Wattle and is a tall shrub or small tree. In our cold climate garden plants reach a height of four metres. Branches are pendulous. The phyllodes are crowded, linear, flat and up to 40 millimetres long. There is a small, almost obscure, gland near the centre of the phyllodes.

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Acacia longifolia
Acacia longifoliaSydney Golden Wattle

Acacia longifolia is commonly known as the Sydney Golden Wattle, and is a tall shrub or small tree that may reach a height of seven metres. Bright flowers are carried in spikes with a pair of spikes at the base of each phyllode. In late winter and spring the blooms are both conspicuous and profuse. Straight or curved pods follow the flowers and hold many seeds.

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Acacia montanaMallee Wattle

Acacia montana is known as the Mallee Wattle. This is a medium shrub that reaches a height of two metres in our cold climate garden. The phyllodes are sticky, leathery, up to four centimetres long by one centimetre wide with distinct veins. Flower heads are globular, profuse, conspicuous, bright yellow and appear in spring.

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Acacia myrtifolia flowers
Acacia myrtifoliaMyrtle Wattle

Acacia myrtifolia is a widespread shrub that occurs along the coastal fringe and inland in open forest and woodlands of all States except the Northern Territory It is a dense bushy shrub growing to 1.8m high by the same width with creamy white or pale yellow ball flowers in Winter and Spring. These are followed by 4–7 cm long curved seed pods.

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Acacia oshanesii
Acacia oshanesii

Acacia oshanesii a tall shrub or small tree. In our cold climate garden our specimen, after a number of years, has reached a height of five metres with a similar spread. The flower heads are globular, pale yellow and carried in racemes at the base of the leaves. The flowering period is mainly late winter to spring with sporadic flowering at other times. Our specimen carries blooms in late summer. Both foliage and flowers are attractive features.

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Acacia parramattensisSydney Green Wattle or Parramatta Wattle

Acacia parramattensis is known as the Sydney Green Wattle or Parramatta (western Sydney) Wattle and is a spreading tree that may reach a height of 15 metres. The leaves are bipinnate and dark green. There is a large gland at the base of each pair of pinnae and sometimes a smaller gland between pinnae (see thumbnail). Ball-shaped cream flowers are displayed in summer and winter. Pods are linear and clothed with fine hairs that are pressed close to the surface.

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Acacia pravissima ‘Bushwalk Baby’Ovens Wattle

Acacia pravissima ‘Bushwalk Baby’ is a low growing form of the usually upright Acacia pravissima, the Ovens Wattle. The phyllodes are small, wedge-shaped and grey. They are arranged spirally around the stems. Yellow flowers are held in globular clusters and cover plants in spring. As the flowers fade cut off each branch behind the spent blooms. This will maintain the plant’s bushy growth habit.

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Acacia prominens
Acacia prominensGosford Wattle, Golden Rain Wattle

Acacia prominens is known the Gosford Wattle or Golden Rain Wattle. The Gosford Wattle is a dense, tall shrub or medium tree. Foliage is often retained to ground level. The phyllodes are up to four centimetres long, blue-green with a conspicuous gland on the upper margin (see thumbnail image) about one third from the left.

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Acacia pruinosa flowers
Acacia pruinosaFrosty Wattle

Acacia pruinosa, the Frosty Wattle, is a medium to tall shrub. The leaves are bipinnate with 9-20 pairs of pinnules (leaflets) per compound leaf. The pinnules are grey-blue. Globular flower heads carry from 40-60 deep yellow flowers.

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Acacia pycnanthaGolden Wattle

Acacia pycnantha, Golden Wattle, is Australia’s floral emblem. Golden Wattle develops into a tall shrub reaching a height of eight metres. Golden yellow flowers are held in large clusters that may hold up to 60 individual flowers. They cover plants in spring.

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Acacia rupicola flowers
Acacia rupicolaRock Wattle

Acacia rupicola is known as the Rock Wattle. This is an appropriate common name because the species name means “of rocky areas”. The Rock Wattle is a rigid, upright shrub that reaches a height of two metres and has slightly sticky foliage and stems.

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Acacia siculiformis flowers
Acacia siculiformisDagger Wattle

Acacia siculiformis is known as the Dagger Wattle and is an upright shrub reaching a height of two metres. The common name is apt as the phyllodes are dagger-shaped and come equipped with a sharp point. Individual globular flower heads are held in the axil of each phyllode. Blooms are mid yellow and appear in spring and early summer.

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Acacia spectablis
Acacia spectabilisMudgee Wattle

Acacia spectabilis, Mudgee Wattle is a tall spindly shrub or small tree with arching branches. The bipinnate leaves have pinnules or segments in four to eight pairs. Golden yellow flowers are held in globular clusters. Each cluster contains 20-35 individual flowers. The clusters are held in long racemes. Flowering is prolific from late winter to spring.

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Acacia subulata flowers
Acacia subulataAwl-leaf Wattle

Acacia subulata, the Awl-leaf Wattle, is one of the best of these “out of season” bloomers. The Awl-leaf Wattle is a New South Wales species and grows on the Tablelands and Western Slopes. It grows into a three metre tall, erect shrub. We prune our specimens to keep them to a bushy height of about two metres.

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Acacia triptera flowers
Acacia tripteraSpurwing Wattle

Acacia triptera is known as the Spurwing Wattle and is found in Queensland, NSW and Victoria. This prickly species will grow into a spreading shrub about two metres tall and the same width. Bright yellow flowers are held in rod-shaped clusters. Flowers cover plants in spring and carried for a number of weeks.

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Acacia vestita flowers, image Warren and Gloria Sheather
Acacia vestitaWeeping Boree

Acacia vestita, the Weeping Boree, is a medium to tall spreading shrub reaching a height of 3 metres with a similar spread. The branches are pendulous and the foliage is grey-green. The golden yellow flowers are held in dense globular clusters. Plants light up with blooms from early August to October. The Weeping Boree is found in a few localities on the Western Slopes and Southern Tablelands of NSW.

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Acacia viscidula flowers
Acacia viscidulaSticky Wattle

Acacia viscidula, Sticky Wattle, is an erect shrub reaching a height of three metres. Phyllodes are narrow, linear, and leathery with a small hooked point. No glands are visible on the phyllodes. Flower heads are globular, pale yellow and appear from September to November.

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Acacia Little Nugget close up
Acacia ‘Little Nugget’

Acacia ‘Little Nugget’ is a hardy, small shrub growing to 1.2 metres tall and about the same width, with clusters of ball-shaped yellow flowers during August to September. Acacia ‘Little Nugget’ is frost hardy, prefers full sun to dappled shade and well drained soils.

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Allocasuarina grampianaGrampian’s Sheoak

Allocasuarina grampiana is known as the Grampian’s Sheoak and is a tall shrub or small tree with distinctive blue-grey foliage this is due to a waxy bloom. In common with many Sheoaks this species is dioecious (male and female flowers are carried on separate plants). Male flowers are carried on the ends of branches in long spikes. When mature, pollen is released and carried by the wind. Female flowers are red with numerous styles giving them a sea-urchin appearance.

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shrub
Allocasuarina nanaStunted Sheoak

Allocasuarina nana is an attractive small shrub that could be grown as a foreground plant in a native garden bed. The Dwarf Sheoak could also be used as a low, informal hedge in the larger garden. The species would make an excellent native substitute for the ubiquitous, slow-growing English Box in this situation.

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Alyogyne huegelii
Alyogyne huegeliiNative Hibiscus

Alyogyne huegelii is member of the Malvaceae (Hibiscus) family and is a medium shrub reaching a height of about two metres with a similar spread. The attractive leaves are hairy, with three to five lobes and dull green in colour. The flowers are large, deep purple and hibiscus-shaped.

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Anopterus macleayanus

Anopterus macleayanus is found in sub-tropical areas of south-eastern Queensland and north-eastern NSW. It is a shrub or tree to about 6 to 8 metres with a spreading open crown to about 4 metres. In cultivation, it does not grow as tall as in its natural habitat of higher elevations where it is constantly moist.

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Archirhodomytus beckleriRose Myrtle

Archirhodomytus beckleri belongs to the Myrtaceae family and is the only species of Archirhodomytus growing in Australia. The other four species are from New Caledonia. The common name for this plant is Rose Myrtle and I suspect this name refers to the lovely fragrance of the flowers especially early in the morning before the day warms up.

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Astartea Winter Pink
Astartea ‘Winter Pink’

Astartea ‘Winter Pink’ is a dense shrub that will reach a height of about 50 centimetres with a similar spread. The aromatic leaves are about four millimetres long and carried in whorls around the stems. The flowers are 10 millimetres in diameter, deep pink and carried from April to October. Blooms are both profuse and conspicuous.

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Asterolasia beckersiiDungowan Star Bush

Asterolasia beckersii, or Dungowan Star Bush is a very rare plant from an area near Tamworth, New South Wales and is a member of the Rutaceae family. The Dungowan Star Bush is an erect shrub, reaching a height of two to three metres. The leaves are oblong in shape tapering to the short petiole and have an elliptic lamina. The upper surface is green whilst the lower surface is paler green to fawn. The stems tend to be covered in a rusty brown indumentum.

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Austromyrtus tenuifoliaNarrow leafed myrtle, Narrow-leafed Midgenberry

Austromyrtus tenuifolia naturally grows in wet sclerophyll forests, often beside streams or in damp places in the Sydney Basin.  My plant, is now many years old and is growing in my northern suburbs Sydney’s garden, on a thinnish layer of soil over a clay base in a position that is often quite dry compared to its natural habitat.

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Water plant
Azolla filiculoidesWater Fern

Azolla filiculoides, Water Fern, is a member of the Azollaceae family and is a small, aquatic, free-floating fern. The fronds range in colour from green to deep red in colour. It is common in dams and other still bodies of water where it forms dense carpets.

ferns
Backhousia citriodora
Backhousia citriodoraLemon-scented myrtle

Backhousia citriodora belongs to the Myrtaceae family and is endemic to central and southern Queensland (Mackay to Brisbane). My plant is about four metres high and two metres wide and produces masses of white fluffy flowers, about one centimetre in diameter, near the end of the branchlets, in November to December. This plant is popular in cultivation for its bushy habitat, branches to ground level and strongly lemon scented leaves (that can be used in cooking).

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Banksia robur in Ku ring gai Wildflower garden, image Heather Miles
Banksia roburSwamp Banksia

Banksia robur, Swamp Banksia, is a shrub reaching a height of two metres with multiple stems arising from a lignotuber (swollen root mass). Bark is smooth and the branchlets are covered with tangled, rusty hairs. The leaves are large, with toothed margins, glossy green above and light green beneath.

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Billardiera cymosa
Billardiera cymosaSweet Apple Berry

Billardiera cymosa is known as the Sweet Apple Berry and is a member of the Pittosporaceae family. The Sweet Apple Berry is a slender climber. Leaves are narrow-lanceolate and about seven centimetres long. Young shoots are covered with silky hairs. Tip pruning will increase foliage density.

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Billardiera scandens
Billardiera scandens ‘Apple Dumplings’Common Apple Berry or Apple Dumpling

Billardiera scandens ‘Apple Dumplings’, the Common Apple Berry or Apple Dumpling, is a member of the Pittosporaceae family. Common Apple Berry is a slender climber. Stems may reach three metres in length. Common Apple Berry is a slender climber. Stems may reach three metres in length. Leaves are linear-lanceolate, up to three centimetres long, glossy dark green with wavy margins. Juvenile shoots are very hairy. In open positions plants may develop into a small shrub 1.5 metres tall.

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Blandfordia nobilis, image Alan Fairley
Blandfordia nobilisChristmas bells, gadigalbudyari in Cadigal language

Blandfordia nobilis prefers to be grown in full sun in coastal regions and not colder, drier shady positions. It grows best where the soil is naturally deep and light (sandy) with fairly constant moisture.

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Boronia crenulata
Boronia crenulataAniseed Boronia

Boronia crenulata, sometimes known as the Aniseed Boronia, is a Western Australian native and is found in the southwest corner of that botanically rich state. This small shrub will reach a height of about one metre with a similar spread

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Boronia ledifolia, image Alan Fairley
Boronia ledifoliaShowy Boronia, Sydney Boronia, Ledum Boronia

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.

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Boronia mollis flowers, image Alan Fairley
Boronia mollisSoft boronia

Boronia mollis It is a small showy shrub to about 2.5 metres with bright pink flowers.

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Boronia pinnata
Boronia pinnataBoronia

Boronia pinnata is a shrub reaching a height of 1.5 metres. The leaves are pinnate with 5-11 leaflets. The flowers are carried in clusters held in the upper leaf axils. Each flower is about 1.5 centimetres in diameter, four-petalled and pale to deep pink in colour. A white-flowered form is also in cultivation. Flowers are both conspicuous, profuse and appear in spring. Both foliage and flowers are strongly aromatic. 

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Boronia Carousel
Boronia ‘Carousel’

Boronia ‘Carousel’ has an obscure origin. Possibly it was originally selected from the wild in the Albany district of Western Australia. ‘Carousel’ is a tall shrub reaching two metres in height. The pinnate leaves are aromatic, dark green and up to 35 millimetres long. Flowers are bell shaped, 8mm long, bright pink aging to deep red and are both conspicuous and profuse. Flowering occurs from late September to November.

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Brachyscome multifida
Brachyscome multifidaCut-leaf Daisy

Brachyscome multifida, the Cut-leaf Daisy, is a hardy and colourful perennial. It develops into a dense, ground covering mound reaching a height of 30 centimetres with a diameter approaching a metre. Foliage is light green. In spring and summer plants are covered with mauve-pink flowers. A great groundcover or edging plant in the garden.

ground-covers
Bulbine bulbosa, image Alan Fairley
Bulbine bulbosaBulbine Lily, Wild Onion, Golden Lily, Leek Lily, Yellow Onion Weed and Native Leek

Bulbine bulbosa grows throughout temperate Australia from central Queensland to Tasmania and South Australia as well as all over NSW, usually on heavier soils. It grows in a variety of habitats including dry sclerophyll woodlands and forests as well as grasslands and rock crevices. It can be found in large numbers in cleared and regenerating open grassy areas after rain.

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Bulbine semibarbarta
Bulbine semibarbata

Bulbine semibarbata is a perennial herb. Succulent leaves are up to 27 centimetres long with a channel. From September to December, plants produce multiple flowering stems up to 40 centimetres long. Each flowering stem holds up to 35 yellow blooms, with each flower up to two centimetres in diameter.

ground-covers
Bulbine vagans flowers
Bulbine vagans

Bulbine vagans is a perennial herb reaching a height of 20 to 60 centimetres. The roots are thick; the long, shiny, succulent leaves have a channel down the middle and are up to 30 centimetres long. From spring to mid-summer plants produce many flowering stalks (or scapes), with each scape holding up to 45 bright yellow flowers.

ground-covers
Bursaria spinosa
Bursaria spinosaBlackthorn

Bursaria spinosa is known as the Blackthorn and also the Tasmanian and South Australian Christmas Bush because summer is the main flowering period of this prickly plant. Blackthorn develops into a medium to tall shrub with oval leaves, shiny on top and dull underneath. The branches carry large spines.

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Callistemon brachyandrus
Callistemon brachyandrusMallee Bottlebrush, Prickly Bottlebrush and Prickly Mallee Bottlebrush

Callistemon brachyandrus has a number of common names including: Mallee Bottlebrush, Prickly Bottlebrush and Prickly Mallee Bottlebrush. It is usually a small to medium shrub with small prickly leaves. Young growth is softly hairy.

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Callistemon citrinus 'Endeavour', Image Heather Miles
Callistemon citrinus syn: Melaleuca citrinaCrimson Bottlebrush

Callistemon citrinus syn: Melaleuca citrina produces flowers in late spring, summer and autumn with two flowerings if some moisture is provided. There are many hybrids produced using this plant as a parent. A popular cultivar is Callistemon ‘Endeavour’ which can have bright metallic red/pink inflorescences.

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Callistemon comboynensisCliff Bottlebrush

Callistemon comboynensis is known as the Cliff Bottlebrush and grows into a medium shrub reaching a height of three metres. The leaves are narrow to broad-lanceolate, leathery with numerous oil dots. New growth is pinkish. The flower spikes are red, five to nine centimetres long and between four to eight centimetres wide. The main flowering period is in summer and autumn with sporadic flowering at other times.

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Callistemon flavovirens
Callistemon flavovirensGreen Bottlebrush

Callistemon flavovirens is a spreading shrub that can reach a height of two metres with a similar spread. New growth is soft and has a silvery appearance. Adult leaves are dark green, narrow elliptical, up to eight centimetres long and widely spaced along the branches. The greenish-yellow flower spikes are about eight centimetres long.

ground-covers
Callis formosus
Callistemon formosusCliff Bottlebrush, Kingaroy Bottlebrush

Callistemon formosus is known as the Cliff Bottlebrush or Kingaroy Bottlebrush. The latter common name refers to a town in southern Queensland near where the species occurs. It is a tall shrub that may reach a height of five metres with a spread of three metres and pendulous growth habit. The specimens, in our cold climate garden, are two metres tall four years after planting.

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red flowers
Callistemon phoeniceusLesser Bottlebrush

Callistemon phoeniceus is one of only two Callistemons endemic to Western Australia and is known as the Lesser Bottlebrush. The significance of this name escapes us but perhaps there was a comparison with Callistemon glaucus, the other WA bottlebrush. 

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green flowers
Callistemon pinifoliusPine-leaved Bottlebrush

Callistemon pinifolius, the Pine-leaved Bottlebrush, is an open shrub that reaches a height of 1.5 metres with a similar spread in our cold climate garden. The leaves are narrow, about ten centimetres long with a sharp point. Flower spikes may be bright lime-green or red.

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Callistemon rugulosus
Callistemon rugulosusScarlet Bottlebrush

Callistemon rugulosus is known as the Scarlet Bottlebrush and in the wild will develop into a straggly shrub up to four metres tall. In our cold climate garden annual pruning has kept this species to a compact two metres. The bark is grey and peels. The leaves are thick and rigid, up to 50 millimetres long, seven millimetres wide and crowned with a pungent point.

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Callistemon salignus
Callistemon salignusWillow Bottlebrush

Callistemon salignus is known as the Willow Bottlebrush. The species name means willowy and refers to the growth habit. Callistemon salignus is a tall shrub or small tree. The brushes are creamy-white to yellow, five centimetres long by three centimetres wide and appear in spring. Brushes are usually abundant and conspicuous. Sometimes there are sporadic blooms in autumn. 

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Callistemon serpentinus
Callistemon serpentinusWood’s Reef Bottlebrush

Callistemon serpentinus s known as the Wood’s Reef Bottlebrush and is an upright shrub that may reach a height of four metres. Our specimens are kept to a dense height of two metres by annual pruning. Yellow flower spikes are about six centimetres long and appear in late spring and early summer. Flower spikes are both prominent and conspicuous.

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Callistemon subulatus flower
Callistemon subulatusBottlebrush

Callistemon subulatus grows along the banks of watercourses of coastal and tableland districts, south from Sydney to Victoria. In its natural habitat, they grow from one to sometimes 3 metres high. Callistemons are closely related to Melaleucas, which also have ‘bottlebrush’ shaped flower spikes. Botanists, especially those at the Australian National Botanic Gardens in Canberra are currently closely studying these plants to determine how they are best classified.

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Callistemon Taree Pink
Callistemon ‘Taree Pink’Callistemon, Bottlebrush

Callistemon ‘Taree Pink’ is thought to be a cultivar of C. citrinus. ‘Taree Pink’ is a medium sized shrub that will reach a height of between two to three metres with a similar spread. The flowers are bright pink, ten centimetres long, three centimetres wide and appear in profusion in mid spring. Flowering extends into summer.

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Callistemon 'Anzac'
Callistemon ‘Anzac’

Callistemon ‘Anzac’ is a form of Callistemon citrinus collected from a wild population on Anzac Cove, southern Sydney NSW. The cultivar was registered in 1986. It is a sprawling shrub growing to a height of one metre with a maximum spread of three metres. In our cold climate garden plants seldom exceed one metre across.

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red flowers
Callistemon ‘Candy Pink’

Callistemon ‘Candy Pink’ is a medium to tall shrub that may reach a height of four metres with a spread of three metres. Plants this size tends to be rather straggly with few flowers. ’Candy Pink’ has lance shaped leaves and long, narrow flower spikes. They are pinkish-red fading to pink. There are usually several flowering flushes each year.

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Callistemon 'Firebrand'
Callistemon ‘Firebrand’

Callistemon ‘Firebrand’ is a low spreading, dense ground cover that reaches a height of 50 centimetres with a spread of over one metre. Adult leaves are stiff and shiny with oil dots while new growth is soft and pink. The brushes are a rich crimson-pink and appear in profusion from spring to autumn.

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Callistemon 'Hannah Ray'
Callistemon ‘Hannah Ray’

Callistemon ‘Hannah Ray’ is a tall shrub with pendulous branches. Leaves are narrow-lanceolate and new growth is bright pink. In late spring plants produce large, bright red brushes. Honeyeaters flock to the flowers. Remove flowers as they fade. This keeps plants dense and blooming bounteously.

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Callistemon 'Little John'
Callistemon ‘Little John’

Callistemon ‘Little John’ is an attractive dwarf, rounded shrub that reaches a height of one metre by one metre wide. The narrow leaves are an unusual blue-green and crowed along the stems. Flowering is prolific in spring and in our cold climate garden plants also bloom in autumn and winter. Honeyeaters visit the flowers. Growth habit, foliage and flowers are attractive features.

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Callistemon 'Packers Selection'
Callistemon ‘Packers Selection’

Callistemon Packers Selection’ is a small shrub reaching a height of 1.5 metres with pendulous growth habit. The narrow leaves are four centimetres long by four millimetres wide. The narrow leaves are four centimetres long by four millimetres wide. Brushes are nine centimetres long by three centimetres wide. They are deep red, fading as they age.

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pink flowers
Callistemon ‘Pink Champagne’

Callistemon ‘Pink Champagne’ develops into a dense, upright shrub that will reach a maximum height of three metres with a spread of two metres. The leaves are lance-shaped, grey-green, aromatic and fairly stiff. The distinctive feature of this cultivar is the large soft pink flower heads with yellow anthers. Blooms fade to white as they age.

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Callistemon 'Taree Pink'
Callistemon ‘Taree Pink’

Callistemon ‘Taree Pink’ is thought to be a cultivar of C. citrinus. ‘Taree Pink’ is a medium sized shrub that will reach a height of between two to three metres with a similar spread. The flowers are bright pink, ten centimetres long, three centimetres wide and appear in profusion in mid spring. Flowering extends into summer.

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Callitris foliage
Callitris endlicheriBlack Cypress and C. glaucophylla, White Cypress Pine

Callitris endlicheri is known as the Black Cypress Pine and reaches a maximum height of about 15 metres. The branches are erect sometimes spreading; the bark is tough and deeply furrowed. The foliage is bright green. The female cones may be solitary or several clustered together. They are egg-shaped and contain a number of sticky seeds that are coated in resin. Cones persist on the tree for a number of years.

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Showing seed pods
Callitris pyramidalisSwamp Cypress, Swan River Cypress, King George's Cypress

Callitris pyramidalis, known variously as the Swamp Cypress, Swan River Cypress and King George’s Cypress, is a tall shrub or small tree said to reach a height of eight metres. In our cold climate garden specimens reach about four metres after five years in the ground. They tend to attain a greater height with more watering. The typical Callitris foliage is dark green.

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Shows seedpods
Callitris rhomboideaPort Jackson Pine, Oyster Bay Pine

Callitris rhomboidea s known as the Port Jackson Pine or Oyster Bay Pine. The common name depends on the location of the species. The former name refers to populations in NSW whist the latter common name refers to those in Tasmania. We will stick to Port Jackson Pine because of our location. The Port Jackson Pine is a small tree that may reach a height of 15 metres. Mature trees have an attractive pyramid shape. 

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Calostemma purpureum, image Kevin Stokes
Calostemma purpureumGarland Lily

Calostemma purpureum seems to be one of those plants that gain popularity and then, for some unknown reason just stop being around, at least in the local area of Newcastle. When first starting a native garden, I recall seeing this attractive plant in other members’ gardens and also available to buy in specialist nurseries. I am pleased that I have “rediscovered” this lily and had the pleasure of many flowering heads during late summer. Commonly called Garland Lily, it belongs to the family Amaryllidaceae and is the only wholly endemic genus of that family in Australia.

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Calothamnus rupestris flower
Calothamnus rupestrisCliff Net Bush, Mouse Ears

Calothamnus rupestris is known as the Cliff Net Bush or Mouse Ears. Net Bush is the common name applied to most Calothamnus. Calothamnus rupestris is a medium, erect shrub that has reached a height of two metres with a similar spread in our cold climate garden.

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Calotis cuneifolia flowers
Calotis cuneifoliaBurr Daisy

Calotis cuneifolia is a member of the Asteraceae (Daisy) family. The genus is usually known as Burr Daisies. It is a dwarf, rounded perennial, with white or lilac daisy flower heads and small wedge-shaped leaves (cuneate, hence the species name).

ground-covers
Calytrix flower
Calytrix tetragona (pink form)Fringe Myrtle

Calytrix tetragona  is the most widespread member of the genus Calytrix which has about 75 species, all endemic to Australia. This species is found in woodland and forest in eastern and southern Australia.

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Cassinia quinquefariaCough-bush, Dead-finish, Rosemary shrub

Cassinia quinquefaria is a member of Asteraceae (Daisy) family and grows into a shrub that reaches a height of two metres with a similar spread. Cough-bush, Dead-finish and Rosemary shrub are some common names.

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Chorizema cordatum plant, image Jeff Howes
Chorizema cordatumHeart-leaf Flame Pea

Chorizema cordatum, the Heart-leaf Flame Pea, is a native of south-western Western Australia and develops into spreading shrub reaching a height of one metre. It is relatively hardy when grown in humid areas on the east coast of Australia. Leaves are heart-shaped up to six centimetres long with a leathery texture. Sprays of orange-red, pea-shaped flowers cover plants in spring.

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Chrysocephalum apiculatum
Chrysocephalum apiculatumCommon Everlasting, Yellow Buttons

Chrysocephalum apiculatum, the Common Everlasting, is a perennial herb which is found throughout Australia in a wide range of environments. Because it has such a wide distribution there is considerable variation in height, growth habit and leaf colour. The profuse yellow flowers make it a popular groundcover.

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Finger limes on tree, image Ralph Cartwright
Citrus australasicaFinger lime

Citrus australasica, finger lime, seems to me to be pretty easy to grow. Mine is now about 5 years old, and has been flowering and bearing fruit for the last three years. I would guess that it is a grafted specimen, although it doesn’t say that on the label. 

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Clematis glycinoides
Clematis glycinoides

Clematis glycinoides is a member of the Ranunculaceae family and is a medium to large climber. Clematis are dioecious, the male and female flowers are carried on different plants. Flowers are three centimetres across, white or greenish and starry. They cover plants in spring.

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Clematis microphylla
Clematis microphylla

Clematis microphylla is a member of the Ranunculaceae family and is a vigorous climber. Clematis are dioecious, the male and female flowers are carried on different plants. The flowers are up to four centimetres across, greenish-cream and cover the climber from August to November

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Commersonia salviifolia
Commersonia salviifolia

Commersonia salviifolia is a member of the Malvaceae family. It is a medium, spreading shrub. Leaves are up to 12 centimetres long, two centimetres wide, mid green above with a dense covering of white hairs beneath. Juvenile growth is white-hairy beneath.

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Conostylis aculeata flowers
Conostylis aculeataPrickly conostylis

The Conostylis genus is endemic to Western Australia and is found mostly in the south west corner of that state where they generally grow in well drained sandy soil. There are some 45 species and are all perennial, tufted herbs and are closely related to the Kangaroo Paws. It is a very adaptable plant and a great ground cover.

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Coronidium elatum
Coronidium elatumWhite Everlasting Daisy

Coronidium elatum is a perennial that may reach a height of two metres. Both stems and leaves are covered with white hairs, giving plants a woolly appearance. Leaves are lanceolate and up to ten centimetres long. Papery white flower-heads up to four centimetres across appear in spring.

ground-covers
Correa alba flower
Correa albaCorrea

Correa alba is a rounded, dense shrub that may reach a height of three metres. In our cold climate garden specimens reach a height of about two metres. Leaves are almost circular, greyish-green with a rounded end. The flowers are not typical tubular Correa flowers. Correa alba has blooms that are more flattened and star-shaped. They are usually white with some forms having blooms with a pink tinge. The main flowering period covers autumn and winter with sporadic flowering at other times.

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Correa baeuerlenii
Correa baeuerleniiChef’s Cap Correa

Correa baeuerlenii, the Chef’s Cap Correa, is a dense, rounded shrub reaching a height of two metres. We lightly prune our specimens and keep them to a dense 1.5 metres. Leaves are narrowly ovate, up to seven centimetres long, glossy, with prominent glands on each surface and slightly aromatic when crushed. Tubular flowers are greenish yellow, about three centimetres long, solitary and pendulous.

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Correa glabra greenish flower
Correa glabraRock Correa

Correa glabra is a tall shrub, endemic to Australia (NSW, Queensland, Victoria, South Australia) with attractive, quite vibrant elliptic leaves, 1 to 4 cm long and 5 to 17 mm wide. They will grow in a variety of soil types as long as the soil is well drained. They are very ‘prune-able’ and shoot from old wood.

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Correa lawrenciana var rosea
Correa lawrenceana var. rosea

Correa lawrenceana var. rosea is a tall shrub that will reach a height of 3-4 metres. Dark green, narrow leaves are up to 60 millimetres long, shiny with a leathery texture above and hairy beneath. Tubular flowers are red, narrow and up to 20 millimetres long. Blooms appear in autumn and winter and help to light up our cold climate garden in these cooler months.

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Correa reflexa
Correa reflexa

Correa reflexa is a species that occurs in every state except Western Australia. Growth habit, foliage shape and flower colour all differ dramatically across the range of this species. Perhaps in the future these differences will provide fertile ground for a botanist to split Correa reflexa into many new species.

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Correa 'Autumn Blaze'
Correa ‘Autumn Blaze’

Correa ‘Autumn Blaze’ is a form of Correa pulchella selected in the wild from a population on Kangaroo Island, South Australia. It is small and compact, growing to a height of about 30 centimetres with a spread of 1.5 metres. Leaves are glossy, mid-green above and paler beneath. The orange flowers are the outstanding feature of this cultivar.

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Correa 'Cardinal Bells'
Correa ‘Cardinal Bells’Correa

Correa ‘Cardinal Bells’ is a compact shrub reaching a height of one metre. The foliage is bright green. The eye-catching, large, tubular flowers are orange/red and appear in large numbers in the cooler months. As with all the Correas the flowers, of this cultivar, are rich in nectar consequently the blooms are a magnet for honeyeaters.

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Correa 'Coliban River'
Correa ‘Coliban River’

Correa ‘Coliban River’ is a dense shrub that, in our garden, reaches a maximum height of two metres. Narrow leaves are three centimetres long, glossy on top and paler below. Tubular flowers are two centimetres long, yellowish green with flared tips. The main flowering period extends from autumn through winter with sporadic flowering at other times. In autumn and winter our plants are covered in blooms for months.

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Corymbia maculataSpotted Gum

Corymbia maculata, the Spotted Gum, is a medium to tall tree usually with a solitary trunk.The bark is smooth, cream to dark grey or bluish and has a spotted or blotched appearance. Leaves are lance-like, dark green and rather shiny on both surfaces with prominent venation. The flowers are white, fragrant and carried in clusters of three to five. Prolific flowering occurs between May and September. 

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Crassula helmsii
Crassula helmsiiSwamp Stonecrop

Crassula helmsii, the Swamp Stonecrop, is an aquatic or bog plant. Plants may creep or float depending on the depth of water. Stems will reach a length of 30 centimetres. Small leaves are succulent, linear, and green or reddish in colour. Small white flowers are carried in the upper leaf axils. Flowering is prolific in spring.

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Crinum pedunculatum
Crinum pedunculatusSwamp Lily, River Lily

Crinum pedunculatus is a member of the Amaryllidaceae family in company with the exotic Narcissus and Nerine. The accepted common names are Swamp or River Lily. Crinum pedunculatus grows in colonies along tidal areas and streams. The species is evergreen, hardy and resists frost.

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Crowea 'Festival' close up
Crowea ‘Festival’

Crowea ‘Festival’ is a hybrid between Crowea exalata and Crowea saligna and was a chance seedling in the garden of past Australian Plant Society members, Arthur and Irene Cooper. I have been growing Crowea ‘Festival’ for many years in my garden in the northern Sydney suburb of Westleigh.

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Crowea 'Poorinda Ecstasy'
Crowea ‘Poorinda Ecstasy’

Crowea ‘Poorinda Ecstasy’ is a hybrid whose parents are thought to be Crowea saligna and a form of Crowea exalata. The former parent may have been a form of C. saligna from the Central Coast of New South Wales. The latter parent comes from northern Victoria.

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Cyathea cooperi, image Heather Miles
Cyathea cooperiLacy tree fern, Australian tree fern

Cyathea cooperi is a great, beautiful looking ornamental background or feature plant which grows best in high humidity and high soil moisture conditions. Use good quality mulches and top them up regularly as this will keep the soil moist and also provide nutrients to the shallow root system. Grow in a shady position with some protection from hot western sun for it to look its best. Responds well to small amounts of organic fertiliser.

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Dampiera purpurea, image Alan Fairley
Dampiera purpureaMountain or Purple Dampier

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.

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Dampiera stricta
Dampiera stricta

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.

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Darwinia citriodora flower
Darwinia citriodoraLemon-scented Myrtle

Darwinia citriodora, the Lemon-scented Myrtle, is a native of Western Australia and grows to about 1.5 metres tall with a similar spread, forming a compact, rounded shrub. The attractive leaves are rich green, 6 mm to 12 mm long, colouring during winter with traces of purple-red.

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Daviesia latifolia
Daviesia latifoliaHop Bitter-pea

Daviesia latifolia, the Hop Bitter-pea, is a medium, upright shrub that may reach a height of three metres. The large, leathery leaves are up to ten centimetres long, three centimetres wide with a network of veins and slightly twisted. 

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Dianella caerulea
Dianella caerulea ‘John 316’ King Alfred

Dianella caerulea is an attractive upright plant with flax-like leaves to 60 cms high. Flowers are blue with yellow anthers and are borne on spikes to one metre high and are followed by globular bright blue-purple fruit. It grows from coast to the mountains along Eastern Australia. This species has many named varieties and this article is about ‘John 316’ King Alfred. Other varieties are ‘Cassa Blue’ and ‘Little Jess’ to name a few.

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Dichopogon fimbriatus, image Alan Fairley
Dichopogon fimbriatusNodding Chocolate Lily

Dichopogon fimbriatus, the Nodding Chocolate Lily, is an erect herb reaching a height of 1 metre with fibrous roots terminating in a tuber. The linear leaves are up to 35 centimetres long and grass-like in appearance. In spring and summer each plant carries a flower spike carrying about 12 large, blue, six-petalled flowers.

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Dipodium punctatum, image Alan Fairley
Dipodium punctatumHyacinth Orchid

Dipodium punctatum, the Hyacinth Orchid is a leafless, terrestrial orchid. Usually one or two spikes carry up to 50 deep purplish-red hyacinth-like flowers. The photo shows an exceptional flowering with eight spikes growing close together. Summer is the peak flowering season.

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Dodonaea boroniifolia
Dodonaea boroniifoliaHop Bush

Dodonaea boroniifolia has both interesting foliage and colourful capsules. Reaching a height of 2-3 metres this species has pinnate leaves. The leaflets are dark green, sticky with lobed apex. Flowering extends from May to December. The 4-winged capsules that appear after flowering are an eye-catching purplish-red. The dark green foliage contrasts with the capsules.

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Dodonaea viscosa ssp angustifolia, image Alan Fairley
Dodonaea viscosaSticky Hop Bush

Dodonaea viscosa, the Sticky Hop Bush, is a tall multi-stemmed shrub reaching a height of four metres. The leaves are linear, sticky with a margin that may be entire, slightly wavy and slightly toothed. It was used by Aboriginal people to treat toothache, cuts and stingray stings. Dodonaeas were also used by early settlers to make beer (hence the common name).

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Drosera hookeri
Drosera hookeriSundew

Drosera hookeri, in common with all Sundews, is a carnivorous plant that traps insects on specialised hairs carried on the margins and upper surface of the leaves. The hairs are known as tentacles. The soluble parts of the prey are absorbed by enzymes released by the tentacles.

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Pink flowers
Elaeocarpus reticulatusBlueberry Ash

Elaeocarpus reticulatus should be growing in everyone’s garden! This is a popular, fast growing plant that has been in cultivation for well of 70 years. The common name is Blueberry Ash, because it produces many small bright blue berries about one centimetre in diameter after flowering.

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Epacris longiflora, image Heather Miles
Epacris longifloraFuchsia Heath, Native Fuchsia, Scarlet Epacris or Cigarette Flower

Epacris longiflora is an erect to spreading shrub, to 2 m high; stems with prominent short broad leaf scars; leaves ovate to about 2 cm long, and 7 mm wide, with a sharp narrowing point; mid to dark green in colour. Flowers extending down branches, produced within the leaves.

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Epacris microphylla, image Alan Fairley
Epacris microphyllaCoral heath

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.

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Eremophila bignoniiflora
Eremophila bignoniiflora

Eremophila bignoniiflora is a spreading, weeping shrub that may reach a height of five metres by almost the same width. The branches are smooth and sticky. Leaves are light green, long and strap-like. The flowers are large, tubular and usually cream with purple spots in the throat.

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Eremophila calorhabdos
Eremophila calorhabdosRed Rod

Eremophila calorhabdos, Red Rod is a two metre high shrub with upright growth habit. Before opening buds are orange-yellow then change to carmine when the flowers open. They are carried at the base of the leaves and appear from winter to summer. Honeyeaters visit the blooms. This is a beautiful emu bush with its columns of flowers. The visual impact of native cottage gardens and rockeries would benefit from the inclusion of a couple of Red Rods.

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Eremophila debilis
Eremophila debilisWinter Apple

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.

ground-covers
Eremophila decipiens
Eremophila decipiens'Slender Emu Bush'

Eremophila decipiens, Slender Emu Bush, is a small shrub that reaches a height of one metre. Flowers are typically tubular with four upper lobes and one lower. Blooms are bright red, profuse and appear from April to November.

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Eremophila densifolia
Eremophila densifolia

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.

ground-covers
Eremophila denticulata
Eremophila denticulataFitzgerald Emu Bush or Toothed Eremophila

Eremophila denticulata is known as the Fitzgerald Emu Bush or Toothed Eremophila. The former name refers to the Fitzgerald River National Park, Western Australia, where this rare species occurs. Eremophila denticulata will grow into a shrub from 1 to 3 metres tall.

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Eremophila glabra Kalbarri Carpet, image Heather Miles
Eremophila glabra ‘Kalbarri Carpet’

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.

ground-covers
Eremophila laanii
Eremophila laanii

Eremophila laanii is a medium to tall shrub that may reach a height of four metres. Leaves have a succulent feel and are narrow, flat with a pointed tip. Flowers are white, cream or pink and two centimetres long. They are conspicuous and extremely profuse during the flowering period which extends from August to January.

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Eremophila microtheca
Eremophila microtheca

Eremophila microtheca is a small, compact shrub reaching a height of 1.5 metres with a similar spread. Leaves are fine, narrow, hairy when young and becoming hairless with age. Foliage gives off an odour, when crushed, which may be objectionable to some gardeners.

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Eremophila polyclada
Eremophila polycladaFlowering Lignum

Eremophila polyclada, the Flowering Lignum, grows in inland areas of all mainland Australian states except Western Australia. This species is a tangled, spreading shrub that reaches a height of three metres in our cold climate garden

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Eremophila ‘Beryl's Blue’
Eremophila ‘Beryl’s Blue’

Eremophila ‘Beryl’s Blue’ is an outstanding shrub. The foliage shines like a beacon in the garden and the flowers add to the effect. Occasional tip pruning will improve foliage density. Both foliage and flowers are attractive features.

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Eremophila 'Summertime Blue'
Eremophila ‘Summertime Blue’

Eremophila ‘Summertime Blue’ is a naturally occurring hybrid whose parents are Eremophila divaricata and Eremophila polyclada. The hybrid originated in northwest Victoria on the floodplains of the Murray River.

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Eremophila 'Thundercloud'
Eremophila ‘Thundercloud’

Eremophila ‘Thundercloud’ is one of the many cultivars of Eremophila maculata. “Thundercloud” has been available, from nurseries, since about 2010. Eremophila ‘Thundercloud’ is a small to medium shrub that in our cold climate garden reaches a height of 1.5 metres.

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Eriostemon australasius (white), image Alan Fairley
Eriostemon australasiusPink Wax-flower

Eriostemon australasius grows in heathland and dry eucalyptus woodlands from Lake Conjola on the New South Wales south coast, northwards, mainly along the coast, to Fraser Island in Queensland. It is a very desirable plant for the garden but results in cultivation are mixed.

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Eryngium ovinum
Eryngium ovinumBlue Devil

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.

ground-covers
showing flowers
Eucalyptus albensWhite Box

Eucalyptus albens, the White Box, will develop into a medium to tall tree. The trunk is short and straight. The crown is rounded to spreading. Bark is persistent, light grey to whitish with bleached patches. Branches are smooth and white. Leaves are oval to lance-like and are grey to bluish-green on both surfaces. The buds are carried in clusters of three to seven and are spindle-shaped.

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Showing flowers
Eucalyptus apiculataNarrow-leaved Mallee Ash

Eucalyptus apiculata, the Narrow-leaved Mallee Ash, is a small tree that will reach a height of six metres. In the wild, probably due to bushfires, plants may develop a multi-stemmed (mallee) growth habit. Cultivated specimens usually make do with a single trunk. Bark is smooth, white or grey-green and shed in strips.

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Seed capsules
Eucalyptus badjensisBig Badja Gum

Eucalyptus badjensis, Big Badja Gum, will reach a height of at least 20 metres. The solitary trunk has persistent rough bark on the lower level. Upper parts are smooth, white, green or grey. Leaves are 20 centimetres long, 1.5 centimetres wide, lance-like and leathery.

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Eucalyptus baeuerlenii, Warren and Gloria Sheather
Eucalyptus baeuerleniiBaeuerlen’s Gum

Eucalyptus baeuerlenii, Baeuerlen’s Gum, is a small to medium tree. In the wild plants usually have multiple trunks (mallee growth habit) due to the influence of bushfires. In cultivation plants usually restrict themselves to a single trunk.

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Flowers
Eucalyptus bolivianaBolivia Hill Stringybark

Eucalyptus boliviana is known as the Bolivia Hill Stringybark and develops into either a single-trunked tree reaching a height of about 12 metres or a five metre, multi-stemmed mallee. This mallee growth habit is probably triggered by bushfires and occurs in the wild. Cultivated plants will usually have a single trunk as does the specimen in our cold climate garden.

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Eucalyptus caesia
Eucalyptus caesiaGungurru

Eucalyptus caesia is commonly known as Gungurru. This Western Australian native is a small tree that may reach a height of nine metres if a single trunk develops. If the tree develops a mallee growth habit with multiple trunks then the height may be restricted to six metres. Our tree has a single trunk and is close to nine metres tall.

trees
Leaves
Eucalyptus crenulataBuxton Gum

Eucalyptus crenulata, Buxton Gum or Silver Gum, is a medium-sized tree that will reach a height of 12 metres. Leaves are small, toothed, greenish-grey and used in cut flower arrangements. The foliage provides a contrast with other foliage in the garden. Leaf-eating insects such as scarabs seem to leave the foliage of the Buxton Gum alone.

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Seed capsules
Eucalyptus curtisiiPlunkett Mallee

Eucalyptus curtisii, Plunkett Mallee, is a small tree that reaches a height of six metres. The bark is smooth, leaden grey to greenish-white and is shed in thin strips. Club-shaped buds are carried in large clusters. White, showy flowers appear in spring and early summer. Fruits are bell-shaped.

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Flowers and seed pods
Eucalyptus gilliiSilver Mallee

Eucalyptus gillii has various common names including Silver Mallee and Curly Mallee.  Eucalyptus gillii is a small tree reaching a height of eight metres. Bark is smooth over most of the trunk with persistent flaky bark at the base. Leaves are lanceolate to broadly egg or heart shaped. They may be green, grey-green or blue-grey.

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Eucalyptus gregsoniana, image Warren and Gloria Sheather
Eucalyptus gregsonianaWolgan Snow Gum

Eucalyptus gregsoniana, Wolgan Snow Gum is a tall shrub or small tree reaching a height of six metres. In the wild plants often develop mallee growth habit with multiple trunks. Cultivated specimens usually confine themselves to a single trunk. The bark is smooth, white or grey and shed in ribbons.

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Eucalyptus kruseana, image Heather Miles
Eucalyptus kruseanaBookleaf Mallee

Eucalyptus kruseana would be one of the best eucalypts for cultivation in suburban gardens. Unpruned plants may become straggly. This is prevented, once plants are established, by cutting back each stem almost to ground level. This will encourage multi-stemmed (mallee) growth.

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crimson flowers
Eucalyptus lansdowneanaCrimson Mallee

Eucalyptus lansdowneana, Crimson Mallee is a small tree that will reach a height of six metres. In the wild plants usually have multiple stems (mallee growth habit) but in cultivation plants usually restrict themselves to a single trunk.

trees
flowers
Eucalyptus macrandraLong-flowered marlock

Eucalyptus macrandra, Long-flowered Marlock, is a mallee from 4 to 10 metres tall. Plants often produce multiple trunks that grow from a large lignotuber (swollen root mass). In our garden specimens confine their growth to one trunk. The bark is smooth, light brown and is shed in long strips then ages to grey.

trees
flowers
Eucalyptus magnificataBlue Box

Eucalyptus magnificata is known as the Blue Box and is a tree that will reach a height of 15 metres. The bark is pale grey, fibrous and flaky. The leaves are oval and five to ten centimetres long by four to six centimetres wide. They are bluish-green in colour.

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Shows flowers
Eucalyptus michaelianaHillgrove Gum

Eucalyptus michaeliana is known as the Hillgrove Gum. The common name refers to the village of Hillgrove, east of Armidale on the Northern Tablelands of NSW. A large population, of Eucalyptus michaeliana, occurs near the village.

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flowers
Eucalyptus olseniiWoila Gum

Eucalyptus olsenii is known as the Woila Gum and grows into a tree reaching 12 metres in height. The bark is rough on the lower part of the trunk whilst the rest of the trunk and branches are smooth, white, cream or grey. Leaves may be lance-like or curved, up to 12 centimetres long, two centimetres wide and glossy green. Buds are carried in clusters of seven and have distinctive ribs or ridges.

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flowers
Eucalyptus pravaOrange Gum

Eucalyptus prava , the Orange Gum, develops into a small to medium tree with a trunk that is often rather twisted. The bark is smooth and comes in a range of colours. Patchy grey, grey-brown, orange and red-brown are all colours in the palette of Orange Gum bark colours. In spring the bark is shed in large plates or flakes. This is when the orange colour is most vivid (hence the common name). As the year progresses this colour fades.

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flowers
Eucalyptus preissianaBell-fruited mallee

In my northern Sydney’s suburbs garden, I planted Eucalyptus preissiana ten years ago, after bringing it back from Western Australia (with a quarantine clearance). It has ‘mallee’ habit, that is, multi-trunks arising from a lignotuber and has only grown to 1.5 metres high by the same width. In the wild, it grows to 2 to 3 metres in height by a similar width.

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Eucalyptus pulverulenta flowers, image Alan Fairley
Eucalyptus pulverulentaSilver-leaved Mountain Gum

Eucalyptus pulverulenta is known as the Silver-leaved Mountain Gum and develops into a tall shrub or small tree. In cultivation the species is usually seen as a tall, spreading shrub. The Silver-leaved Mountain Gum is an unusual Eucalypt (especially for eastern Australia) because it retains juvenile foliage into maturity. Plants rarely produce adult leaves.

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Glycine tabacina
Glycine tabacinaGlycine Pea

Glycine tabacina, the Glycine Pea, is a creeping trailer or climber with slender stems. The leaves are trifoliate (a compound leaf with three leaflets). The terminal leaflet is the longest. The pea-shaped flowers are about six millimetres long, blue, violet or purple and carried in axillary clusters. Flowering occurs from mid-spring to early autumn.

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Goodenia decurrens, image Warren and Gloria Sheather
Goodenia decurrens

Goodenia decurrens is a small erect shrub with multiple stems. The leaves are five to ten centimetres long, lanceolate with toothed margins. The profuse bright yellow flowers are about two centimetres across and are carried in dense clusters during the warmer months with sporadic flowering at other times.

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Goodenia ovata, image Warren and Gloria Sheather
Goodenia ovata

Goodenia ovata is a member of the Goodeniaceae family and is known as the Hop Goodenia. There are 170 Goodenia species with only three occurring outside Australia. Plants may be an upright or spreading shrub that will reach a height of two metres.

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Graptophyllum excelsum flowers
Graptophyllum excelsumScarlet Fuchsia, Native Fuchsia

Graptophyllum excelsum is found along the eastern coast and ranges of Queensland.  The natural habitat of Graptophyllum excelsum is north of Cairns to south of Gladstone but this versatile and hardy plant apparently can grow in Melbourne (or so some gardening books suggest) and is resistant to light frosts.

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Grevillea acanthifolia
Grevillea acanthifolia

Grevillea acanthifolia is a spreading shrub that may reach a height of three metres with a spread of four metres. Judicious pruning will keep plants to a more manageable height and width. Divided leaves are bright green, stiff, prickly and up to 12 centimetres long. Grevillea acanthifolia carries pink, toothbrush-type flowers for most of the year.

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Grevillea acerata
Grevillea acerata

Grevillea acerata is a short shrub that is usually about one metre tall. Young growth is light green and mature leaves are linear, green above and whitish below. Each leaf is crowned with a prickly point. Clusters of flowers are carried on the ends of branches. Blooms are hairy and an unusual pale grey-pink and white colour. Flowering is profuse between June and December.

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Grevillea acropogon
Grevillea acropogon

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.

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Grevillea anethifolia
Grevillea anethifoliaSpiny Cream Spider Flower

Grevillea anethifolia is known as the Spiny Cream Spider Flower and is a medium, spreading shrub. Our specimens reach a height of two metres with a similar spread. The flowers are creamy-white, conspicuous, profuse and sweetly perfumed.

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Grevillea arenaria, image Warren and Gloria Sheather
Grevillea arenaria ssp. arenaria

Grevillea arenaria ssp. arenaria is a medium to tall shrub that reaches a height between three to four metres in our cold climate garden. The leaves are light green, soft and have a velvety feel. The flowers may be pink, red or orange with a green or yellow base.

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Grevillea arenaria subsp canescens
Grevillea arenaria ssp. canescens

Grevillea arenaria ssp. canescens is restricted to a height of one metre or less. Leaves are up to four centimetres long, one centimetre wide with the characteristic velvety undersurface. Flowers are yellow to red with a green perianth.

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Grevillea beadleana
Grevillea beadleana

Grevillea beadleana is a beautiful, dense, spreading shrub with soft, divided, grey-green leaves. The toothbrush-shaped flowers are dark red, almost black in colour. Blooms are carried for most of the year and are rich in nectar.

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Grevillea chrysophaea
Grevillea chrysophaeaGolden Grevillea

Grevillea chrysophaea, the Golden Grevillea, is an open shrub reaching a height of 1.5 metres with a similar spread. Flowers are carried in clusters on short branches. The flower colour varies from bright yellow to brownish yellow. The bright yellow flowering forms are spectacular.

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Grevillea crithmifolia
Grevillea crithmifolia

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.

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Grevillea diversifolia
Grevillea diversifolia

Grevillea diversifolia is a native of the south-west corner of Western Australia. The species is said to reach a height of five metres. Our specimens, after ten years, are about 1.5 metres tall by the same width. Our specimens, after ten years, are about 1.5 metres tall by the same width. The leaves are up to 40 millimetres long and broad near the apex. A few leaves are lobed. This feature has probably given rise to the species name.

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Grevillea evansiana, image Warren and Gloria Sheather
Grevillea evansiana

Grevillea evansiana is an attractive small shrub with unusual flowers and could be cultivated in a native garden bed or large rockery. Grevillea evansiana is surviving and thriving in our cold climate garden.

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Grevillea floribunda
Grevillea floribundaRusty Spider Flower

Grevillea floribunda, Rusty Spider Flower, is a dwarf to medium shrub with oval to long shaped leaves. Young growth is rusty-hairy. Adult leaves are deep green above and greyish hairy beneath. The unusual flowers are rusty-green, tightly clustered in groups of seven or so.

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Grevillea granulifera
Grevillea granulifera

Grevillea granulifera comes in two forms. One is a rounded shrub about two metres tall. The other is a tall, upright shrub reaching a height of four metres. Flowers are pinkish red or pinkish purple with red styles. Honeyeaters often attend the blooms.

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Grevillea humilis
Grevillea humilis

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.

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Grevillea iaspicula
Grevillea iaspiculaWee Jasper Grevillea

Grevillea iaspicula, The Wee Jasper Grevillea, is a medium shrub with light green leaves and large clusters of cream and pink flowers that characterise this hardy Grevillea. In cultivation plants usually carry flowers for many months. Honeyeaters flock to the blooms. Pruning will keep plants compact and flowering profusely.

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Grevillea jephcottii
Grevillea jephcottiiGreen Grevillea, Jephcott’s Grevillea, Pine Mountain Grevillea

Grevillea jephcottii is variously known as Green Grevillea, Jephcott’s Grevillea and Pine Mountain Grevillea. This rare native is found in small areas mostly in the Burrowa-Pine Mountains National Park in north-eastern Victoria. This rare native is found in small areas mostly in the Burrowa-Pine Mountains National Park in north-eastern Victoria.

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Grevillea lanigera 'Mt Tamboritha' flowers
Grevillea lanigera ‘Mt Tamboritha’Spider Flower

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. 

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Grevillea leiophylla
Grevillea leiophylla

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.

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Grevillea oldei, image Warren and Gloria Sheather
Grevillea oldei

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.

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Grevillea pinaster, image Jeff Howes
Grevillea pinaster

Grevillea pinaster is usually a dense, upright shrub that in our cold climate garden reaches height of one and a half metres. We also have a lower, spreading form that is less than one metre high. The flowers are carried in terminal clusters and are pink or red.

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Grevillea rosmarinifolia 'Lutea'
Grevillea rosmarinifolia ‘Lutea’

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.

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Grevillea scortechinii
Grevillea scortechiniiBlack Grevillea

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.

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Grevillea shiressii
Grevillea shiressii

Grevillea shiressii is a very rare species from the Central Coast of NSW where it grows along the banks of a tributary of the Hawkesbury River. This attractive shrub reached a height two metres tall with a similar width, in five years, in our cold climate garden. The leaves are up to 16 centimetres long with wavy margins.

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Grevillea speciosa
Grevillea speciosa

Grevillea speciosa is a small to medium shrub that may reach height of two metres. In our cold climate garden specimens reach a height of about one metre after three years in the ground. Flowers are pink to bright red, held in clusters up to seven centimetres long and carried on the end of branches.

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Grevillea teretifolia
Grevillea teretifolia

Grevillea teretifolia is an erect, medium shrub with light green, segmented leaves. Each segment is crowned with a sharp point. Flowers are carried in pendulous, one-sided clusters, white, sometimes pink and appear in profusion during spring.

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Grevillea triternata
Grevillea triternata

Grevillea triternata is an often straggly shrub reaching a height of 1.5 metres. The straggly growth habit may be slightly modified by tip pruning. Light green leaves are divided into threes either two or three times. Leaf segments are crowned with a sharp point.

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Grevillea vestita
Grevillea vestita

Grevillea vestita is a bushy shrub that reaches a height of two metres in our garden. The species will reach greater heights in more temperate regions. Leaves are up to six centimetres in length with three to six lobes. Each lobe is crowned with a pungent point. Leaves are hairy. The flowers are white or pale pink, scented and held in axillary racemes. In our garden Grevillea vestita has proved to be hardy, free flowering, frost tolerant and once established has very low water requirements.

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Grevillea wilkinson
Grevillea wilkinsonii

Grevillea wilkinsonii is a bushy shrub that may reach a height of two metres. The leaves are up to 17 centimetres long, 3 centimetres wide, dark green above and silvery-white below with toothed margins. The toothbrush-shaped flower-heads are an unusual purplish-pink.

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Grevillea willisii
Grevillea willisii

Grevillea willisii is a spreading shrub reaching a height of three metres with a similar spread and is a native of northern Victoria. Large creamy-white toothbrush flowers are an outstanding feature. Spring is the main flowering period when plants become covered with the nectar-rich blooms.

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Grevillea 'Apricot Charm'
Grevillea ‘Apricot Charm’

Grevillea ‘Apricot Charm’ is a spreading shrub reaching a height of 1.5 metres with a spread of about 2 metres. The leaves are about three centimetres long, dark green and glossy. The large flowers are held in pendulous clusters, apricot coloured and make their presence felt in winter and spring

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Grevillea 'Apricot Glow'
Grevillea ‘Apricot Glow’

Grevillea ‘Apricot Glow’ is said to be a cultivar of G. olivacea, a native of Western Australia. Grevillea ‘Apricot Glow’ is a tall shrub that will reach a height of three metres. Leaves are deep green, oval and similar in appearance to those of the exotic olive.

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Grevillea 'Bonfire'
Grevillea ‘Bonfire’

Grevillea ‘Bonfire’ is said to be an upright shrub reaching a height of two metres. We know of a group of “Bonfires”, in a garden, that are about five metres tall. The leaves are dark green and narrowly divided. New growth has a bronze colour.

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Grevillea 'Bonnie Prince Charlie'
Grevillea ‘Bonnie Prince Charlie’

Grevillea ‘Bonnie Prince Charlie’ is a dwarf, bushy shrub that reaches a height of one metre. This is one many hybrid natives developed by Bywong nursery. Oblong leaves are about four centimetres long, dark green above and paler below. Profuse and conspicuous flowers are red and yellow. They appear for lengthy periods.

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Grevillea 'Lemon Daze'
Grevillea ‘Lemon Daze’

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.

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Grevillea x semperflorens
Grevillea x semperflorens

Grevillea x semperflorens is an upright shrub that, in our garden, reaches a height of two metres. The narrow leaves may be linear or divided into segments crowned with a sharp point. Orange-red flowers are held in pendulous racemes.

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Grevillea 'Allyn Radiance'
Grevillea ‘Allyn Radiance’

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.

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Grevillea 'Amethyst'
Grevillea ‘Amethyst’

In our cold climate garden when in flower Grevillea ‘Amethyst’ is one of our most eye-catching plants. The mauve flowers literally cover the plant. Grevillea ‘Amethyst’ could be cultivated in a rockery or native cottage garden. This hardy hybrid could also be grown as the border to garden beds as a colourful substitute for the ubiquitous exotic box.

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Grevillea 'Austraflora Canterbury Gold'
Grevillea ‘Austraflora Canterbury Gold’

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.

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Grevillea Austraflora 'Jubilee'
Grevillea ‘Austraflora Jubilee’

Grevillea ‘Austraflora Jubilee’ is a hybrid whose parents are said to be Grevillea rosmarinifolia and G. alpina. The flowers are an eye-catching red-brown and yellow and carried in clusters. They appear in winter and spring with sporadic flowering at other times.

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Grevillea 'Bedspread'
Grevillea ‘Bedspread’

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.

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Grevillea 'Bush Lemons'
Grevillea ‘Bush Lemons’

Grevillea ‘Bush Lemons’ is a spectacular hybrid that was developed by Changers Green Nursery, Gin Gin Queensland. We cannot find a record of its parents but this does not detract from this long-flowering Grevillea.

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Grevillea 'Coastal Glow'
Grevillea ‘Coastal Glow’

Grevillea ‘Coastal Glow’ is a medium, spreading shrub that has reached a height of two metres in our cold climate garden. Young growth often has a reddish colour. The oblong leaves are 20 centimetres long and two centimetres wide. Some leaves have lobes. The beautiful flowers are toothbrush-shaped, on the ends of branches, seven centimetres long and reddish-purple.

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Grevillea 'Evelyns Coronet'
Grevillea ‘Evelyn’s Coronet’

Grevillea ‘Evelyn’s Coronet’ is a rounded shrub that reaches a height of two metres in our cold climate garden.The narrow-oblong leaves are about 20 mm long with turned-down margins. The crown-like flower heads are carried upright on the ends of branches. They are woolly, greyish-pink with bright pink styles.

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Grevillea 'Firesprite' flower
Grevillea ‘Firesprite’

Many years ago (well about ten), in my northern Sydney suburban garden, I planted my first Grevillea ‘Firesprite’. This is a hybrid between Grevillea longistyla (female) and Grevillea venusta (male). My plant has now grown into a large shrub about 4m high x 3m wide with a mid-dense habit.

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Grevillea 'Fireworks', image Jeff Howes
Grevillea ‘Fireworks’

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.

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Grevillea 'Forest Rambler'
Grevillea ‘Forest Rambler’

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.

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Grevillea 'Golden Lyre' flowers
Grevillea ‘Golden Lyre’

Grevillea ‘Golden Lyre’ is a hybrid and in warmer areas, north of Sydney (it will not tolerate a situation that is cold and receives winter frosts), it can grow to approximately 2 to 3 metres high by up to 4 to 6 metres wide if given full sun and some summer moisture.

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Grevillea 'Lady O', image Jeff Howes
Grevillea ‘Lady O’

Grevillea ‘Lady O’ is a member of the Proteaceae family and is a hybrid whose parents are a Grevillea victoriae hybrid and Grevillea rhyolitica. Red flowers are carried in terminal clusters that are about five centimetres long. Our plants carry blooms for many months.

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Grevillea 'Orange Marmalade'
Grevillea ‘Orange Marmalade’

Grevillea ‘Orange Marmalade’ is a hybrid which is an open shrub that has reached a height of two metres in a sheltered position in our garden. Large flowers are carried in terminal racemes and are an unusual orange colour with red styles and resemble the colour of orange marmalade hence the name. Flowers are carried for many months and are attractive to honeyeaters particularly Eastern Spinebills.

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Grevillea 'Pink Surprise'
Grevillea ‘Pink Surprise’

Grevillea ‘Pink Surprise’ is a tall shrub that has reached a height of four metres with spread exceeding two metres in our garden. The large, eye-catching flower spikes are about 15 centimetres long, 5 centimetres wide, pink with long cream styles and attractive to honeyeaters.

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Grevillea 'Poorinda Diadem'
Grevillea ‘Poorinda Diadem’

Grevillea ‘Poorinda Diadem’ is an erect shrub that reaches a height of two metres with a similar width in our cold climate garden. Large flowers are carried in the leaf axils. They are buff to apricot with long yellow styles. Flowers are conspicuous and profuse.

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Grevillea 'Splendour'
Grevillea ‘Splendour’

Grevillea ‘Splendour’ is a hardy, colourful hybrid which reaches a height of two metres with a spread of one metre. Large clusters of bright red flowers are carried for most of the year. Honeyeaters are fond of the blooms. Both foliage and flowers are attractive features.

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Grevillea 'Winpara Gem'
Grevillea ‘Winpara Gem’

Grevillea ‘Winpara Gem’’s flowers appear from autumn to spring. Buds are pink, open to deep red and age to orange. The blooms are held in large racemes and appear on older wood. Honeyeaters are partial to the nectar-filled flowers.

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Hakea actites
Hakea actitesWallum Hakea

Hakea actites, Wallum Hakea, is a small to tall shrub with a lignotuber. The flowers are in axillary clusters composed of 1-6 white flowers. Blooms appear from May to September when they are both conspicuous and profuse.

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Hakea bakeriana, image Alan Fairley
Hakea bakeriana

Hakea bakeriana is a rounded shrub that reaches a height of two metres with a similar spread. Light green, needle-like leaves are about seven centimetres long. The tips are pointed but the foliage is soft and only slightly prickly.

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Hakea eriantha
Hakea eriantha

Hakea eriantha develops into a medium to tall shrub reaching a height of three to four metres in our New England garden. The usual form has lance-like leaves up to 12 centimetres long by 2.5 centimetres wide. East of Armidale, on the Waterfall Way there is a population with very narrow leaves that are only 5 millimetres wide.

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Hakea gibbosa
Hakea gibbosa

Hakea gibbosa is an erect, three metre tall shrub with a conifer-like growth habit. New growth is soft and hairy. Adult leaves are narrow, up to eight centimetres long and rather prickly. Flowers are creamy-yellow and grow in small clusters at the base of leaves.

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Hakea laurina
Hakea laurinaPincushion Hakea

Hakea laurina, the Pincushion Hakea, is a tall shrub that may reach a height of six metres. Plants in our cold climate garden have reached a height of three metres in about eight years. Dense, globular flower heads appear in late autumn and early winter.

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Hakea macreana
Hakea macraeanaWillow Needlewood

Hakea macraeana, the Willow Needlewood, is a rounded plant that will develop into a tall shrub or small tree reaching a height of four metres. Growth habit is graceful and willowy. Leaves are bright green, terete (circular cross-section) and tipped with a sharp point. Flowers are white, carried in racemes and cover the branches during the flowering period that extends from August to October.

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Hakea macrorrhyncha
Hakea macrorrhyncha

Hakea macrorrhyncha is a tall, upright shrub reaching a height of four metres. Dark green circular leaves are grooved, crowned with a sharp point and up to nine centimetres long. Copious white flowers cover branches in spring. They are followed by large woody fruits with a prominent beak, covered with rounded blisters and about three centimetres long. The fruits are a prominent feature and large numbers clusters along the branches.

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Hakea microcarpa
Hakea microcarpaSmall-fruited Hakea

Hakea microcarpa, Small-fruited Hakea, is an upright shrub that will reach a height of 1.5 metres. Clusters of white flowers are carried at the base of the leaves and appear in late spring and early summer.

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Hakea multilineata
Hakea multilineataGrass Leaf Hakea

Hakea multilineata is one of many handsome and colourful hakeas from Western Australia. Hakea multilineata is known as the Grass-leaf Hakea and is a medium to tall, upright shrub that has reached a height of five metres in our cold climate garden.

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Hakea nodosa
Hakea nodosaYellow Hakea

Hakea nodosa, Yellow Hakea, is a shrub reaching a height of two metres. Leaves are up to five centimetres long, light green, usually needle-like but sometimes flattened. Yellow flowers are carried in clusters in the leaf axils. They clothe the branches from May to August.

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Hakea orthorrhyncha
Hakea orthorrhynchaBird-beak Hakea

Hakea orthorrhyncha is known as the Bird-beak Hakea and has grown into a two metre tall shrub in our cold climate garden. Leaves are up to 18 centimetres long and needle-like. The bright red to orange-red flowers are borne in clusters on the old wood in autumn and winter.

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Hakea petiolaris
Hakea petiolarisSea Urchin Hakea

Hakea petiolaris is known as the Sea Urchin Hakea and develops into a tall shrub or small tree. The creamy-purplish flowers are held in large globular clusters, carried in the leaf axils and on old wood. Honeyeaters are attracted to the nectar rich blooms.

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Hakea platysperma
Hakea platyspermaCricket Ball Hakea

Hakea platysperma, the Cricket Ball Hakea, is a single stemmed spreading shrub reaching a height of 2-3 metres.  The leaves are thick, circular in cross section (terete), up to 12 centimetres long, rigid and sharply pointed. Blooms are cream or slightly reddish, said to be sweetly perfumed and with long, yellowish styles.

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Hakea purpurea
Hakea purpurea

Hakea purpurea is a rigid, upright shrub that may reach a height of 3 metres. Flowering extends from winter to spring. Red blooms are carried in clusters in the leaf axils. The majority of leaves are either forked or divided into three segments. A few leaves may be entire. All leaves have pointed tips and are up to ten centimetres long.

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Hakea pycnoneura
Hakea pycnoneura

Hakea pycnoneura is a rounded shrub that reaches a height of two metres by the same width. The globular flower clusters are carried in leaf axils. Purplish buds open with purplish-pink perianths and long cream styles. Blooms are very fragrant.

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Hakea sericea, image Warren and Gloria Sheather
Hakea sericeaNeedlebush

Hakea sericea, Silky Hakea or Needlebush is a tall shrub reaching a height of seven metres. Juvenile growth is light green with silky hairs hence the former common name. There is nothing silky about the adult foliage. Leaves are stiff, linear, narrow, dark green and crowned with an extremely sharp point (hence the latter common name).

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Halgania preissiana
Halgania preissiana

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. 

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Hardenbergia violaceae. image Heather Miles
Hardenbergia violaceaPurple Coral Pea, Happy Wanderer

Hardenbergia violacea, Purple Coral Pea or Native Sarsaparilla, is a well known climber with twining stems. The leaves are glossy green, with prominent veins and up to ten centimetres long. The flowers are pea-shaped, up to one centimetre across, purple, and violet and rarely pink or white. They are carried in large clusters from late winter to early spring. Blooms are both profuse and conspicuous.

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Hibbertia aspera
Hibbertia asperaRough Guinea Flower,

Hibbertia aspera, the Rough Guinea Flower, is usually a bushy, dwarf to medium shrub that may spread by suckers. The stems are wiry and roughened. Leaves are up to 25 millimetres long, 10 millimetres wide, elliptical, light to deep green with a rough surface (hence the common name). Yellow flowers are one centimetre across and solitary on slender stalks.

ground-covers vines-and-scramblers
Hibbertia scandens, image Jeff Howes
Hibbertia scandensClimbing Guinea Flower,

Hibbertia scandens, The Climbing Guinea Flower, as the common name indicates is a vigorous climber with stems that may reach five metres in length. Large flowers are about seven centimetres across, bright yellow and solitary. Sporadic flowering occurs throughout the year. Hibbertia scandens is an eye-catching species with its large flowers.

ground-covers vines-and-scramblers
Hibbertia vestita
Hibbertia vestitaHairy guinea flower

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.

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Hibiscus Gold Haze flower
Hibiscus divaricatus ‘Golden Haze’

Hibiscus divaricatus ‘Golden Haze’ is a selected bright yellow flowering form of Hibiscus divaricatus. It has large, showy, bright yellow flowers to about 8 to 10 cm in diameter with a red stripe surrounding the petal spot. With Hibiscus plants, the flowers only last for a day or so, however in its natural setting from the top of NSW to the eastern side of Cape York it has a long, nearly continuous flowering period.

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Hibiscus geranioides
Hibiscus geranioidesGeranium Leaf Hibiscus

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.

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Hovea lanceolata, image Alan Fairley
Hovea lanceolata

Hovea lanceolata is a member of the Fabaceae family and develops into an upright, small to medium shrub. Leaves are up eight centimetres long, oblong to elliptical, deep green above and greyish-brown with rusty hairs beneath. The pea shaped flowers are bluish purple and borne in axillary racemes. During late winter to early spring the flowers are both conspicuous and profuse.

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Hovea linearis, image Alan Fairley
Hovea linearisCommon Hovea

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.

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Hymenosporum flavum tree, image Heather Miles
Hymenosporum flavumNative Frangipani

Hymenosporum flavum is a member of the Pittosporaceae family and is the only member of the genus. The common name is Native Frangipani and refers to the sweetly scented flowers reminiscent of the exotic frangipani. This is the only characteristic that they have in common.

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Hypocalymma angustifolium closeup
Hypocalymma angustifoliumWhite Myrtle

Hypocalymma is a small genus of about 29 species, all of which occur naturally only in south Western Australia. Hypocalymma angustifolium is the best known members of the genus and has been widely cultivated over a long time. It is an erect shrub with narrow leaves about 25 mm long. The flowers are white or pink. See attached photos of both these forms.

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Indigofera australis flower
Indigofera australisAustral Indigo

Indigofera australis is a plant referred to by many online sites and gardening books as “underutilised”. It definitely should be grown more often as Indigofera australis has very attractive flowers and beautiful coloured foliage. It is an open erect spreading shrub, widespread in southern Australia from the south-east of Western Australia to north-east Queensland.

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Isolepis cernua
Isolepis cernuaFairy Lights

Isolepis cernua, Fairy Lights or Nodding Club-rush, is a member of the Cyperaceae family. Fairy Lights are low-growing, rush-like perennials with a clumping growth habit. Arching, grass-like leaves are light green up to 30 centimetres long. Each stem is crowned by a silvery spikelet (basically a small flower head).

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Isopogen anemonifolius flower
Isopogon anemonifoliusBroad-leaved drumsticks

Isopogon anemonifolius is a widespread shrub that occurs in Queensland and along the Coast and Tablelands of New South Wales. In grows naturally in woodlands, open forests and heathland on sandstone soils. Isopogons are related to banksias and grevilleas. This Isopogon was one of my first plants that I planted in my garden in Sydney’s northern suburbs many, many years ago. 

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Isopogon formosus
Isopogon formosusRose Cone-flower

Isopogon formosus is a small, erect or spreading shrub that may reach a height of 1.5 metres and is known as the Rose Cone-flower. The young growth is silky and sometimes reddish. Adult leaves are green to reddish-green, very divided and each segment has a sharp point.

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Isopogon petiolaris
Isopogon petiolaris

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.

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Isotoma axillaris plant
Isotoma axillarisRock Isotome, Showy Isotome, Blue Stars

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.

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Jacksonia scoparia, image Alan Fairley
Jacksonia scopariaDogwood

Jacksonia scoparia, Dogwood, is a tall shrub reaching a height of 3-4 metres. The trunk is dark grey and furrowed. Branches are pendulous and the leaves are usually reduced to scales although young plants and regrowth after plant damage will produce true leaves. In spring and early summer plants produce masses of yellow pea flowers that are sweetly scented and attract butterflies.

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Kennedia rubicunda
Kennedia rubicundaDusky Coral Pea

Kennedia rubicunda, Dusky Coral Pea, is a vigorous climber or creeper. The long stems are either spreading or twining. Leaves are glossy green and divided into three leaflets. The large flowers are pea shaped, up to four centimetres long by two centimetres wide, deep red and held in axillary clusters.

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Kunzea ambigua
Kunzea ambiguaWhite Kunzea

Kunzea ambigua is known as the White Kunzea and is usually an erect or spreading shrub that, in our cold climate garden reaches a height of three metres. Small aromatic leaves are tightly clustered along the branches. White fluffy flowers cover plants in late spring and early summer.

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Kunzea bracteolata
Kunzea bracteolata

Kunzea bracteolata is a small shrub that reaches a height of one metre in our garden. The spreading branches reach a length of two metres. Leaves are small, elliptical and bright green. Fluffy flowers cover the branches in mid to late spring. In warmer climates flowering would probably occur earlier.

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Kunzea 'Badja Carpet'
Kunzea ‘Badja Carpet’

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.

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Kunzea sp Middle Brother
Kunzea sp. ‘Middle Brother’

Kunzea sp. ‘Middle Brother’ is a tall shrub or small tree that may reach a height of eight metres. This would make this Kunzea the tallest species in the world. Branches are pendulous. The small leaves are linear and tightly clustered. White, fluffy flowers are crowded along the stems. In summer plants become covered with blooms. Growth habit, foliage and flowers are attractive features.

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Lambertia formosa flower
Lambertia formosaMountain Devil

Lambertia formosa is a widespread plant of the Sydney Region.  I planted this plant about 25 years ago in my garden in the northern Sydney suburb of Westleigh. It is now approximately 1.6 metres high with multiple branches coming from the base. It is still growing well even though it now receives only dappled morning light and some full late afternoon sun. As well, the soil is much drier very different to the full sun conditions it enjoyed in its early years.

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Leionema elatius
Leionema elatiusTall Phebalium

Leionema elatius is a small to medium shrub. Leaves are small, about two centimetres long and strongly aromatic when crushed. This is a characteristic of the genus. The upper surface is smooth, glossy and the midrib is prominent on the undersurface.

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Leionema lamprophyllum, image Alan Fairley
Leionema lamprophyllum syn. Phebalium lamprophyllumShiny Phebalium

Leionema lamprophyllum syn. Phebalium lamprophyllum is a large shrub that grows on heathland on exposed ridges at higher altitudes in New South Wales, ACT and Victoria. It prefers well drained, slightly acid soils with some protection from full sun, but not heavy shade. Grows without additional watering except in dry conditions.

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Lemna minor
Lemna minorDuckweed

Lemna minor, Duckweed, is a floating aquatic that forms dense, bright green mats. Plants have one, two or three leaves with a root hanging in the water. Leaves are oval and up to eight millimetres long. They have small air spaces to aid buoyancy. Reproduction is mainly by division.

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Leptospermum brevipes
Leptospermum brevipesSlender Tea-tree

Leptospermum brevipes, the Slender Tea-tree, is a medium to tall shrub that may reach a height of 7 metres. Leaves are small and new, soft growth is pendulous. Flowers are less than 1 centimetre across and white. Buds sometimes have a pinkish tinge. What flowers lack in size they make up for in quantity. During spring the crowns of plants are covered in blooms. Capsules are less than 4 millimetres across and shed their seeds when mature.

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Leptospermum laevigatum
Leptospermum laevigatumCoast Tea Tree

Leptospermum laevigatum, known as the Coast Tea Tree, is a medium to tall shrub or small tree reaching a height of eight metres. The trunk is often gnarled, the bark flaky and shed in strips. Leaves are lanceolate, grey-green to green with a sharp point. The flowers are two centimetres across, white, conspicuous and appear from August to October.

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Leptospermum 'Aphrodite'
Leptospermum ‘Aphrodite’

Leptospermum ‘Aphrodite’ is a medium to tall shrub that reaches a height of at least two metres in our cold climate garden and develops into a dense shrub. Foliage is lush green. In spring the branches become covered with bright pink flowers. A wide range of native insects are attracted to the flowers. Light pruning after flowering is appreciated.

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Leptospermum  'Mesmer Eyes'
Leptospermum ‘Mesmer Eyes’

Leptospermum ‘Mesmer Eyes’ was developed in a breeding programme, by Bywong Nursery, from crosses between a form of Leptospermum scoparium, Leptospermum macrocarpum and Leptospermum deuense, a rare New South Wales Tea-tree. Leptospermum ‘Mesmer Eyes’ is a shrub that will reach a height of 1.5 metres with a spread of one metre.

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Leptospermum 'Rudolph'
Leptospermum ‘Rudolph’

Leptospermum ‘Rudolph’ is a hybrid developed by Bywong Nursery in southern NSW. Its parents are L. spectabile and a burgundy leafed form of L. morrisonii. Leptospermum ‘Rudolph’ is a medium, upright shrub with purplish foliage and large bright red flowers. Both parents have provided this hybrid with flower and foliage colour.

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Libertia paniculata
Libertia paniculataBranching grass-flag

Libertia paniculata is widespread in rainforest and wet open forest on coast and adjacent ranges from south-east Queensland to eastern Victoria. The other Australian species is Libertia pulchella. They are both perennial herbs with grass-like leaves arising from an underground rhizome.

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Liparophyllum exalatum
Liparophyllum exaltatumErect Marsh Flower

Liparophyllum exaltatum is a member of the Menyanthaceae family and is commonly known as Erect Marsh Flower. It is a perennial aquatic herb with an underground stem and fleshy roots. The dark green, thickish leaves are kidney-shaped, round or heart-shaped. They are held on 75 centimetre long stalks.

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Lissanthe strigosa
Lissanthe strigosaPeach Heath

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.

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Lomandra leucophylla, image John Knight
Lomandra leucocephalaWoolly Mat-rush, Irongrass

Lomandra leucocephala occurs naturally on inland drier slopes of the Great Dividing Range of Queensland and northern NSW. This slow growing Lomandra has 25mm balls of fluffy white flowers which exude a lovely caramel fragrance. The leaves are usually very narrow (1 to 2mm wide) with white leaf sheaths.

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Lomandra multiflora
Lomandra multiflora ssp. multiflora

Lomandra multiflora ssp. multiflora is found in Northern Territory, Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia and also in Papua New Guinea. I have been growing Lomandra multiflora in my garden in the northern Sydney suburb of Westleigh for many years. My plant is growing in a thin layer of topsoil over a clay sub soil and receive little additional watering once they were established

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Lomandra 'Tanika' plants
Lomandra ‘Tanika’Spiny-head Mat-rush or Basket Grass

I have been growing Lomandra ‘Tanika’ in my garden in the northern Sydney suburb of Westleigh for many years. It is an improved compact fine leaf form of the popular and widely grown Lomandra longifolia and you can classify the plant as a ‘strappy leaf’ plant. My plants are growing in a thin layer of topsoil over a clay sub soil and receive little additional watering once they were established.

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Lomatia fraseriTree Lomatia, Forest Lomatia, Silky Lomatia

Lomatia fraseri is a member of the Proteaceae family and is known as Tree Lomatia, Forest Lomatia or Silky Lomatia. The species is a shrub or small tree reaching a maximum height of eight metres. The species is characterised by a variety of leaf shapes.

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Lomatia salaifolia flower
Lomatia silaifoliaCrinkle bush, Parsley Fern and Wild Parsley

Lomatia silaifolia is found across much of eastern Australia east of the Great Dividing Range as far south as Jervis Bay. It grows as an understory shrub in open forest on sandstone soils. My Lomatia silaifolia plant is now many years old and is growing on a thinnish layer of soil over a clay base. My garden in Sydney’s northern suburbs receives morning and early afternoon sun and my plant is flowering for the first time for many years, due to this year’s ample soil moisture.

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Lysiosepalum involucratum
Lysiosepalum involucratum

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.

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Lythrium salicaria
Lythrum salicariaPurple Loosestrife

Lythrum salicaria known commonly as Purple Loosestrife, is an interesting species native not only to Australia but widespread in Europe, Asia and North America. In Australia the species occurs in all eastern states including Tasmania. This perennial herb reaches a height of 1.5 metres and usually has a number of erect stems. Leaves are up to seven centimetres long and may be opposite or in whorls of three. Flowers are held in long, terminal spikes and are pink-purple or bluish. Flowering extends from November to May. The blooms are an eye-catching feature.

other
Marsilea mutica, image Alan Fairley
Marsilea muticaBanded Nardoo

Marsilea mutica, Banded Nardoo, is a member of the Marsileaceae family. There are about 65 species worldwide with 6 endemic to Australia. They are aquatic ferns that grow in wet soils and still to slow moving water. This plant has a long, creeping rootstock. The fronds resemble aquatic four-leaf clovers. Each leaflet is up to five centimetres long, wedge-shaped, bright green with a brownish band about halfway along the frond.

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Mazus pumilio
Mazus pumilioSwamp Mazus

Mazus pumilio, Swamp Mazus, is a member of the Mazacaeae family. The genus was previously included in the Scrophlurariaceae family. Swamp Mazus is a low, perennial plant with leafy rosettes that are connected by rhizomes. The leaves are spoon-shaped and up to five centimetres long. Leaf margins may be toothed or entire, often with a wavy surface.

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Melaleuca alternifolia
Melaleuca alternifoliaSnow-in-Summer

Melaleuca alternifolia is a tall shrub that reaches a height of seven metres. Bark is papery and peels away in strips. Foliage is light green and aromatic. Valuable Tea Tree oil is extracted from the leaves. White flowers are carried in many flowered spikes and are profuse and conspicuous.

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Melaleuca armillaris, image Alan Fairley
Melaleuca armillarisBracelet Honey-myrtle

Melaleuca armillaris, Bracelet Honey-myrtle, grows into a tall spreading shrub or small tree. The leaves are light green and narrow. In spring and summer plants become covered with white bottlebrush-like flowers which attract a range of insects.

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Melaleuca blaeriifolia
Melaleuca blaeriifolia

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.

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Melaleuca bracteata flowers
Melaleuca bracteataBlack Tea Tree

Melaleuca bracteata, Black Tea Tree grows into a small tree. The leaves are dark green, oval and scattered along the branches. Each leaf is equipped with a sharp point. Flowers are white and carried in clusters on or near the ends of the branches. The flowering season extends from August to November.

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Melaleuca brevifolia flowers
Melaleuca brevifoliaMallee Honey-myrtle

Melaleuca brevifolia is known as the Mallee Honey-myrtle and is a medium to tall shrub.  Leaves are small, narrow, about one centimetres long, tightly clustered and spirally arranged around the stems. It has very showy white or cream flowers.

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Melaleuca cardiophylla
Melaleuca cardiophyllaUmbrella Bush

Melaleuca cardiophylla is known as the Umbrella Bush and is a small to medium shrub with intertwined branches. Tiny stem-clasping leaves are heart shaped (hence the species name). White flowers are carried in small clusters along the branches.

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Melaleuca decora, image Warren and Gloria Sheather
Melaleuca decora

Melaleuca decora is a very tall shrub or small tree that may reach a height of 12 metres. The bark is light brown and papery. Leaves are light green, about 1.5 centimetres long and crowned with a point. Sweetly scented, white flowers are carried in spikes with individual flowers widely spaced.

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Melaleuca decussata
Melaleuca decussataCross-leaved Honey-myrtle

Melaleuca decussata, Cross-leaved Honey-myrtle, is a tall, rounded shrub reaching a height of three metres. Small leaves are arranged in two pairs of opposite rows forming a cross when viewed from above (hence the common name). Mauve flowers are held in small, cylindrical spikes on short lateral branches.

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Melaleuca diosmatifolia
Melaleuca diosmatifoliaRosy Honey-myrtle

Melaleuca diosmatifolia (previously known as M. erubescens), the Rosy Honey-myrtle, is an erect shrub to at least five metres. The leaves are small, linear, light green and aromatic. In summer plants become covered with mauve, cylindrical flower spikes up to four centimetres long that eventually fade to white. It is hardy, free flowering and attracts a wide range of insects – one of the best of the genus.

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Melaleuca diosmifolia
Melaleuca diosmifolia

Melaleuca diosmifolia is a dense shrub reaching a height of three metres. Leaves are spirally arranged, elliptical and crowded around the stems. Juvenile leaves are light green while adult leaves become darker. Flowers are arranged in cylindrical, bottlebrush-like, lime-green spikes. The spikes are an unusual colour. Flowering occurs in spring and early summer.

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Melaleuca elliptica
Melaleuca ellipticaGranite Honey-myrtle

Melaleuca elliptica is a native of the southwest of Western Australia and is one of a large number of melaleucas from the west with great horticultural potential. It can reach a height of five metres. The red blooms are profuse, conspicuous and bird-attracting.

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Melaleuca ericifolia, image Alan Fairley
Melaleuca ericifoliaSwamp Paperbark

Melaleuca ericifolia is a tall shrub or small tree known as the Swamp Paperbark. Bark is papery and grey to brown. Juvenile growth is bright green. Adult leaves are dark green, linear and up to 15 millimetres long. Flower heads are dense, terminal, cylindrical, white to cream and about three centimetres long.

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Melaleuca fulgens
Melaleuca fulgensScarlet Honey-myrtle

Melaleuca fulgens, known as the Scarlet Honey-myrtle, is an erect shrub reaching a height of three metres. The leaves are narrow, aromatic and up to four centimetres long. Flowers may be scarlet, pinkish-red, apricot or purple.

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Melaleuca gibbosa
Melaleuca gibbosaSlender Honey-myrtle

Melaleuca gibbosa, the Slender Honey-myrtle, is a medium-sized shrub reaching a height of two metres.  The small leaves are stalkless, tightly clustered around the stems, obovate to ovate in shape and arranged in two pairs of opposite rows. The tips of the leaves curve inward. The mauve to pink flowers attract birds and insects.

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Melaleuca huegelii
Melaleuca huegeliiChenille Honey-myrtle

Melaleuca huegelii, known as the Chenille Honey-myrtle, may develop into a tall shrub reaching a height of five metres. Leaves are small, almost triangular in shape and aromatic. The pure white flowers are held in terminal spikes and cover plants in early summer.

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Melaleuca incana
Melaleuca incanaGrey Honey-myrtle

Melaleuca incana is a species common in cultivation. Known as the Grey Honey-myrtle, this medium shrub has soft, weeping, grey-green foliage. Small bottlebrush-shaped, yellowish-green flowers appear en masse in spring. This is a triple-headed plant because the growth habit, foliage and flowers are all attractive features.

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Melaleuca 'Velvet Cushion'
Melaleuca incana ‘Velvet Cushion’

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.

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Melaleuca irbyana
Melaleuca irbyanaSwamp Tea Tree

Melaleuca irbyana, Swamp Tea Tree, develops into a large shrub or small tree in the wild. In our cold climate garden plants only reach a height of about one metre. Plants, in another local garden, have grown into a similar size.

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Melaleuca lateritia
Melaleuca lateritiaRobin Red-breast Bush

Melaleuca lateritia, Robin Red-breast Bush, is an erect shrub that reaches a height of one to two metres. Light green, aromatic, linear leaves are two centimetres long. The bottlebrush-shaped flower spikes are orange-red, up to nine centimetres long with the main flowering period in summer with some blooms appearing in autumn and early winter. The flower spikes are visited by honeyeaters.

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Melaleuca macronychia
Melaleuca macronychia

Melaleuca macronychia is a medium-sized shrub that will reach a height of 3 metres with many branches. Leaves are lanceolate, blue-green and up to 4 centimetres long. The striking bright red flowers are held in large, cylindrical spikes, up to 6 cm long, and carried on short lateral branches. Flowering begins in summer and continues for many months.

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Melaleuca micromera
Melaleuca micromera

Melaleuca micromera is a shrub reaching a height of 1.5 metres. When not in flower, it resembles a miniature conifer and when blooming with its small, yellow, globular flower heads, it bears a resemblance to a small wattle. Plants are a mass of colour in spring.

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Melaleuca nesophila flower
Melaleuca nesophilaShowy Honey-myrtle

Melaleuca nesophila is known as the Showy Honey-myrtle and will usually develop into a tall shrub or small tree. In our cold climate garden plants have reached a height of three metres in more than ten years. Plants are upright, stiff with grayish, papery bark.

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Melaleuca nodosa, image Alan Fairley
Melaleuca nodosaPrickly-leaved Paperbark

Melaleuca nodosa, Prickly-leaved Paperbark, is a medium to tall shrub that may reach a height of 3 metres. Leaves are narrow, rigid and prickly (hence the common name). Flowers are profuse and carried in dense, globular heads. They are deep yellow to white and appear in the leaf axils and at the ends of branches. Flowering begins in October and extends into early summer.

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Melaleuca pentagona
Melaleuca pentagona

Melaleuca pentagona is a medium shrub that has reached a height of three metres in our cold climate garden. Leaves may be rounded to oblong and a few centimetres long. Pink to purplish, rounded flower clusters appear in spring and are about two centimetres across. They are carried on the ends of branches and in leaf bases. Blooms are both conspicuous and profuse.

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Melaleuca pulchella
Melaleuca pulchellaClaw Honey-myrtle

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).

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Melaleuca quadrifaria
Melaleuca quadrifariaLimestone Honey-myrtle

Melaleuca quadrifaria, Limestone Honey-myrtle, is a tall shrub with creamy-white flowers that may reach a height of five metres. This many-branched shrub carries crowded, linear leaves that curve upward, a distinctive feature. They are five millimetres long and arranged in pairs around the stems.

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shows flowers
Melaleuca quinquenerviaBroad-leaved Paperbark

Melaleuca quinquenervia, Broad-leaved Paperbark, is a medium to tall tree. The bark is papery and peels off in strips. Leaves are alternate, lanceolate to elliptical, 30-70 millimetres long, usually with five prominent veins and with a stiff, leathery texture.

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Malaleuca radula
Melaleuca radulaGraceful Honey-myrtle

Melaleuca radula, known as Graceful Honey-myrtle, is a native of Western Australia which bulges at the seams with interesting and colourful melaleucas. Many species are not yet in cultivation. It is an open shrub with mauve flowers that will reach a height of 2 metres.

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Melaleuca steedmanii
Melaleuca steedmanii

Melaleuca steedmanii is a native of Western Australia and is one of a large number of colourful species from the west. Most are virtually unknown in cultivation but have great horticultural potential. This is a medium to tall shrub that may reach a height of three metres. Prune it to prevent it becoming straggly and keep plants bushy and blooming bounteously. A memorable sight in full flower.

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Melaleuca styphelioidesPrickly Paperbark

Melaleuca styphelioides, Prickly Paperbark, is a medium tree that may reach a height of 20 metres. The papery bark peels off in strips. Leaves are ovate, dark green, up to 15 millimetres long and crowned with a sharp point (hence the common name). The prickly foliage provides nesting sites for small native birds.

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Melaleuca thymifolia, image Alan Fairley
Melaleuca thymifoliaThyme-leaf Honey-myrtle

Melaleuca thymifolia, Thyme-leaf Honey-myrtle, is one of a number of small melaleucas that reach a maximum height of 1.5 metres. It has a possible spread of 3 metres. Leaves are small, bluish-green and spicily aromatic when crushed (reflecting the species and common names). It is an east coast species with a wide distribution.

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Melaleuca tortifolia
Melaleuca tortifolia

Melaleuca tortifolia is a tall shrub reaching a height of 4 metres. Bark is flaky. Leaves are 1.5 centimetres long, ovate to lanceolate, slightly twisted with a point. Flowers are carried in dense clusters, 2 centimetres long, white and sometimes pink, in spring.

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Melaleuca violacea
Melaleuca violacea

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.

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Melaleuca wilsonii
Melaleuca wilsoniiWilson’s Honey Myrtle

Melaleuca wilsonii, Wilson’s Honey-myrtle, is a dense shrub that reaches a height of two metres. Leaves are decussate (having a cross-like arrangement when viewed from above), linear and pointed. Flower spikes are deep pink to mauve-purple. Spikes are carried on old wood and may be very long sometimes exceeding 10 centimetres in length. Blooms are both prominent and prolific.

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Melaleuca 'Ulladulla Beacon'
Melaleuca ‘Ulladulla Beacon’

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.

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Melichrus urceolatus
Melichrus urceolatusUrn Heath

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.

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Micromyrtus ciliata flower
Micromyrtus ciliataFringed Heath-myrtle

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.

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Monotoca elliptica in Kamay Botany Bay National Park in November 2018, showing ripening fruit, image by Peter Shelton
Monotoca ellipticaTree Broom Heath

Monotoca elliptica, Tree Broom Heath, is generally a medium shrub 1–4 m, although Victorian references indicate up to 8 m. The scattering of red fruit among the green foliage can be quite eye-catching.

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Myoporum bateae
Myoporum bateaeBoobialla

Myoporum bateae is an open shrub that reaches a height of three metres. Leaves are long, narrow, linear, sticky, dotted with glands and up to 15 centimetres long. Honey bees visit the leaves, possibly as the glands exude a honey-attracting secretion. Flowers may be white or pale purplish pink. From 4 to 10 flowers are carried in the axils of the leaves. The main flowering period is spring and summer with sporadic flowering at other times.

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Myoporum betcheanum

Myoporum betcheanum is a tall shrub or small tree that may reach a height of eight metres. Leaves are linear, up to six centimetres long and one centimetre wide. They are toothed and taper to a point. The flowers are white and 5 millimetres across. From one to eight flowers are carried in leaf axils between December and May. Globular fruits are white or brown and translucent.

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Myoporum floribundum
Myoporum floribundumSlender Myoporum

Myoporum floribundum, the Slender Myoporum, is a rather sparse shrub that reaches a height of two metres in our cold climate garden. Branches are spreading and leaves are long and up to 13 centimetres long. They hang from the branches giving the plant a “wilted” appearance. This is far from the case as plants have proved to be hardy, drought resistant and tolerate frost. The foliage has a rather sour smell when wet.

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Myoporum viscosum
Myoporum viscosumSticky Boobialla

Myoporum viscosum, the Sticky Boobialla, is a native of Victoria and South Australia. It is a medium shrub that will reach a height of two metres, making an ideal hedge plant. The leaves are up to 11 centimetres long by 3 centimetres wide, lanceolate to ovate, glossy and deep green with finely toothed margins.

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Myriophyllum species
Myriophyllum speciesWater Milfoils

Myriophyllum species are known as Water Milfoils and are members of the Haloragaceae family. Our skill at the taxonomy of this genus leaves a lot to be described. This article will describe Water Milfoils in general as they are very similar in appearance. Myriophyllums are freshwater aquatic plants whose distribution is cosmopolitan. There are about 69 species with Australia the centre of diversity with 37 endemic species and 5 naturalised.

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Nymphoides geminata
Nymphoides germinataEntire Marshwort

Nymphoides germinata, the Entire Marshwort, belongs to the Menyanthaceae family and is an aquatic perennial. The Entire Marshwort has floating leaves that are almost circular, up to ten centimetres across, mid green glossy above and dull green and dotted below. In our ponds Leaf Green Tree Frogs sit on the leaves.

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Olearia elliptica
Olearia ellipticaSticky Daisy Bush

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.

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Olearia tenuifolia
Olearia tenuifoliaShiny Daisy Bush

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.

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Orthrosanthus multiflorus, image Kevin Stokes
Orthrosanthus multiflorusMorning Iris

The Morning Iris is found in southern South Australia and Kangaroo Island. It also occurs in Victoria and Western Australia. It is a very hardy and attractive plant for informal rockeries or massed displays. The plants somewhat resemble Dianella sp. in form but not in flower.

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Ottelia ovalifolia
Ottelia ovalifoliaSwamp Lily

Ottelia ovalifolia, Swamp Lily, is a tufted aquatic perennial with floating and submerged leaves and flowers. The visible leaves are strap-like, up to 16 centimetres long and six centimetres wide. Plants produce two types of flowers. One does not emerge and self pollinates without opening. The other is held, above the water, on a stalk up to 30 centimetres long.

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Ozothamnus diosmifolius flower
Ozothamnus diosmifoliusSago Flower, Rice Flower

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.

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Pandorea jasminoides
Pandorea jasminoidesBower of Beauty

Pandorea jasminoides, variously known as Bower of Beauty, Bower Vine or Bower Climber. This member of the Bignoniaceae family is a very vigorous woody climber. Flowers are white or pale pink, trumpet shaped and up to six centimetres long. Blooms are carried in clusters from spring to summer.

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Pandorea 'Golden Showers', image Heather Miles
Pandorea pandoranaWonga Vine

Pandorea pandorana, Wonga Vine, is a member of the Bignoniaceae family. This woody scrambler or climber has long, twining branches with fawn coloured bark. Flowers are tubular, about two centimetres long, usually creamy-white with either brown or purple markings in the throat.

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Pelargonium australe flowers
Pelargonium australeAustral Stork’s-bill

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.

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Persoonia linearis flower
Persoonia linearisNarrow-leaf Geebung

Persoonia linearis is widespread along the east coast of Australia growing from coast to mountains. The flowers, borne on the end of the branches, are yellow 10 to 15 mm long and cylindrical in bud. Flowering occurs for a long period in summer.

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Phebalium squamulosum ssp. squamulosum flower
Phebalium squamulosum ssp. squamulosumScaly Phebalium

Phebalium squamulosum ssp. squamulosum is widespread along the east coast of Australia growing from coast to mountains. There are 10 subspecies of this plant and the most common subspecies is squamulosum. The individual cream to pale yellow terminal flowers are five-petalled and relatively small, but as they occur in clusters they are very conspicuous. The narrow oblong leaves are up to 5 cm long and are shiny on top and a paler silvery-rusty colour underneath.

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Philotheca myoporoides flower
Philotheca myoporoidesNative Daphne or Long-leaf Wax Flower

Philotheca myoporoides is a widely occurring plant found up and down the east coast of Australia from Victoria to Queensland and inland along the ranges. It grows in open forests in sheltered slopes and valleys as an understory plant. 

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Pimelea linifolia, image Alan Fairley
Pimelea linifoliaSlender Rice Flower

Pimelea linifolia prefers a well-drained soil and prune after flowering to keep compact and enhance flowering. It tolerates dappled or full sun. It can be grown in a mass display on a raised bed or rockery with other plants to good effect.

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Poa labillardieri, image Alan Fairley
Poa labillardiereiCommon Tussock-grass

Poa labillardierei is an attractive low maintenance feature or background ornamental grass, ideal for landscaping and suitable for group plantings. Is fast growing in all types of soils with a shallow root system. Low maintenance once established.

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Podolepis jaceoides
Podolepis jaceoidesShowy Copper Wire Daisy

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.

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Potamogeton tricarinatus
Potamogeton tricarinatusFloating Pondweed

Potamogeton tricarinatus is a perennial aquatic herb commonly known as Floating Pondweed and is a member of the Potamogetonaceae family. Plants have creeping rhizomes, stems that may be up to four metres long, submerged and floating foliage and emergent inflorescences.

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Prostanthera aspalathoides
Prostanthera aspalathoides

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. 

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Prostanthera cryptandroides, image Warren and Gloria Sheather
Prostanthera cryptandroides

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.

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Prostanthera cuneata
Prostanthera cuneataAlpine Mint Bush

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.

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Prostanthera densa, image Dan Clarke
Prostanthera densaVillous Mint Bush

Prostanthera densa is a small shrub. Its natural distribution is in five known areas in NSW, all very close to the coast – Nelson Bay, South Cronulla, Royal National Park (Marley), Helensburgh and Shoalhaven (northern peninsula of Jervis Bay). It is found growing on a range of soil types.

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Prostanthera granitica, image Alan Fairley
Prostanthera granitica

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.

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Prostanthera incana
Prostanthera incanaVelvet Mintbush

Prostanthera incana, known as the Velvet Mintbush, is a small to medium shrub that reaches a height of 1.5 metres in our cold climate garden. Leaves are two centimetres long, oval, dull green, aromatic with a velvety appearance (hence the common name). Leaf margins have rounded teeth.

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Prostanthera melissifolia
Prostanthera melissifoliaBalm Mintbush

Prostanthera melissifolia is known as the Balm Mintbush. The species may reach a height of 5 metres with a spread of 3 metres. Leaves are oval, about 3 centimetres long, aromatic with toothed margins. They are crowded, dull green above and paler beneath.

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Prostanthera nivea var induta
Prostanthera nivea var. induta

Prostanthera nivea var. induta is a medium shrub that reaches a height of about two metres. Linear leaves are one centimetre long, grey-green and held in small clusters. Unlike most Prostantheras, induta has little or no foliage aroma. This variety has proved to be wilt-resistant during dry spells.

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Prostanthera nivea var nivea, image Alan Fairley
Prostanthera nivea var. niveaSnowy Mint Bush

Prostanthera nivea var. nivea, Snowy Mint Bush is an upright shrub growing to a height of 3 metres. Leaves are light green, linear and about 4 centimetres long. Flowers are white to mauve. From September to December plants become covered in blooms. Prune after flowering to prevent plants becoming straggly.

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Prostanthera ovalifolia, image Warren and Gloria Sheather
Prostanthera ovalifoliaOval-leaved Mint Bush

Prostanthera ovalifolia, Oval-leaved Mint Bush is a variable shrub that may reach a height of five metres. The specimens in our garden only reach 2 metres. Judicious pruning will limit the height and prevent the plant becoming straggly. Leaves range in size from 5 mm to 50 mm in length. They are moderately crowded, mid green to dark green and strongly aromatic.

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Prostanthera ovalifolia Rosea flower
Prostanthera ovalifolia ‘Rosea’Oval-leaf Mint, Purple Mint Bush and the Thousand Flowered Mint Bush

Prostanthera ovalifolia ‘Rosea’ was the first mint bush that I grew in my garden in the northern Sydney suburb of Westleigh and the original plant lasted for well over 20 years. It is stunning in flower and has the added bonus of highly aromatic leaves – when brushed they fill the air with a delightful bushland fragrance. It is a rounded shrub that grows to about two to three metres tall with a similar spread.

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Prostanthera petraea
Prostanthera petraea

Prostanthera petraea is a rare mint bush from the Northern Tablelands and perhaps southern Queensland. This is a small to tall shrub. Plants in our garden are about two metres tall after three years in the ground. The leaves are ovate up to 8 centimetres long, 2 centimetres wide, strongly aromatic with prominent stalks. They are dull olive-green above and paler beneath.

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Prostanthera phylicifolia flower
Prostanthera phylicifoliaSpiked Mint Bush or Mint Bush

Prostanthera phylicifolia is stunning in flower as the pale violet/purple flowers contrast beautifully with the small dark green aromatic leaves. Some Prostantheas have a short flowering time. However, I find that this species flowers for me for well over a month in early Spring. They are reportedly frost resistant and are a favourite plant on the west coast of USA.

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Prostanthera rotundifolia
Prostanthera rotundifoliaRound-leaf Mint Bush

Prostanthera rotundifolia is known as the Round-leaf mint Bush and is well known in cultivation. The Round-leaf Mint Bush reaches a height of two metres in our cold climate garden. As the common name suggests the leaves are round. The foliage is very aromatic. Flowering is in spring when the plants become covered with blooms. 

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Prostanthera saxicola
Prostanthera saxicola,

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.

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Prostanthera scutellarioides flowers, image Jeff Howes
Prostanthera scutellaroidesMint Bush

Prostanthera scutellaroides grows naturally from Sydney to the Blue Mountains and north to the Queensland border. The leaves are linear, pale to mid-green, sometimes curved and up to three centimetres long. Unlike most mint bushes the foliage, of this species, has virtually no perfume.

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Prostanthera sejuncta
Prostanthera sejunctaSpiny Mintbush

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.

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Prostanthera serpyllifolia
Prostanthera serpyllifoliaThyme-leaved Mintbush

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.

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Prostanthera striatiflora flowers
Prostanthera striatifloraJockey’s Cap

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. 

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Prostanthera 'Ragged Robin'
Prostanthera ‘Ragged Robin’

Prostanthera ‘Ragged Robin’ is a short to medium shrub with an upright growth habit. Strongly aromatic leaves are about 2 centimetres long, cross-shaped and grey-green to pale green. Flowers are 1.5 centimetres long, mauve-blue and carried in the upper leaf axils during late spring and early summer. Blooms are conspicuous and profuse. Pruning plants will keep them in good shape.

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Prostanthera 'Poorinda Ballerina' plant and flowers
Prostanthera ‘Poorinda Ballerina’

Prostanthera ‘Poorinda Ballerina’ is a hybrid mint bush. This plant arose at Leo Hodge’s property, Poorinda in Victoria. It is said to be a medium shrub reaching a height of two metres. In our cold climate garden plants seldom exceed one metre in height. Small leaves are one centimetre long, deep green above and paler beneath.

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Pultenaea daphnoides closeup of flower, image Dan Clarke
Pultenaea daphnoidesLarge-leaf Bush-pea

Pultenaea daphnoides is an upright shrub, growing to about 2 m tall and 1 m wide. Leaves with a distinctive cuneate to obovate shape (widest at apex), to 4 cm long and about 1 cm wide, mid to dark green. The leaves have a small sharp point (mucro).
Flowers are typically pea-shaped (papilionate) and a striking deep yellow with red markings. Flowers produced in terminal umbel-like heads, about 3 x 3 cm.

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Pycnosorus globosus
Pycnosorus globosusBilly Buttons

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.

ground-covers
Ranunculus inundatus, image Alan Fairley
Ranunculus inundatusRiver Buttercup

Ranunculus inundatus, River Buttercup, is an aquatic or semi-aquatic perennial. The Buttercups are members of the Ranunculaceae family. The leaves are mid green, divided into numerous lobes, and held on a 15 centimetre petiole. Flowers are shiny yellow, 1.5 centimetres across with 5-7 petals and held above the foliage by 30 centimetre stalks.

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Ranunculus meristus
Ranunculus meristusRough-fruited Buttercup

Ranunculus meristus, the Rough-fruited Buttercup or Spinyfruit Buttercup, is a perennial herb that inhabits damp places and belongs to the Ranunculaceae family. The thin leaves are bright green and divided into many linear segments up to two millimetres wide. Flowers are typical shiny buttercup yellow with from 7 to 11 petals. Blooms are held above the surrounding vegetation by stems that may be 50 centimetres high. Flowering extends from spring to summer. Seasonal rainfall triggers profuse floral displays.

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Rhodanthe anthemoides
Rhodanthe anthemoidesChamomile Sunray

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.

ground-covers
Rhododendron lochiae flowers
Rhododendron lochiae

For many years, Rhododendron lochiae was considered to be Australia’s only native Rhododendron, only found growing within the Bellendron Kerr Range inland from Cairns. However, recent investigations have indicated that two distinct species exist. The second species, Rhododendron notiale which occurs in the same geographical area as Rhododendron lochiae, was recognised in 1996.

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Ricinocarpus pinifolius flower
Ricinocarpus pinifoliusWedding Bush

Ricinocarpus pinifolius is local to the Sydney region and should be on everyone’s ‘must have’ list for their garden. I planted this plant about 10 years ago in my garden, in the northern Sydney suburb of Westleigh and it is now approximately two metres high and produces flowers from September to well into December.

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Sannantha crassa flowers
Sannantha crassa (syn. Baeckea virgata, syn. Babingtonia crassa)

Sannantha crassa is a member of the Myrtaceae family and is a shrub that is said to reach a height of 2.5 metres. In our cold climate garden plants rarely exceed one metre in height. The branches are pendulous with aromatic, lanceolate to elliptical leaves.

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Scaevola 'Aussie Salute'
Scaevola ‘Aussie Salute’

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.

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Mauve clustersScaevola 'Mauve Mist'
Scaevola ‘Mauve Mist’

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.

ground-covers
Senna artemisioides flowers
Senna artemisioides

Senna artemisioides produces bright yellow flowers about 1.5 cm diameter which are borne in small clusters in the leaf axils over a long period from late Autumn/early Winter through to Spring. These are followed by brown/black pods 4-8cm long x 1cm wide.

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Solanum aviculare flower
Solanum aviculareKangaroo Apple

Solanum aviculare is known as the Kangaroo Apple and is a small to medium spreading shrub. In our cold climate garden plants usually reach a maximum height of three metres. The leaves may be entire or lobed, up to 30 centimetres long, deep green above and lighter green beneath. Our specimens have lobed leaves. Flowers are up to four centimetres across and an eye-catching bluish-violet with a deep violet star-shaped marking at the base and bright yellow anthers.

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Spyridium scortechinii flower, image Jeff Howes
Spyridium scortechinii (syn. Stenanthemum scortechninii)Corroboree, Cotton Bush

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.

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Syzygium paniculatum flower
Syzygium paniculatum dwarf formMagenta Cherry, Dwarf Scrub Cherry, Magenta Lilly Pilly

Syzygium paniculatum dwarf form is a great screening plant. It grows naturally in rainforests between Bulahdelah and Jervis Bay and is listed as a vulnerable species in the wild. Attractive white fluffy flowers appear in summer and are followed by large, fleshy, magenta-coloured fruits. These are oval in shape and around 20 mm long and contain a single seed. The fruits are edible and are often made into jams.

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Thelychiton kingianum
Thelychiton (Dendrobium) kingianumPink Rock Orchid

The common name of Thelychiton (Dendrobium) kingianum is ‘Pink rock orchid’ and as you can see, my species is a very dark pink coloured form and an outstanding reliable plant for any garden with a few rocks. This species occurs naturally along eastern Australia from just above Newcastle to the central Queensland highlands and grows naturally on rocky surfaces.

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Themeda triandra
Themeda triandraKangaroo Grass

Themeda triandra is a tufted perennial reaching a height of 1.5 metres with a spread of 0.5 metres. Leaves are 10-50 cm long and 2-5 mm wide, green to grey and dry to an orange-brown in summer. The flowering period is from December to February. During this time plants produce large, distinctive, red-brown spikelets carried on branched stems. Spikelets have black awns (see image) that are retained by the seeds when shed. The spikelets make this perhaps the easiest of our native grasses to identify.

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Thryptomene baeckeace flowers
Thryptomene baeckeacea

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.

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Thryptomene calycina flower spikes
Thryptomene calycinaGrampian’s Thryptomene, Grampian’s Heath-myrtle

Thryptomene calycina is known as the Grampian’s Thryptomene or Grampian’s Heath-myrtle. It is a small to medium, rather bushy shrub. The small, oblong leaves are 1.5 centimetres long, 0.5 centimetres wide, deep green, aromatic and tightly clustered along the stems. Flowers are 0.5 centimetres across, white and carried in the leaf bases at the tops of stems.

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Tremandra stelligera flower
Tremandra stelligera

Tremandra stelligera is a member of the Elaeocarpaceae family and is an erect or spreading shrub reaching a maximum height of two metre.  Flowers are four to five petalled, 1.6 centimetres across, pink, purple or purple-blue. Blooms are solitary on hairy stalks and conspicuous particularly the purple-blue form.

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Veronica arenaria
Veronica arenaria

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.

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Veronica perfoliata
Veronica perfoliataDigger’s Speedwell

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?”

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Verticordia plumosa
Verticordia plumosaPlumed Featherflower

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.

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Vittadinia cuneata
Vittadinia cuneataFuzzweed

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.

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Westringia eremicola flower
Westringia eremicola

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.

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Westringia fruticosa, image Alan Fairley
Westringia fruticosaCoastal rosemary or coastal westringia

Westringia fruticosa has neatly whorled leaves to 2 cm long. lt reaches at least 2 m high and can reach 5 m across, often forming a regular dome. The flowers are white, hairy and have the upper petal divided into two lobes (a shape known as labiate) and appear all year.

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Westringia longifolia
Westringia longifolia

Westringia longifolia is an open, upright shrub that reaches a height of two metres in our cold climate garden. Leaves are bright green, linear and about three centimetres long. In typical Westringia fashion leaves are held in whorls of three.

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Westringia 'Wynyabbie Gem' with hover fly
Westringia ‘Wynyabbie Gem’

Westringia ‘Wynyabbie Gem’ is a hybrid which arose in cultivation at Wynyabbie Nursery, Jindalee, Queensland. The cultivar name is derived from the nursery name. I planted my first Westringia ‘Wynyabbie Gem’ plant about eight years ago in my garden, in the northern Sydney suburb of Westleigh.

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West 'Glabra Cadabra'
Westringia ‘Glabra Cadabra’

Westringia ‘Glabra Cadabra’ is a hybrid which develops into a dense shrub about 1.5 metres high by the same width. The leaves are glossy and held in whorls of four around the stems. Violet flowers are carried in clusters for many months. In our cold climate garden specimens are seldom without flowers. Both foliage and flowers are attractive features.

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Westringia 'Poorinda Pavane'
Westringia ‘Poorinda Pavane’

Westringia ‘Poorinda Pavane’ is a spreading shrub that reaches a height of 2 metres in our garden. Leaves are in whorls of four, up to two centimetres long, mid green above and white-hairy beneath. The foliage is dense and provides safe nesting sites for small native birds.

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Wurmbea dioica
Wurmbea dioicaEarly Nancy

Wurmbea dioica, Early Nancy, is a member of the Colchicaceae family and is a small perennial herb with a corm, two or three annual leaves and a single flowering spike carrying one to eight flowers. Spikes may be up to 30 centimetres tall. Blooms have six petals. They are usually white and appear in spring. Early Nancy is mostly dioecious (male and female flowers on different plants). A small percentage of flowers may have both male and female parts. The fruit is a one centimetre long capsule that contains 10-50 seeds.

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Zieria prostrata
Zieria prostrataHeadland Zieria

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.

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Zieria smithii close up
Zieria smithiiSandfly Zieria, Sandfly Bush

Zieria smithii is one of over 40 species of Zieria which are endemic to Australia. Zieria smithii occurs in north-east Queensland and southwards as far as Tasmania along the coast and ranges. I have been growing quite a few Ziera for many years in my garden in the northern Sydney suburb of Westleigh. They are best in shady, dappled light position present in many mature gardens.

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