Plant breeders have been busy in recent years developing new and improved varieties of Australian natives. Purists may prefer native plants as they occur in nature, but there’s no doubt that many of these new cultivars are great garden performers.


Better known by their common name of wattle, there seems to be an acacia in flower in the bush at almost any time of year.

  • Acacia ‘Scarlet Blaze’, a medium to tall shrub, produces flower balls in a most unusual, rusty-red colour. It needs particularly good drainage so may be happiest in a pot.
  • Acacia ‘Little Nugget’ is a dwarf shrub to about 1.5m with blue-green leaves.

Acacia baileyana ‘Prostrate’ is a ground-covering form of the Cootamundra wattle which has acquired a bad name in some districts because it spreads so easily. Because of its low growth, this ground-covering form is less likely to become a nuisance and it looks sensational draping over a bank.

Kangaroo Paws

There are dozens of named varieties that are much more disease resistant than their forebears, but in humid climates it’s safest to grow the taller plants. Cut back hard after major flowering flushes and avoid heavy frost areas.

  • Anigozanthos ‘Big Red’ can reach up to 2 metres tall and, even when it dies back, it almost always seems to recover. Makes a great cut flower, too.

Anigozanthos ‘Bush Pearl’ is a low grower to about 60cm. It flowers generously with masses of lipstick-pink blooms. It does particularly well in a pot, especially the self-watering Yates Tuscan Edge pots.


Hundreds of varieties make choice easy or difficult, depending on how decisive you are.

  • Grevillea ‘Fireworks’ is a small shrub with bright red/yellow flowers on the ends of the grey-green branches.

Grevillea ‘Golden Lyre’s swooping branches are endlessly decorated with bright yellow brushes. No heavy frosts for this one though.

Paper Daisies

Again, a wide choice but the Sundaze hybrids are heat- and drought-tolerant perennials that make wonderful garden displays.

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