5 flowering natives to add colour to your spring garden

Add splashes of vivid colour this spring with these native plants. Plant once – enjoy their beauty for years.

Isn’t spring the most wonderful time of the year? Warm days, cool nights and the delicate fragrance of flowers in the air – spring is absolutely magical.

While all spring flowers are amazing, we have a soft spot for native plants that flower in spring.

There are lots of benefits of planting natives in your garden: they are easy to look after, have low watering requirements, support a healthy environment and add a touch of native Australian vividness to our gardens.

The plants we’re featuring here are long-lasting, so you don’t have to worry about sowing seeds every year – pop them in your garden beds once and they will flower in spring for years to come.

Here are a few of our favourite spring flowering natives that you might like to grow at home:

1. Acacias

Acacia is a family of shrubs and trees with hundreds of plants, most of which burst into bright yellow flowers in spring.

The golden wattle (Acacia pycnantha Benth.) with its vivid display of green and gold is Australia’s national floral emblem and is a beautiful symbol of unity.

Our favourite is the local yellow wattle (Acacia acinacea), also known as the gold dust wattle, which is native to South Australia and blooms prolifically in spring.

The local yellow wattle typically grows to a height of 2.5 m and is very tolerant of drought and frost, which makes it the perfect candidate for planting in your spring garden.

(Image courtesy of Margaret Lee)

2. Crimson bottlebrush

Plant the crimson bottlebrush (Callistemon citrinus) for a dash of red to your spring garden.

This hardy shrub can grow up to 4m tall and has bright red flower spikes that start to appear in spring and last throughout summer and autumn in most cases.

Top tip: Did you know that bottlebrush flowers are irresistible to nectar-feeding birds and insects, and planting one in your garden is like laying out the welcome mat for native birds and bees?

For more inspiration about how to attract birds read: How to bring birds to your garden.


(Image courtesy of yewchan in line with Creative Commons licensing)

3. Native lilac

Native lilac (Hardenbergia violacea) is a very special flowering shrub that stands out in spring because of its beautiful violet flowers that contrast dramatically against their dark green foliage.

There are tons of reasons to love the beautiful native lilac. They are fast growing, low maintenance, flower heavily and will be happy in sun or shade.

Top tip: Native lilacs are excellent fence covers. When you plant native lilacs next to a fence, they will quickly cover the fence and cascade down the other side with their trailing lilac flowers.

(Images courtesy of South Australian Seed Conservation Centre)

4. Native daisy-bush

Daisies are popular across the world, but did you know that there is a native Australian daisy-bush that can look fantastic in your garden?

Native daisy-bush is scientifically known as Olearia. It bears familiar daisy-like white flowers throughout spring.

Our favourite daisy-bush is the Mount Lofty daisy-bush (Olearia grandiflora), that naturally occurs in the eucalypt woodlands of the Mount Lofty Ranges near Adelaide.

(Image courtesy of South Australian Seed Conservation Centre)

5. Blue dampiera

Dampiera is a delightful little plant with lovely blue flowers. It starts flowering in spring and is loaded with flowers for most of summer.

This hardy little plant tolerates sun as well as shade, looks great as a groundcover and can also be put in hanging baskets for a gorgeous statement piece under your veranda.

(Image courtesy of South Australian Seed Conservation Centre)

These natives are perfect for metropolitan Adelaide, but if you live further afield, find what’s best-suited to your garden with the Botanic Gardens of South Australia’s Plant Selector.

Want to learn more about the benefits of native gardens? Read our story: 5 top reasons to plant natives in your garden, and visit a State Flora nursery to get started on your garden.

This story was originally posted in September 2020.

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