Drought-Tolerant Australian Native Plants

The vast majority of Australia is listed by the Australian Bureau of Meteorology as having hot, dry summers and either mild or cold winters. As a result, many native Australian plants have evolved to be tolerant of droughts and dry spells. Although Australian native plants that are drought-tolerant can grow well in dry areas, many can also do well in areas that see more rainfall.

'Gold Lace' Acacia

'Gold Lace' acacia, sometimes called Kuranga gold lace, is a prostrate form of the Wyalong acacia. The Wyalong form grows up to 16 feet tall, while the 'Gold Lace' variety grows to a maximum height of about 5 feet, then begins to trail down. 'Gold Lace' acacia is often grown over the edge of buildings or bridges. The leaves of the gold lave acacia are silvery green and its yellow flowers appear sometime between July and January.

Canterbury Gold Grevillea

The 'Canterbury Gold' grevillea is a widespread, low growing bush that whose flowers are a golden yellow. This plant blooms in spring and summer in cooler parts of Australia, but can flower year-round in the warmer, more northern parts of the continent. The 'Canterbury Gold' grevillea grows to about 3 feet tall, but can spread as wide as 15 feet. The leaves of this plant are grayish green, giving it a softer look.

Lemon Frost Leptospermum

The lemon frost leptospermum is a taller shrub that can grow to 7 to 8 feet tall and 4 to 6 feet in diameter. It features dense, bright green leaves and features solitary white flowers and conspicuous oil glands that secrete lemon-scented oil, giving this drought-tolerant bush its name. This plant is useful as a privacy screen.

Grand Honey Myrtle

The grand honey myrtle (Melateuca elliptica) is an erect shrub that grows between 8 and 12 feet tall and 6 to 8 feet wide. If this bush is grown in colder areas, the leaves may develop a purple tint. This bush flowers with deep red, brush like flowers in the spring, summer and fall. The bush's flower peak occurs in December in Canberra.

Keywords: Australian native plants, drought tolerant plants, Australian horticulture

About this Author

Although he grew up in Latin America, Mr. Ma is a writer based in Denver. He has been writing since 1987 and has written for NPR, AP, Boeing, Ford New Holland, Microsoft, RAHCO International, Umax Data Systems and other manufacturers in Taiwan. He studied creative writing at Mankato State University in Minnesota. He speaks fluent Mandarin Chinese, English and reads Spanish.