Winter Flowers in Australia

The geography of Australia is like a kaleidoscope of mountains, rain forests, woodlands, scrubs, grasslands and desert. The flora most associated with Australia includes the eucalypt, or eucalyptus, which grows in almost every area of the country, and the golden wattle, Australia's national floral emblem. The bright red flowers of the kangaroo paw bloom in the desert regions in summer. The flowers that bloom in the Australia winter may not be as well known as these, but are of interest to gardeners.

Pink Flowers

Australia's pink flowers add a soft touch to a winter garden landscape. Annie's cape (Anisodontia capensis) is a hardy variety that offers a selection of pink cultivars and various leaf forms. Phylica lachneaeoides is an evergreen plant that exhibits clustered pink flowers during the winter months. Its small size makes it a suitable choice for an edge or border in the garden. Luculia gratissima is a shrub with large, pink flower heads and bright green leaves, which flowers throughout the winter. Another pretty pink winter flower is the fairy primrose (Primula malacoides), which has lacy blooms that grow in clusters from winter to spring. It grows as well in a pot as in the soil. Note that the primrose can cause skin allergies if touched or toxic reactions if eaten.

Scented Flowers

The scent of lavender (Lavandula angustifolia, or Lavandula officinalis) permeates Australia's winter gardens. This short shrub needs minimal attention or water to thrive and to grow to its accustomed height of about 2 feet. It prefers bright and sunny locations, and benefits from pruning after the winter flowering season. Daphne odora is another fragrant favorite with clusters of star-shaped pink flowers. It does not appreciate too much water, so plant it in well-drained soil in filtered sunlight, and shelter it from cold wind.

Co-Starring Flowers

Some winter flowers make ideal "co-stars." They complement trees or tall shrubs, when planted under them or as a border around them. Cyclamen hederifolium comes in an array of colors including pink, mauve, red and white. It spends the summer in dormancy, leafing in the fall, and blooming in the winter months. Long-stemmed bergenias are a popular choice as ground cover and as border plants. Bergenias offer a pleasant color palette for a winter garden. In addition to shades of pink, cultivars come in mauve, red and white flowers and large, dark-green leaves. Lily of the valley (Pieris japonica) prefers the shade of a tree as it grows to its full height of about 6 feet. Bell-shaped ivory flowers distinguish this plant as a favorite for bridal bouquets. Other varieties have leaves with hints of pink or red. Hardy snowdrops (Galanthus nivalis) and snowflakes (Leucojum) flower towards the end of winter, usually under deciduous trees and shrubs, such as the magnolia.

Keywords: Australia's winter flowers, Lavandula angustifolia, Cyclamen hederifolium

About this Author

Based in Northern California, Maureen Katemopoulos has been a freelance writer for more than 25 years. Her articles on travel, the arts, cuisine and history have appeared in publications such as "Stanislaus Magazine," "Orientations," "The Asia Magazine" and "The Peninsula Group Magazine." She holds a Baccalaureate degree in journalism from Stanford University.