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The New Natives

by Beth Abood |

It's no secret that Australian native flowers haven’t always been celebrated in the way that they are now - in fact they used to be a bit daggy! But a lot has changed and nowadays we are spoilt for choice and variety. This shift has been pioneered by Craig Scott and the team at East Coast Wildflowers, who’ve worked heart to cultivate new and more interesting varieties which they bring to the Sydney Flower Market four times a week, and of course the incredible florists who create wonderful things with them. 

Here are a few Australian native flowers that we love working with:  

  1. Flannel Flower

Generally speaking, people normally think of Australian natives as big in size and hardy. But the delicate flannel flower with it’s flimsy stems and soft, woolly feel definitely doesn’t fit this description. It’s white flowers bloom all year round, and they last beautifully in a vase for 5-7 days before the tips of the petals begin to turn brown.

 Image Source: Canva  

  1. Mulla Mulla

Mulla Mulla (botanical name Ptilotus exaltatus ‘Joey') is another more delicate native flower that grows year round. At their prime, their feathery flower heads can be up to 7cm long and the stems 30-45cm tall. Mulla Mulla add a lovely silvery mauve colour to native arrangements and stay fresh for around 7 days, After that, their purple colour fades only very slightly, so you can keep them for much longer in an empty vase. 


Image Source: Canva 

  1. Paper Daisy

Paper Daisies come in many different colours including reds, oranges, yellows, bright, soft and antique pinks and silvery-whites. Yet another small and delicate native, the name refers to the paper-like dry bracts surrounding the flowers. Starting off tight, their heads open up over the course of 5-7 days to reveal different colours in the centre. Much like Mulla Mulla, they hold their colour beautifully, so you can hang them upside down to dry out, which will make sure the stems dry straight and you can use them in dried flower arrangements. 

Image Source: Canva 

  1. Kangaroo Paw

Kangaroo Paw originated in the South West of WA and even appears on WA’s floral emblem. The name stems from their strong resemblance to a paw. Colours range from bright red and green (in the one flower!), to black and green, dark reds, oranges, yellows, pinks and silver and vary in height from 20-30cm up to 80cm tall!  Like many Australian natives they also last really well in a vase, fresh for around 7-10 days, after which their colour starts to fade slightly.

  1. Hakea (Needle Bush)

Hakea is an incredibly striking evergreen plant that’s part of the Protea family. The pink and yellow flowers grow tightly clustered together in a large round and soft yet spiky pompom-like ball. Best viewed close up to appreciate their beauty, the flowers will last around 3-5 days, after which they can be picked off and you can enjoy their hardy, blue-green foliage for much longer.


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  1. Callicarpa (Beauty Berry)

The incredible thing about Callicarpa is that it has a natural purple ombre; the berries are dark purple toward the bottom, naturally become a bright fuschia and even green colour toward the tip of the woody stem. They make such a simple statement in a vase all on their own where you can enjoy the colours in each individual stem, and will last nicely for around 7 days before the berries begin to turn brown. 

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  1. Ammobium Paper Daisy

Although Ammobium is technically part of the paper daisy family, it deserves a separate mention. There is something so captivating about the dainty yellow and white papery flowers that look like little shooting stars at the end of a curly silver stem. The dried out version is just as good when the bright yellow centres turn to a dark brown.


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  1. “Green Magik” Wattle

There are many interesting types of wattle coming into the flower market (Zig Zag Wattle, Silver Wattle), but we’ve chosen to highlight the insanely unique “Green Magik” for it’s striking lime colour and weeping, droopy shape. It’s wonderful on it's own draped out of a tall vase, but it’s also a beautiful addition to mixed arrangements as a trailing element. Green Magik normally looks fresh in a vase for 5-7 days.


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  1. Flowering Gum

The bright and colourful flowering gum seems to be everyone’s favourite in the summer months! The fluffy clouds of orange, red and pink are such an exciting pop of natural colour on the streets during summer. Depending on the time of year and life stage that they’re picked, they'll last anywhere from 3-7 days in a vase where they bring an invaluable amount of colour and joy to the room. 

Image Source: Canva

  1. Wax Flower

Do a google search and you will quickly discover that there are sooo many different varieties of Wax flower, with some growers in Australia cultivating more than 25 different varieties. Originally used as a “filler flower” to fill in the gaps in an arrangement, they’ve become a bit of a star in their own right in recent years when used en masse. Wax flower comes in white, red, pink and purple, and has a beautiful citrus-like scent. 


Image Source: Canva


Floreat loves pulling together unique combinations of Australian native flowers. Browse our native bouquet's here, or our everlasting bouquet selection which we often created from dried out native flowers.  


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