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Colour your garden with natives - top 10 red flowers

By Ben Sims
22 July, 2020

Templetonia retusa.JPG

It is not hard to find red flowering plants amongst the vast array of Western Australian plants. Allot of birds are attracted to the colour red and allot of the plants in my top 10 are bird attracting flowers. As you can see 50% of these plants are from the Eucalypt family (Myrtaceae) so it is good to have botanical knowledge (or access to someone who does) as you can find desirable trends amongst plant families. I have grown all these plants and some I use vastly in landscaping.

1.    Grevillea bipinnitifida (Proteaceae)(tough) (spreading G/C) (most soils)
2.    Grevillea preisii (Proteaceae)(tough) (small shrub) (coastal)
3.    Calothamnus hirsutus (Myrtaceae) (small shrub) (tough)
4.    Templetonia retusa (Fabaceae) (medium shrub) (tough)(coastal)
5.    Beaufortia aestiva (Myrtaceae) (small shrub) (tough) (summer flowering)
6.    Eremophila decipens (Scrophulariaceae) (small shrub) (tough)
7.    Verticordia grandis (Myrtaceae) (small shrub) (grafted tougher) (summer flowering)
8.    Kunzea baxterii (Myrtaceae) (medium shrub)
9.    Melaleuca fulgens (Myrtaceae) (small shrub) (tough)
10.    Kennedia prostrata (Fabaceae) (spreading ground cover)

For summer colour look no further than Verticordia grandis and Beaufortia aestiva. These can be found at Kings park and they provide stunning colour through our long hot summer. The grafted Verticordia grandis is tougher and more reliable than V.grandis on original rootstock. It is grafted onto Geraldton wax rootstock which is extremely vigorous and can be grafted onto Darwinia citriodora also.

For tough coastal situations Templetonia retusa and Grevillea preissii will not disappoint and I have seen both thriving in thin Cottesloe soil on limestone. These plants can thrive in situations where allot of natives will not.

Our most famous member from this list must be Grevillea bipinnitifida as it is the parent of the world-famous Robyn Gordon Grevillea (G. Banksii x G. bippinnitifida) which is a small shrub. On its own Grevillea bipinnitidifa is an attractive spreading ground cover with large red Fushia type bird attracting flowers.

A tough small shrub that I have used in very harsh conditions grows exceptionally well once established which is Calothamnus hirsutus. This small shrub is compact with attractive foliage and red bird attracting flowers. It only grows to about a metre and does not require much pruning at all.

Please visit Australian Native nursery and Zanthorrea for access to these beautiful plants. 


For on site consultation to create your very own bird attracting oasis please contact us to book a consult and design session.