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Native plants are well known as sun-loving which is true generally. There are however many species that naturally grow as understorey species and can take quite a lot of shade and still flower.
Below are some examples of Western Australian natives that perform well in the shade. Some have become widespread and commercially available whilst others are more difficult to find and require visits to specialist nurseries or some phone calls/emails to determine availability. Creating beautiful gardens with a diverse arrange of less common but very reliable plants is a passion of mine. Landscapers and landscape designers are well known for using the same ‘plant pallet’ over and over but my pallet is large and ever-expanding, my goal is to push the boundaries with native plants and create that ‘wow’ factor.
As an aside, a lot of these shade plants thrive on reticulation systems or hand watering even once established. Some of the plants that come from the southern forests of Western Australia do poorly without summer watering as it is a lot wetter and cooler under a forest canopy in the South West forests than an open backyard with harsh summer sun.
Ground covers: (prostrate or clumping)
*Running postman – Kennedia prostrata
Angled lobelia - Lobelia anceps
Grevillea crithmifolia – Ground cover form
*Green Kangaroo paw - Anigozanthos viridis
Shrubs: (less than 1.5m)
*White myrtle - Hypocalymma angustifolium
*Pink myrtle - Hypocalymma robustum
*Flame pea - Chorizema cordatum
*Brown boronia - Boronia megastigma
*Lemon scented Darwinia - Darwinia citriodora
Screening: (1.5m or more)
Hackets hop bush - Dodonaeae hackettiana
Cockies tongue - Templetonia retusa
*Australian bluebell creeper
Coral vine – Kennedia coccinea
(*) indicates commercial availability