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Summer flowering WA natives

By Ben Sims
7 January, 2020

10  Summer flowering natives:

(1)    Banksia prionotes - Acorn Banksia - small tree 
(2)    Beaufortia aestiva – small shrub
(3)    Corymbia ficifolia (Red Flowering gum) – small tree 
(4)    Lobelia anceps – Angled Lobelia – spreading ground cover
(5)    Regelia ciliata - small shrub 
(6)    Scaevola aemula – spreading ground cover
(7)    Swainsona Formosa – Sturt desert pea – annual spreading ground cover
(8)    Trachymene coerulea – Blue lace flower - annual small shrub
(9)    Verticordia nitens - Christmas Morrison Feather Flower - Small Shrub 
(10)    Verticordia grandis (grafted) – small shrub   

Whilst WA natives are renowned for their winter/spring show there are many that will flower in summer and grow happily in your garden. They range from trees, shrubs, ground covers and annuals. 

Annual plants include Sturt desert pea and Blue lace flower which can be grown from seed but the timing of planting is important. Blue lace flower needs to be planted just before the main winter rains and Sturt desert pea early on during the warmer months.
Note that Sturt desert peas and Blue lace flower are annuals and will die off after flowering and produce more seed for next year. 

Spreading ground covers include Sturt desert pea(annual), Lobelia anceps and Scaevola aemula. I grow both Lobelia anceps and Scaevola aemula in pots in part shade during summer as they have high water requirements and thrive with a bit of shelter from the hot summer sun.  
 
Small shrubs include Beaufortia aestiva, Regelia ciliata, Verticordia nitens and Verticordia grandis. Beaufortia aestiva can be seen grown along roadsides especially in between the Freeway on the way to Mandurah and provides a stunning display of red flowers it can also be found at Kings Park. Calytrix fraserii grows on the Swan coastal plain and has beautiful pink star flowers that colour the bush around Perth. Regelia ciliata is a fantastic garden plant as it loves pruning and is quite waterwise once established, it gets covered in round pink flowers that welcome in the new year and flower for weeks after. Verticordia nitens is the Christmas Morrison feather flower and as its name suggests colours the bush in yellow around Perth just in time for Christmas and many weeks after. Verticordia grandis is a stunning plant and can be found growing next to the large metal Western Australia sign in the main garden area in Kings Park before the city lookout. It has large bright red flowers and is very attractive through the summer months.

There are some beautiful small trees that you can use such as the WA Red flowering gum and the Acorn Banksia - Banksia prionotes. Both can provide a feature in your garden and some much needed shade. They will also provide some much need food and shelter for birds in your garden especially if you are starting a garden from scratch. 

Watering is important with some plants requiring allot of summer water such as Lobelia anceps, Sturt desert pea and Blue lace flower, others require watering to establish and then some to no summer watering depending on plant.  

So, for a native garden that flowers all year be sure to include the above native plants, so you don’t miss out on summer colour.