Native Blooms

Photo by Emma & Tom


Native Blooms

words by
kristee semmler // the barossa nursery

Using Australian native flowers in floristry and floral art is bang on trend right now.

Australian native flowers lend themselves to many floral themes, from dramatic to whimsical and with such a great array available, any colour theme can be created.

Not only will native flowers look great in all native arrangements, but they also pair well with non-natives.

Using Australian native flowers in bouquets is not only beautiful, but also practical as they can last up to six weeks in a vase and many can also be dried to last even longer.

Here are a few of my favourite Australian native flowers used in bouquets and styling.

Billy Buttons

Billy Button plants will flower on and off throughout the year. They produce gorgeous yellow globe-shaped flowers on long stems which make them perfect in floral arrangements or arranged as a bunch in a vase on their own.

Billy Button flowers can be dried easily by tying a bunch together and hanging upside down in a dark, dry place (like a shed or garage) for around a month.

Billy Buttons are easy to grow and will reward you with plenty of gorgeous flowers for your next bouquet.


Waratah flowers are probably one of the most stunning and dramatic native flowers you can get.

The bright red variety is the most popular and suits both mixed bouquets and a bunch on its own.

Waratah flower stems can be expensive to buy, so growing your own is a great option. Just remember, they require specific growing conditions such as dappled light and rich, slightly acidic soils.


This is another dramatic looking native flower, Banksias look stunning in an all-native bouquet.

While any variety can be used, my favourite for cut flowers include the following varieties; Banksia coccinea, Banksia hookeriana, Banksia burdettii and Banksia prionotes.

Once again, cut Banksia stems can be expensive to buy, so it’s well worth having a go at growing your own.

Flannel flower

Flannel flowers are a popular wildflower that add a stunning touch to any arrangement. They have velvety silver leaves and white flowers with light green centres and are almost daisy-like in appearance. Their neutral appearance means they lend themselves to many colour themes and styles.

Rice flower

(Ozothamnus) gets its name from its flowers, that resemble heads of rice grains.

They are a great addition in arrangements and complement the more dramatic flowers beautifully.

They come in white, pink or yellow and make a particularly long-lasting cut flower. Rice flowers can also be dried and work well in dried arrangements.

Wax flower

Geraldton Wax have been a popular cut flower for decades. They are an attractive addition in any bouquet and have a lovely citrus scent.

Wax flowers are easy to grow and easy to work with in floral art. They come in a range of colours to complement and enhance other flowers. Wax flowers can last up to three weeks when cut.

Proteas and King Proteas

Despite appearances, Proteas are not actually Australian natives, rather they are native to South Africa.

However, hundreds of millions of years ago, when Australia was a part of Gondwana, it is likely our current Australian native flowers (Banksia, Hakeas, Waratah etc) and Proteas shared a common ancestor.

Proteas are often thought of as a native flower because they share and enjoy very similar growing conditions to Australian natives.

While not native, Proteas and King Proteas look spectacular in native floral arrangements and pair perfectly with our Aussie natives.

They have large, dramatic, long-lasting flowers that are some of the most popular flowers used in floral arrangements, in particular native floral arrangements.

Proteas come in many shapes and colours to suit any theme. They grow so well here due to their similar growing conditions and put on a fantastic display in any garden.


Last but not least, quintessential Australiana is the Eucalypt. There are hundreds of different types of Eucalypts here in Australia, some suited better to floral art than others.

Some of my favourite varieties to use in floristry include; Eucalyptus pleurocarpa, Eucalyptus cinerea (argyle apple), Eucalyptus pulverulenta ‘baby blue’, and Eucalyptus Nicholii (willow Eucalypt).

Eucalyptus stems make excellent fillers in arrangements. They not only smell fresh, but also often have gorgeous grey green foliage which suits many colour palettes and flower varieties.

It’s no surprise that Australian native flowers are so popular in decorating and floristry. With such a vast and great choice available, they really can suit every style.

Why not try growing your own native flowers so you can enjoy these stunning blooms in years to come?

“May your life be like a wildflower, growing freely in the beauty and joy of each day.” Native American proverb.

Happy gardening!

Kristee Semmler


If you have any good gardening old wive’s tales, feel free to share them by leaving a comment online on the Barossa Mag’s website.

I do love hearing a good tale! 

In the meantime, happy gardening!

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