In celebration of the NAIDOC Week, we listed down the native Australian flora that grows abundantly in its rainforests, mountain ranges, inland deserts, and sand dunes. Like the aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, these flowers are like no other in the world living for thousands of years since the beginning of time up to the present generation. Out of the 24,000 native Australian flora, below are five of the most common species.
Banksia can be distinguished by its cone-like shape and flowery spikes. It has 170 species of endless variety and can be found in rainforests, sclerophyll forests, arid landscapes, and shrub lands. This Australian wildflower is filled with nectar and is an important source of food t stingless bees, birds possums, rats, bats, and many other invertebrates thus making it a critical part of the ecosystem.
Eucalyptus tree plays an important part in Australian bush identity and culture. It is also called as gum tree and is being recognized in the popular children’s song, ‘Kookaburra sits in the old gum tree’. Eucalyptus is easily distinguished by its crisp fresh scent, long, slender leaves of green, and fluffy stamens of cream, white, yellow, red, or pink. Aside from being the source of food to native koalas, Eucalyptus is also popular in the whole world for its essential oils, and for being an important ingredient in cleaning products.
3. Bottle Brush
Bottlebrush is another iconic flower in all of the native Australian flora. Its flower is a resemblance of that of a bottle brush with vibrant red color. It grows in places with dry and sunny climate on broad, bushy trees. Bottlebrush has more than forty species all around Australia with colors ranging from bright red, pink, or orange to yellow and white. It can be most commonly found in the east and southeast of Australia, while another two of its species grow in the southwest of the country.
Grevillea is named after Charles Francis Greville, a British antiquarian and politician. It has about 360 species growing in the rainforests and more open habitats. It can grow as a prostrate shrub or as a tall tree 35 meters in height. Grevillea is also called the spider flower, silky oak, or toothbrush plant. Its petalless flowers made of calyx tube, that splits to four lobes, are a favorite of birds, honeyeaters, and some larvae.
5. Golden Wattle
This, of course, is the most iconic of all aboriginal flowers being the national flower of Australia with its own specific day of celebration. Golden Wattle is celebrated every 1st of September, where Australians gather in picnics, BBQs, morning or afternoon teas, lunches, or dinner with family and friends. They wear a sprig of wattles while greeting each other with a ‘Happy Wattle Day’. The Golden Wattle was designated to be the national flower of Australia in 1988 as it symbolizes unity and displays the nationals colours of the nation – green and gold.
Have a personal favourite native Australian flora? Share it with us in the comment section below.