Backyard Buddies

Shrubs

Blueberry Ash

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Photo credit: Tatters

Blueberry Ash

The Blueberry Ash Elaeocarpus reticulatus is a large shrub or small tree which produces lots of sweet smelling bell-shaped pink or white flowers in spring and early summer. The smell is a little like aniseed or liquorice. Its brilliant blue berries take quite a long time to ripen with some hanging on the branches until the next flowering season. It is a popular garden plant that grows easily in well-drained soil in a sunny spot. It can g..

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Callistemons

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Photo credit: Richard Revel

Callistemons

Callistemons are commonly known as Bottlebrushes because of their cylindrical, brush like flowers. These shrubs live in warm regions of Australia, mainly along the east coast and south west. They provide food and shelter for native animals, birds, insects and skinks – they will attract plenty of life to your backyard. Callistemon flowers provide plenty of food for nectar eating birds like honeyeaters, insects, possums and flying foxe..

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Christmas Bells

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Photo credit: David Midgley

Christmas Bells

Christmas Bells, Blandfordia, grow in New South Wales and Queensland. True to their name, Christmas Bells have beautiful yellow flowers just like bells, or sometimes red flowers with lovely yellow tips. Christmas Bells flower during late spring and summer. The different species have different soil and climate requirements - Blandfordia grandiflora likes sandy soil with full sunlight and frequent watering while Blandfordia noblis wil..

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Christmas Bush

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Photo credit: FNPW Image Library

Christmas Bush

The Christmas Bush or Tree is a series of different plants that grow in almost every state. Victorian Christmas Bush Prostanthera lasianthos grows in Victoria, Queensland, New South Wales, Australian Capital Territory, and Tasmania. It has lovely white, pink or purplish flowers which bloom in summer and provide nectar to birds. This Christmas Bush has another great plus in that it provides a protective habitat for birds to hide amongst. ..

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Christmas Orchid

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Photo credit: cskk

Christmas Orchid

The Christmas Orchid Calanthe triplicata is a native terrestrial orchid that grows in rich soil in rainforest areas and near creeks. It originated in Queensland but now grows more widely in the right conditions from southern NSW to northern Queensland. It is one of the larger orchids with deep green flowers and a tall flower stem up to 1metre high with multiple white flowers. As the name suggests, it flowers over summer. It is not an eas..

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Cycads

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Photo credit: Dinesh Valke

Cycads

Cycads have existed since the Jurassic Period 200 million years ago, and still thrive today in many different habitats around the world. Cycads are incredibly long-lived, with some individuals in the wild estimated to be around 1,000 years old. One of the oldest cycads "in captivity" is in Kew Gardens in London, and it at least 228 years old. Part of the secret of their longevity is that they grow very slowly - producing just a few ..

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Kangaroo Paw

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Photo credit: Ron & Beths Pics

Kangaroo Paw

Originally native to south-west Western Australia, these beautiful and distinctive flowers can now be found all over the country, as they're a favourite with many gardeners and landscapers. The kangaroo paw gets its name from its flowers, which are often red in colour, feel furry, and are shaped just like a kangaroo's paw. The nectar in the long and tubular flowers are an important high-energy food source for many birds, mammals and inse..

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Mistletoe

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Photo credit: Bill & Mark Bell

Mistletoe

Mistletoe has a bad reputation in Australia as it's a sap sucking plant that requires a host tree, but there are a few reasons to celebrate if you've spotted the bright red, octopus-shaped flowers of the Mistletoe in your area. Many people assume Mistletoe is an introduced tree, but there are ninety species of Mistletoe in Australia and seventy of these are native. Many Australian animals will feed on mistletoe. This plant is more n..

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Nectar giving shrubs

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Nectar giving shrubs

Shrubs are an important element of any good garden. Shrubs provide food, shelter and nesting sites for many different kinds of birds, insects, butterflies and other creatures. Shrubs are particularly important if you want to see small birds in your garden, as these tiny creatures need somewhere to hide from predators such as cats and bigger birds. Nectar giving shrubs are an excellent choice to attract birds and insects to your gard..

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Orchids

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Photo credit: FNPW Image Library

Orchids

Many of Australia's 1200 species of orchids are epiphytic, meaning they grow up high using trees or rocks for support. Spring is the time for many of our beautiful epiphytic orchids to burst into flower. One of the best known Australian epiphytic orchids is the New South Wales Rock Orchid, Dendrobium speciosum, which grows in frost free gardens from Gippsland in Victoria to northern Queensland. This Rock Orchid has creamy sprays of ..

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Persoonia

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Photo credit: John Tann

Persoonia

Persoonias are part of the Proteaceae plant family. There are many species that grow all over Australia. This plant is known by some strange common names - in Eastern Australia they are called Geebungs and in Western Australia and South Australia they have the less flattering name Snottygobbles. Almost 100 different species of these tall shrubs or small trees exist across Australia. Many different native bees will help pollinat..

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Trigger Plant

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Photo credit: John Tann

Trigger Plant

The Trigger Plant gets its name from its unique pollination method. When an insect investigates a Trigger Plant flower, it is hit with a club-shaped column that quickly springs up from under the petals. The insect's feeding activity disturbs small filaments in the centre of the flower, activating the column. On the end of the column are male and female flower parts. The male parts deposit pollen on the insect, and the female parts can be..

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