Monday, September 19, 2011

Australian Native Flowers

Australian native flowers are some of the most beautiful flowers in the world. From the delicate blooms of the many grevilleas to the sturdy Banksia; from the unusual shape of the kangaroo paw to the many brightly coloured desert flowers such as Sturt's Desert Pea, the variety represented is enormous.

Many of the native flowers of Australia are eminently suitable for use as dried flowers . Some such as the banksias even dry on the bush or tree so can be collected without having to go to any trouble with drying techniques. Others like waxflowers and strawflowers take very little drying due to the crisp texture of the petals. Some even keep their original colour - or near to it - when they are dry.

Dried flower arrangements made from Australian native flowers are popular gifts for overseas friends and relatives. And if you are into flower-arranging either for the home or as a more commercial undertaking, Australian native flowers and leaves will form a large part of your handiwork.

Growing Australian natives in your own garden can give you access to many beautiful flowers and foliage for dried flower arrangements. Many are drought and heat tolerant, having adapted to our growing conditions over thousands of years. To survive in the wild with no water for months on end, the foliage on some plants such as Scaevola sericea is tough and waxy while on others like Calytrix brownii, it is thin and fine, giving the plants a soft feel. And sometimes the leaves may be really hairy, another trick of nature to conserve moisture.

Many Australian natives are quite sturdy in their dried condition and so don't break up when being arranged. This is another reason they have become so popular for floral arrangements. And while many fresh flower arrangements don't last very long, a dried flower arrangement of Australian native flowers can be expected to last for many months, giving good value for money.

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