Native Australian flowers

It has reached that time of year when the crisp cool winter days are wearing thin and all we are craving here at O&S is the welcoming warmth of the sun! So what better for some inspiration than talking to one our Australian friends and discovering more about the country’s native floral offerings.

Having taken part in a floristry course that included students from all over the world, particularly in hotter climes it became apparent that the old adage of the human condition, you always want what you can’t have is true! Here in the UK we are fascinated by orchids and their exotic colours and patterns yet a fellow student  of  mine saw them growing all around her in Hong Kong, even out of cracks in concrete walls! Yet all she yearned for was English country roses, tulips and peonies. So I hope you enjoy my foray into the exotic and hopefully discover something new!  

A stunning example of a bride using native Australian flowers is shown on Want that Wedding blog. Set against a neutral pallet splashes of bright colours work really well among the other textural foliages and flowers - http://www.wantthatwedding.co.uk/2014/07/03/a-nature-inspired-australian-native-flower-wedding-kim-chris/

Above images from http://www.wantthatwedding.co.uk/2014/07/03/a-nature-inspired-australian-native-flower-wedding-kim-chris/

I also found some gorgeous pictures and examples of Australian native flowers being used on www.polkadotbride.com Australia’s most loved wedding blog, here are some of my favourites - 

http://www.polkadotbride.com/2009/01/beautiful-australian-natives/

http://www.polkadotbride.com/2009/12/australian-native-bouquets-by-blooming-brides/

Above images all from www.polkadotbride.com

The native flowers that you will come across most will be; Proteas, Geraldton wax, Grevillia Eucalyptus, Gumnuts, Callistemon, Acacias, Waratahs, Kangaroo paws and Paper daisies. Native Australian plants and flowers have been used in many different ways especially by the Aborginies, here are a few examples:

Wattle (Acacia/Mimosa)

There are over 1,000 different wattle species in Australia, and many of them were used by the Aborigines. In many areas wattle gum was an important food as well as a cement. Wattle seed is high in protein and carbohydrate and was eaten both green and dry in the arid areas. The Tasmanians ate the green seed and pods of Coast Wattle, Acacia sophorae, and Varnish Wattle, Acacia verniciflua, and wattle blossom was hung in their huts to promote sleep.

Acacia/Mimosa

Image from: http://www.anbg.gov.au/gallery/acacia-decurrens.html

Gymea lillies

The flowering stems grow up to 4 m high, but were cut when young, about 0.5 m long and thicker than a man's arm, and roasted. The roots were also roasted and made into a sort of cake. The name 'GYMEA' comes from the Wodi Wodi tribe of the Illawarra district near Sydney.

Gymea lillies

Image from: http://blaxill.com/gallery9.php

Banksia

Banksia flowers are one of the more popular varieties from Australia and they can add gorgeous colour and usual texture. Aborigines used to soak the flower-cones in water, in bark or wooden containers to extract the nectar to make sweet drinks. Early settlers also called banksias 'honeysuckles'. Some banksias, such as the local Silver Banksia, Banksia marginata, retain the dry flowers on the cones, and Victorian Aborigines used these as strainers for drinking water. Here at O&S we go crazy for botanical illustrations and I found a wealth of them on http://www.anbg.gov.au/gardens/plantinfo/index.html Here are a few examples:

Images:

  1. http://www.anbg.gov.au/gallery/banksia-ericifolia-cavanilles.html

  2. http://www.anbg.gov.au/gallery/banksia-baueri-hartinger.html
  3. http://www.anbg.gov.au/gallery/banksia-coccinea.html
  4. http://www.anbg.gov.au/gallery/banksia-formosa-norton-leonie.html

At O&S we think it is really important to incorporate the personality or the heritage of our couples into their wedding flowers, hoping that we can make their special day even more special. Especially if the wedding is taking place in the UK and the bride or groom want to be reminded of home. If you would like to see what we can create for you please get in touch, we would be really excited to design something spectacular for your wedding or event.

Floral Emblems of Australia