These flowers are indigenous to Western Australia and are its floral emblem, but cultivars are now in gardens all over Australia. The flowers are long lasting when cut and grow on long stems. They come in sage greens, dull yellows, green and red. The buds are long and curved, often opening to reveal an entirely different colour within.
A wonderful feature of the kangaroo paw is that is covered in fine hairs which gives it a velvety or suede like appearance. The hairs are sometimes in a different colour from the underlying flower, such as a pale green flower covered in red hair, adding to its luminous quality.
Use this beautiful and different flower as an inspiration for a wedding colour scheme and feature it in large bunches in rustic tubs or pristine glassware. Strappy grey green, sage and red leaves need be the only other adornment.
These evergreen grassy plants grow where there is sandy soil and moisture, often along coastal regions. (Have you ever seen them growing wild on the coastal plain near Lake Cathie, NSW?)
The bells nod their heads on long stems and are quite thick in texture. They form from red and green buds and the hanging bells are bright red graduating to yellow at the tips of the petals – almost as if they have been painted. Imagine these in a ‘sculptural’ wedding bouquet amongst seed pods, gumnuts and vines, or as the main feature amongst more delicate native blossoms.
Think bottle brush, grevillea, leucadendrons, wattles, yellow pea flowers or tea tree blossoms to name a few. Add a few eucalyptus leaves and green gumnuts and you have a bouquet that will take your breath away.
For a bit of Christmas cheer this week, we have a few short & sweet entries on the red & green Australian Natives lined up. First up- it’s the waratah!
A member of the Proteaceae family, this is a large sculptural flower, whose name means, in Aboriginal, ‘seen from afar’. And that it is – a bright red beauty sitting in amongst green leathery serrated leaves, looking like a flame in its intensity. The Waratah is grown mainly in small areas of NSW and is that State’s floral emblem.
The Waratah flowers from September to November and is very long lasting when cut. A rare form featuring a white flower is also in existence. Feature this flower in amongst other Australian natives in your table arrangements or spectacularly on its own in square glass vases placed in a row on a long table.