While spring may be one of the busiest blooming seasons for flowers, winter also offers up some beautiful samples of nature's art, particularly when it comes to Australian native flowers. Native to southwestern Western Australia, the Wax Flower (Chamelaucium) is available from June and will continue to bloom until early December. This pretty five-petal flower comes in a variety of colours, from white through to pink and purple, and has a lovely contrasting central cup of green. From the beginning of March through to the end of November, the delicate Crowea (Crowea exalata, or the larger flowered C. saligna) is available. Crowea grow into small shrubs with small star-shaped flowers along their stems, making excellent cut flowers. Flower colour ranges from dark pink to white. Thryptomene, or Lace Flower, (Thryptomene calycina (white), T. saxicola (pink) is another popular winter flower that is perfect for filling any flower arrangement. Peak blooming time for Thryptomene is from June to August. Thryptomene is a member of the Myrtaceae family, and like many plants in this family, its leaves contain aromatic oils and the flowers have a lovely fragrance. Winter is, of course, the time for the mighty Waratah to make an appearance. The Waratah (Telopea) is one of the most difficult Australian native flowers to cultivate, but there has been some success with the 'Wirrimbirra White' and the red 'Braidwood Brilliant'. Waratahs are available from July to October. Kangaroo Paws, native to Western Australia, are one of the most popular Australian native flowers available in winter. Kangaroo Paws come in many colours, from the almost hot pink Anigozanthos 'Bush Pearl' to the brilliant Anigozanthos 'Big Red' and Anigozanthos 'Yellow Gem'. The spectacular Macropidia fuliginosa is the only species in the genus Macropidia, and is black in colour. Other Australian native flowers that are available in winter include wattle (acacia), Blue Boy (Stirlingia Latifolia), the many cultivars and flowers of tea tree (Leptospermum), and a wide variety of Banksias. Fillers such as gum nuts, Woody Pear (Xylomelum angustifolium) and Smoke Bush (Conospermum) are also on offer. Australian native flowers certainly bring variety, colour and beauty to winter. You can find the perfect size, colour and shape to suit just about any arrangement, so don't wait for spring to be creative!
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