Native Australian Desert Plants

Written by rachel turner
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Native Australian Desert Plants
Native Australian plants have the ability to thrive in these harsh desert conditions. (desert and plants image by MAXFX from Fotolia.com)

The continent of Australia consists of 10 different desert regions with less than 3 per cent of the people residing here. The desert regions represent 18 per cent of the Australian mainland and the Australian desert plants obtain the ability to succeed in this harsh environment. Next to Antarctica, Australia is home to the driest climate in the world.

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Sturt's Desert Pea

Sturt's desert pea (Swainsona formosa) is a perennial Australian native desert plant found on the west coast and southern desert regions of Australia. Sturt's desert pea was aptly named after Captain Charles Sturt, an explorer from the late 1800s. This desert plant is a member of the pea family and features deep-scarlet flowers and rich-green, feather-like leaves. Sturt's desert pea plant is a low-growing, creeper vine that grows up to 12 inches in height. This plant thrives in sunny locations with no need for supplemental watering. This desert plant blooms in late winter to early spring.

Scaevola Outback Fan Flower

The Scaevola outback fan flower (Scaevola aemula) is an Australian native desert plant belonging to the Scaevola family. These plants consist of four main cultivars, providing four varying colours that range from purple to pure white. Scaevola outback fan flower is an evergreen perennial, which grows low to the ground at 12 to 24 inches tall and bears fan-shaped flowers. This fast-growing native desert plant is highly drought tolerant and can handle the seemingly endless sunshine of the Australian desert.

Silver Cassia

Silver cassia (Senna artemisioides) is an evergreen native Australian shrub with excellent heat resistance. Clustered, yellow, fragrant flowers display their appearance on silvery leaves starting in January through April. Silver cassia can be found growing up to 6 feet in height in most Australian ranges, sand countries and desert woodlands.

Sturt's Desert Rose

Sturt's desert rose (Gossypium sturtianum) proclaimed the Northern Territory's floral emblem since 1961 by Australia's Commonwealth Government. This native Australian desert plant is predominately found in the central desert regions of Australia. Sturt's desert rose features dark-green, black-stippled leaves and light-pink coloured flowers with a deep-pink tinged centre. This Australian plant grows exceptionally well in dry soils with low-rainfall levels. Sturt's desert rose can reach adult heights of 6 feet tall.

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