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Australian Native Blankets: Types Of Ground Covers

Australia’s vast and varied landscapes are not only home to iconic wildlife and ancient rock formations, but also to a remarkable array of native ground cover plants. These ground covers play a crucial role in maintaining ecological balance, preventing soil erosion and providing habitats for numerous species. From the harsh deserts of the Outback, to the lush rainforests of the tropical north, Australian native ground covers showcase an astonishing diversity — reflecting the continent’s unique climate and geology. Let’s delve into the tapestry of Australian native ground covers, highlighting some of the most notable types found across the continent.

  1. Dianella Species

Dianella, commonly known as flax lilies or blueberries, are a genus of perennial herbs native to various regions of Australia. These plants are renowned for their strappy foliage and vibrant blue or purple berries, which add ornamental value to garden landscapes. They thrive in a range of habitats, from coastal dunes to woodlands — making them versatile choices for ground cover. Besides their aesthetic appeal, many Dianella species are also valued for their resilience and ability to withstand dry conditions.

  1. Grevillea ‘Poorinda Royal Mantle’

Grevillea ‘Poorinda Royal Mantle’ is a popular ground cover cultivar prized for its dense foliage and striking red flowers. Belonging to the diverse Grevillea genus, this variety is particularly well-suited to rocky or sandy soils — making it a favourite for landscaping projects in coastal regions. Its low-growing habit and tolerance to salt spray make it an excellent choice for stabilising soil in coastal gardens, while its nectar-rich flowers attract native birds and pollinators.

  1. Viola hederacea

Viola hederacea, commonly known as Australian violet or native violet, is a charming ground cover plant indigenous to eastern Australia. With its heart-shaped leaves and delicate purple flowers, this species adds a touch of elegance to shaded areas of gardens and forest floors. Viola hederacea is admired for its ability to form dense mats, suppressing weed growth and providing habitat for small fauna. Its adaptability to various soil types and climates makes it a versatile option for both formal gardens and naturalistic landscapes.

  1. Lomandra longifolia

Lomandra longifolia, also known as mat-rush or spiny-headed mat-rush, is a hardy perennial grass-like plant native to eastern Australia. Its tough, strap-shaped leaves and compact growth habit make it an ideal choice for erosion control and landscaping in harsh environments. Lomandra longifolia is valued for its resilience to drought and low-maintenance requirements, making it a popular ground cover option for roadside plantings, revegetation projects and urban landscapes.

  1. Scaevola

Scaevola, commonly known as fan flowers or fairy fan flowers, are a genus of flowering plants native to Australia, with many species found in coastal regions. These low-growing shrubs are characterised by their fan-shaped flowers, which range in colour from white and pink to blue and purple. Scaevola species are well-suited to sandy soils and coastal conditions, making them valuable additions to seaside gardens and landscaping projects. Their profuse flowering habit and tolerance to salt spray make them a favourite among gardeners seeking vibrant and low-maintenance ground covers.

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