Category Archives: Australian Native Plants

Ozbreed Aussie Box® Westringia is a compact drought tolerant box hedge plant

Ozbreed Aussie Box® Westringia is a compact drought tolerant box hedge plant

Growing small formal hedges in Australia or any other drought prone climate is difficult. Plants like English Box and Japanese Box often struggle with poor soils, and drought. Ozbreed Aussie Box® Westringia is a dense compact Aussie native shrub that’s super drought tolerant. Ozbreed Aussie Box® Westringia performs well in most parts of Australia, and in California.

OZBREED AUSSIE BOX® Westringia 'WES02' PBR

It can be made into a low maintenance small hedge, or can be used with very minimal pruning in gardens and mass plantings simply left in its natural ball shape. Ozbreed Aussie Box® Westringia flushes with mauve coloured flowers in Spring, and often in Autumn as well.

It’s natural drought tolerance makes it great for dry inland gardens, and its tolerance to salt laden winds make it ideal for coastal gardens. It works in full sun to part shade, and can cope with many soil types.

So as a formal hedge or a naturally shaped small shrub, Ozbreed Aussie Box® Westringia is one beautiful tough Aussie.

Click here for more info on Ozbreed Aussie Box® Westringia

Nathan Layt from Ozbreed – Photo By Outdoor Design Source at GES

Nathan Layt from Ozbreed – Ozbreed are a well known environmental turf, landscape gardening and plant breeding company. Photo By Outdoor Design Source at GES on stand 102.
Photo: Nathan Layt from Ozbreed - Ozbreed are a well known environmental turf, landscape gardening and plant breeding company. Check out their great range on stand 102.
Click here to check out Ozbreed’s range of Plants and Turf

Add some flair to your design with YALBA™

Add some flair to your design with YALBA™ 

Imperata cylindrica ‘ICL200’ PBR

YALBA is extremely tough and an incredibly beautiful Australian native ornamental grass.

Who’d have thought a grass could look so glamorous? Yalba’s fluffy plumes really are an eye catching feature for any landscape and can show for up to five months at a time (usually from April to August). Don’t be fooled though, this plant is much tougher than its fluffiness lets on.

Yalba is a dense, fast spreading grass and is much more compact than common Imperata grasses, with longer lasting and more prolific flowers. Another great feature is its reddish foliage in autumn and winter, with green foliage in the warmer months.

With its ability to out-compete weeds, Yalba is perfect for roadsides, median strips and large landscape areas, has excellent drought and frost tolerance, and tolerates poor soils.

Yalba is so competitive in an area that it out-competes Couch, Kikuyu, and most other weeds. You only need to mow it once each year or two after it is established and that’s it!

If any plant could ever be called bullet proof, I’d say Yalba is it. It’s also perfect for slopes and for erosion control as it strengthens the soil 5.45 times compared to bare soil.

With roadsides becoming difficult to maintain, a plant like this that can be mown any time of the year is just what the doctor ordered. Slash yearly, or every second year, and that’s it! …read more

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Recent Research Into Myrtle Rust Resistance on Australian Native Plants

Recent research into Myrtle Rust Resistance on Australian natives plants found Ozbreed Plants to be highly resistant to Myrtle Rust…

Myrtle Rust is a recently discovered fungus that can have devastating effects on many popular plants. It is very distinctive, producing masses of powdery bright yellow spores on infected plant parts consisting of spore-filled lesions on young growing leaves, shoots, flower buds and fruits.

Myrtle rust affects plants belonging to the Myrtaceae family including popular Australian natives such as Callistemons, Lilly Pillies, Tea Trees and Eucalyptus. Infection on vulnerable plants can have a devasting affect on the plant, resulting in the leaves becoming distorted and buckled, and sometimes even plant death.

Understandably people have recently become weary of chosing popular Bottlebrush and the like, based on the risk that Myrtle rust poses. However, recent research into the effects of the fungus have shown that there are in fact many varieties of Australian natives available on the market that are resistant to Myrtle Rust.

This research conducted by Dr. Karanjeet Sandhu, a Myrtle Rust Pathologist from the University of Sydney, concluded that varieties of Bottlebrush and other native shrubs and trees in the Myrtaceae family can offer varying degrees of resistance to this toxic fungus.

Many plant varieties were tested, and Ozbreed are proud to announce that many of our exclusively bred natives performed outstandingly, with some even given a status of ‘highly resistant’ as summarised here…read more

Native Hedging Plants – For Hot Dry Windy Positions

Native Hedging Plants – For Harsh, Hot, Dry, Windy Positions

For years the main specialist native hedging plants have been Lilly Pillies. They are fine for shaded or general conditions, but in hot, dry, exposed and windy sites they can struggle. Now there are a number of new specialist native hedging and screening plants that love exposure, with unique Westringia and Callistemon plants leading the way.

Part of the reason for the revival in hedging plants is the increased use of low cost long arm and standard hedge trimmers that can hedge plants in a fraction of the time. Pruning can be done more often at a lower cost of time and money, and without the back-breaking work. If you haven’t tried one yet you don’t know what you’re missing.Many exotics like English and Japanese Box make good hedges but are a little slow to establish. Murraya, Viburnum, and Photinia are widely used as screens and larger hedges, and are ideal for many situations, but for hot, exposed and windy sites they can struggle at times. For most years they will be fine, but in Australia every now and then we get extreme heat and wind.

Most of our capitals experience 40 to 45 degree days with hot winds at some time. This is when plants are truly tested. Even Acmenasmithii can be tested in these situations. Add severe drought to the equation, finding plants that survive our tough, sun burnt country can be hard. With all the rain on the East Coast lately, it is easy to be lulled into a false sense of security and not plan for the certain return of drought, heat, and hot winds.

In years gone by certain species of native plants like Callistemon, Westringia, Leptospermum and Melaleuca have survived these harsh periods very well, but most cultivars are poorly suited to hedging. Their internodes are not spaced right, or the shape is wrong, or they get untidy after a few years. Breeding has improved many of these plants to the point that they now make great hedging and screening plants for hot exposed conditions.

Some exotics like Raphiolepisalso cope with these conditions. Some of the best forms of this plant are recent releases, such as Oriental Pearl. It is ideal for use in smaller hedges, and has dark green shiny leaves and lots of white flowers in spring. Cosmic Pink is a small Raphiolepis with pink flowers that makes a nice hedge with regular pruning. Cosmic White will make a medium sized hedge with the same dark green leaves and even larger white flowers. These three plants set very little seed, making them a safer choice, and were bred by Vic Ciccolella.

Moving back to the natives, Callistemon and Westringia are known as some of the most reliable landscape plants, however read more…