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As much as I love our California native plants, I equally enamored by those from the world’s other Mediterranean climate regions, especially plants from Australia.

Australian plants are just… special! The colors, the textures are enchanting. They add so much to our modern, drought resilient, resource conserving, wildlife supporting gardens.

The best known of the Australian natives are members of the Protea family – all sizeable evergreen shrubs and even a few small trees that include Grevillea, Banksia, Hakea, even Macadamia!

Eremophila glabra ‘Gray Horizon’ – 1′ tall x 4-6′ wide with silver leaves and gold/burnt orange flowers.

Eremophila glabra ‘Kalgoorlie’ — 2-3′ t x 3-6′ wide with silvery green leaves and flowers in shades of apricot with yellow.

Eremophila glabra ‘Kalgoorlie’

Eremophila glabra ‘Fire and Ice’ 4 – 6′ tall x 4-6′ wide with nearly white leaves and scarlet red flowers

Eremophila glabra ‘Fire and Ice’

Look closely at the tube-shaped flowers and you’ll see the slender male flower parts (stamens) and the knob-like female flower part (stigma). Together, they look like fringes poking out from the colored tubes. A tiny drop of nectar sits inside, at the base of the flower.

Eremophila flower parts. Petals, male and female “fringy” parts plus a drop of nectar

In my garden, I’ve see hummingbirds visit the flowers. In their native habitats in Australia, these plants are pollinated by insects and by birds called honey eaters.

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