The British traditions of decking the halls with evergreens such as mistletoe, holly and ivy hardly apply to Australia. Maybe because our Christmas tends to be around perfect jet ski weather. Also because those plants have a hard time growing here without specially provided circumstances. This is why when the season came the pioneers of Australia rushed about, gathering every flower in their surroundings that looked even remotely christmasy. Which was not hard as there is a variety of plants here that fit the colour theme, and are now a big part of Down Under Christmas tradition.
Christmas Bells grows in tufts much like a grass. It’s flowers look like a tube with a flare at the end. The colours vary from gold to crimson, and stay festive even in scorching weather. Nowadays they are grown en masse and sold for Christmas, but you can easily grow them yourself.
Actually three different plants are known under the name Christmas Bush, but we will pay attention to the most widespread one – Ceratopetalum Gummiferum. This sun loving shrub blooms in either white or red star shaped flower and can reach heights of 10m. Unfortunately when cultivated it rarely exceeds 5m in height. The blossoms are often used in flower arrangements and can even be made into garlands to decorate your house with. The reason we like this one so much is because it actually changes color. They start of white around October when the flowers appear, then the petals falls off and the sepals start enlarging and turning festive red right around Christmas.
Christmas Orchids are delicate, pleasant scented, and thrive in Straya’s rainforests. They have snowy white flowers that clumped together look like delicate lace. Even when not in bloom their waxy leaves offer an appealing splash of green. Christmas orchids are perfect for growing in a pot, and thus make an excellent Christmas gift for that special someone.
These beauties grow in the deserts of Western Australia. Their name comes from the fact that they bloom throughout the Christmas season. Their blossoms produce a spectacular bright yellow fluffy crown. And if that isn’t enough for you – They are actually in the mistletoe family. The gum this tree produces is a sweet delicacy traditional for the Nyungar people.
Unfortunately the Christmas Tree is almost impossible to be grown out of it’s natural habitat due to it’s very specific feeding. It’s a hemiparasitic tree that sinks it’s roots in those of other species and steals nutrients from them in addition to photosynthesis. It doesn’t take much from it’s neighbours, but it usually casts a net so broad the resulting benefit is quite considerable.