Horticultural Surprises: Australian native plants, when they are growing in the wild, are usually involved in a struggle for existence. When these plants are introduced into cultivation and given some tender loving care they often surprise us by producing dense foliage and flowering profusely. In some cases these cultivated plants bear little resemblance to their relatives in the bush. Two examples of plants in cultivation at Yallaroo will illustrate these changes.
Some years ago we found a red flowering form of Grevillea juniperina growing in grassland along a roadside in northern New South Wales. The plant was carrying a few flowers, had sparse foliage and appeared to have few horticultural virtues. We collected cuttings because it was a local Grevillea and we are interested in the various forms of G. juniperina. Some of the cuttings struck and eventually plants were introduced into the garden. They developed into dense small shrubs with prickly foliage and masses of red flowers. This species is now one of our favourite red flowering Grevilleas.
On another occasion we were searching for plants in the Hunter Valley region of NSW. We came across some straggly, single-stemmed plants virtually growing in the bitumen on the edge of a road. Each plant was carrying one or two yellow flowers. The plants were identified as Goodenia decurrens. Cuttings were collected and we now have about a dozen plants growing in various garden beds. The difference between wild and cultivated specimens is remarkable. Our cultivated Goodenia decurrens are about one metre tall with multiple stems. Each stem is covered with bright yellow flowers for many months. Many visitors ask about these eye-catching plants. As with all Goodenias this species propagates readily from cuttings. A description and flower image is on our plant page. Goodenia decurrens.