Northern Sandplains Garden

This important collection showcases the extensive biodiversity of the northern Kwongan heathland flora, with a range of surprising and delightful plants.

Here you will discover plants from one of the most diverse ranges of WA flora, all originating from the northern sandplains - a region north of Perth extending from Gingin to north of Shark Bay and east to Dalwallinu. Also known as the northern Kwongan, the typical vegetation is low, heath-like shrubs with no canopy, highly adapted to very low rainfall and long hot summers. On first glance you may think some of these plants look unremarkable – but prepare to be impressed when they are transformed by flowers.

Look out for the majestic Eucalyptus macrocarpa, Jewel of the North, with the largest flowers of all eucalypts. Its red blossoms demand to be photographed, standing out like jewels against tough silver foliage. Wander through the garden, following the sandy pathways to discover smaller elegant floral delights like spider orchids and fringed lily (Thysanotus manglesianus) hidden inside the beds in early spring. In late spring/early summer return to see the stunning colours of the coppercups (Pileanthus sp.) flowers. And so much more.

A bunch of kangaroo Mangles Kangaroo Paw in bloom.

There is always something in flower, and many of the plants have unusual and textured foliage and growth habits.

Look out for...

Anigozanthos manglesii

Western Australia’s striking floral emblem! This beautiful strappy leaved perennial produces multiple green and red, velvety flowers from late winter through spring.

Banksia burdettii

These two-toned orange and cream, cone-shaped flower spikes are spectacular against the blue summer sky!

Patersonia occidentalis

Patersonia occidentalis is a strappy leaf, tufted perennial herb that grows to 80 cm high and up to 60 cm wide. Its striking three-petalled flowers in blue, violet or purple typically appear in late spring to early summer, but can appear at other times throughout the year.

Curator Profile Notes

Maddy Bradley

The Northern Sandplains beds are close to my heart after spending my childhood growing up in Geraldton. I love the delicate look of many of the species such as the Verticordia etheliana, juxtaposed with the toughness of the conditions they thrive in. This is a great area in the botanic garden for home garden inspiration with this collection of ornamental but drought tolerant species. It’s also a beautiful place to linger a while and admire the stunning view beyond the plants.