Breathtaking Native Wedding Flowers: Your Ultimate Bridal Guide
Enjoy your ultimate guide to native wedding flowers! From choosing native cut flowers at the flower market to creating your own DIY native wedding bouquet, this handy guide has everything a bride and her tribe needs to know to perfect her native wedding flower theme.
Native flowers are extremely versatile and long-lasting, and can be used to create bouquets, buttonholes, corsages, floral crowns, table arrangements and large scale floral installations. With so many colours and textures available it’s no wonder native wedding flowers have become so popular with brides-to-be. Read on to find out more!
Availability: Autumn, Summer, Spring
Stem Count: Variable
Vase life: 7-20 days
Colour range: Variable
Native flowers and foliages (sometimes called wildflowers or bush flowers) can be used to produce spectacular floral bouquets, with their interesting textures and shapes perfect for creating drama, particularly in large arrangements. Available in a wide array of colours and varieties, proteas and leucadendrons are the most popular native flowers due to their unique appearance and long vase life. Most native flowers are available in Autumn, Summer, Spring (September to May) but can be available all year round.
Examples of use
Your Comprehensive Guide to Native Wedding Flowers
When to choose a native flower wedding theme
With the rise of the Boho trend and the continued popularity of Rustic Country weddings, there has been an increasing amount of brides opting for native wedding flower bouquets in place of traditional wedding flower styles. The perfect accompaniment to weddings with outdoor elements (which Boho and Rustic Country weddings usually have in spades - pardon the pun!), choose native wedding flowers when you want to achieve a stylish, modern romantic look with lots of texture, colour and personality.
Going native – DIY native wedding bouquet
There are many native wedding flowers that look fantastic in bouquets for brides and their bridesmaids. In comparison to traditional flower choices such as roses or lillies, native plants can offer far more interesting textures and colours, and can really show off your signature style.
For a soft, romantic bouquet try flannel flowers with their sage green and creamy yellow centres and pale ivory petals. Blushing bride flowers are another super romantic (and aptly named) choice, with their distinctive star shaped blooms and long needle like leaves. There are a selection of varieties including ‘pretty in pink’ and ‘sugar and spice’ which are popular choices for brides. Both flannel flowers and blushing brides make beautiful native bouquets on their own, but can also be teamed successfully with eucalyptus leaves or soft pink or apricot proteas.
If you’re looking for a native wedding bouquet with a little more edge try billy buttons. They can be used alone for a pop of modern colour or mixed with any number of other fun and fresh flowers including waxflower and paper daisies.
For more native wedding flower inspiration check out our recent blog, 15 Native Wedding Flowers: A Bride's Guide.
Create your own Australian native flower table arrangements
Native wedding flowers can be even more striking as table arrangements than as bridal bouquets, simply because you can create very large, eye-catching arrangements without worrying about the weight! Grab a large vase or vessel that you love and a selection of native flowers (waratahs, billy buttons, paper daisies, eucalyptus, waxflowers, banksia and woolly bush work together well), and with a little flair you can create a gorgeous showstopper of a native flower arrangement to wow your guests. Use the eucalyptus as a frame, the waxflowers, banksias and paper daisies as visual anchors, the woolly bush as texture, and the waratah as your focal flower, then style it up with your wedding day details and you are set!
Australian native flowers list
Botanists place the number of Australian native plant species at over 25,000, and many of these produce simply stunning flowers that are perfect for wedding bouquets, table centrepieces, flower crowns, aisle and ceremony flowers, and buttonholes. Here are some native Australian flowers and foliage options that are becoming increasingly popular for weddings:
- Flannel flowers (delicate daisy like flowers with a gorgeous soft texture similar to the flannel they are named after)
- Banksia (with large blooms that can be the focal point of a modern and quirky native bouquet)
- Telopea / Waratah (an eye-catching and long lasting cut flower with long straight stems)
- Callistemon / Bottle Brush (with unique spiked flowers in shades of green, yellow, white, violet and red)
- Anigozanthos / Kangaroo Paw (very distinctive tubular flowers with a velvety texture and shape that closely resembles the claws of a Kangaroo)
- Billy Buttons (cute ball like flowers that are fantastic used both fresh and dried)
- Native Orchids (available in a huge range of colours, shapes and sizes)
- Geraldton Waxflower (probably the most popular branched filler, used in bud or when flowers are open)
- Gymea Lily (with huge flower heads up to 70cm across and a mass of red flowers and sword shaped leaves)
- Eucalyptus / Gum Flower (used mainly for their silvery green foliage and quintessentiallt Australian gum nuts)
- Golden Wattle (an excellent addition to larger bouquets because of its prolific blooms of small, bright yellow flowers and wonderful aroma)
Are proteas Australian native flowers?
Despite the frequent appearance of proteas in native flower arrangements, they are not Australian plants. Proteas, as well as other wedding flower faves including Leucadendron, Leucospermum and Erica, are South African natives that are sometimes mistaken for Australian locals.
The genus Protea has given its name to a family of related plants (i.e., the Proteaceae) and there are are a number of Australian members of this Protea family including banksia, grevillea, hakea, macadamia, waratah and many others.
How to choose native wedding flowers at the flower market
You always aim to buy the freshest flowers at the flower market, and that includes native wedding flowers. But how do you know whether the flowers you buy are fresh, or whether they have been sitting in a cold room for weeks? It is very difficult with some types of flowers and only experience can tell. But with native flowers and in particular proteas, there are some key pointers to look for:
- The flower colour should be clean and clear, with no bruising and not dull or grey.
- Foliage should be fresh and green. Some proteas have a problem with their leaves blackening - this can happen even under ideal circumstances.
- Buy protea flowers that have not fully opened - you'll be able to enjoy watching them unfold.
TIP: If the buckets that your flowers are sitting in at the florist or wholesaler are dirty, your vase life will be lessened. Look for clean water in buckets.
How long do native wedding flowers last in the vase?
Leucadendron stems have quite a long vase life, up to 20 days. Proteas have a reputation for being long-lived cut flowers (14 days+), but even the most long lived cut flowers will not last if they are not properly handled. See our tips below on how to extend the vase life of your native flowers.
Simple tips to extending the vase life of your native wedding flowers
As with all cut flowers, there are a few ground rules to follow to keep your native wedding flowers looking better for longer. Flowers are best cut early in the morning and the stems immediately placed in fresh, clean water for about thirty minutes. If the stems are woody, it is a good idea to re-cut them on a slant whilst underwater. This will allow maximum uptake of water and thus prolong the life of the flowers. Remove any leaves that will sit below the water line (which will keep your water fresher for longer). The vases should be clean and placed in a position away from direct sunlight and warm surfaces, and replenish water regularly; proteas in particular are very thirsty!
Growing Native Wedding Flowers
How to grow Australian native flowers at home
With their stunning blooms and textured leaves, Australian natives are simply stunning whether in the garden or in a vase. Whatever your soil or climate, it's possible to find the right spot to grow native flowers at your place. In general, many natives don't like being fed phosphorous so use a native specific fertiliser each spring. Natives also like being pruned regularly, so cut them back after flowering.
Here are some tips for some specific native varieties:
Waratahs: These plants are quite difficult to cultivate under normal garden conditions. They can be grown from cuttings but the easiest way to propagate waratah is from seed. Fresh seed has a high viability and germinates 2-3 weeks after sowing. Seedling plants take about five years to flower, while cuttings may take only two years. Plants should be planted out as soon as they are large enough to handle; about 15cm tall. Grow waratah plants in a raised mound or pot as they really need great drainage to thrive. They can be in a semi shaded or full sun position.
Kangaroo Paw: Ranging in size from around 30cm up to 1m, all varieties of Kangaroo Paw like good drainage so either mound the soil or grow in large pots or bowls. Remove old flowers once they have faded.
Golden Wattle: A relatively easy tree to grow as long as it is in a mostly temperate climate and has good drainage. Golden Wattle will grow up to 8 metres in height so make sure you give it enough room to grow!
Native Orchids: Native Orchids require only a few special conditions to grow, such as plenty of direct winter sunlight for a good spring bloom, and good moisture.
How to Buy Quality Native Wedding Flowers at Wholesale Prices
Popular for rustic and country themed weddings, in recent years’ native cut flowers have become a favourite for brides and florists looking to create stunning wedding bouquets and table centrepieces of all shapes and sizes. Here at Tesselaars we supply quality wholesale native flowers (and many other flowers) to florists, wedding specialists and private customers alike. You can shop online, seeing prices as delivered to you by logging in. You will need an account to login, but this is not a difficult process. Please click here to register for either a business account (if you intend to buy regularly for business purposes) or a personal account.