When you think of Australia, you might not immediately think of plants. You’re more likely to think of the Sydney Opera House, kangaroos, vast plains and prawns on the barbecue. But did you realise that it’s quite likely you have a piece of Australia in your living room? These plants have covered a lot of miles to get to the Britain.
There are some 150 different known species of Schefflera, which is part of the ivy family. It was originally native to Australia and surrounding countries, but can now be found worldwide from the tropics to the warm temperate regions. The plant is named after the Polish physician and botanist Johann von Schleffer.
Another palm! Livistona derives its name from Lord Livistone who founded Edinburgh botanical garden in Scotland in 1670. But he did have to go Down Under in order to discover the plant first.
Bamboo makes you think of pandas in China, but bamboo also grows in northern Australia. These are very ancient plants - fossil remains have been found dating from 145 million years BC. The fact that the plant is still thriving says something about its primaeval strength.
After being spotted by explorers in Australia in the 18th century, the orchid species Phalaenopsis soon became popular in Europe. That’s hardly surprising, given its charismatic appearance.
Well? Do you have an Aussie in your home in the form of a plant?