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Plant Collections

Perennial Border

Using combinations of plants in large drifts, the Perennial Border has been designed for a bold contemporary display.

Flowering throughout spring and summer, the display then mellows in autumn as the seed heads darken and the grasses fade.

Best Viewed

  • Summer, Autumn


All the plants in the Perennial Border are well suited to growing in Melbourne. They are quick to establish and in a few years will bulk up considerably. Many are available from general nurseries. Others will be found at more specialist ones. Generally they have medium to low water requirements.

Plant Census

Find out about what plants are growing at Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria with our Living Plant Census.

Key Plants

Eucomis comosa (purple form) - A bulb with purple leaves and a tall flower spike with cream flowers

Bocconia arborea - A tall shrub with large divided olive green leaves. This plant is coppiced annually

Dahlia 'Moonfire' yellow flowers with a red centre

Dahlia 'Clarion' with bright yellow flowers

Dahlia 'Heat Seeker' with brilliant red flowers

Kniphofia praecox 'Winter Cheer' - Strap leaved plant with large orange flowers in early winter

Purple leaved Canna cv

Two are grown, taller Canna 'Wyoming' with orange flowers and a red flowered cultivar

Senecio talinoides subsp. mandraliscae - Low growing succulent with light blue leaves

Achillea millefolium 'Moonshine' - Perennial with grey-green fern like leaf and lemon-yellow flat topped flowers

Artemisia ludoviciana 'Valerie Finnis' - Medium perennial with a divided silvery grey leaf

Miscanthus sinensis ‘Flamingo’ - A tall growing grass plant to 200cm, with prominent silvery pink flower heads held above the leaves in late summer

Perovskia ‘Blue Spire’ - A tough, spreading, sun loving plant with grey leaves and spikes of lavender blue flowers

Eucalyptus pulverulenta - This plant is coppiced annually to maintain the blue-grey juvenile foliage

Curator Notes

  1. Plant selection is based on length of display, low maintenance and low water requirement.
  2. Most plants are cut down or pruned over winter.
  3. Herbaceous perennials and grasses are divided every two years.


  • 1986 - existing site established as a perennial border.
  • 1994 - border redesigned.
  • 1998 - border enlarged and curved path constructed. At this time the backdrop hedge of Luma apiculata was planted.