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Plant Collections

Perennial Border

Using combinations of plants in large drifts, the Perenial 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 what plants grow at Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne.

Key Plants

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

Bocconia arborea - A multi stemmed tall shrub with large divided olive green leaves.

Miscanthus sinensis 'Gracilimus' - An ornamental grass with a fine leaf and a decorative flower.

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 'Taygetea' - Perennial with grey/green fern like leaf and golden yellow umbel shaped flowers.

Artemisia ludoviciana 'Valerie Finnis' - Medium perennial with a divided silver/grey leaf.

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.