Real World Gardener Fairy Fan Flower is Plant of the week

November 14th, 2014

REAL WORLD GARDENER Wed. 5pm 2RRR 88.5fm Sydney, streaming live at and Across Australia on the Community Radio Network.<?xml:namespace prefix = "o" />


The complete CRN edition of RWG is available on , just click on 2RRR to find this week’s edition. The new theme is sung by Harry Hughes from his album Songs of the Garden. You can hear samples of the album from the website



with Karen Smith editor of
Scaevola is a well-known Australian native that really does well in gardens in all states and not just the east coast of Australia flowering from Spring to Autumn, even during the worst heat of summer.
Drought tolerant, salt tolerant, pretty flowers and no real maintenance.

Wouldn’t that be good if most of our plants were like that?

Never mind, even if we put some plants of these amongst the ones that aren’t so hardy, we’ll still have a show of colour and foliage when those others fade away.

That burnt hand story I’ve discovered was slightly off with the facts.

The latin word scaevola has a link to a Mucius Scaevola which was a lineage of patricians during the Roman Republic.

It was an offshoot of the Mucian family started by Gaius Mucius Scaevola.

This Gaius Scaevola was a legendary assassin who burnt away his right hand as a show of bravery during the early years of the Republic. Not saint at all then.

Latin: scaevola, "left-handed.

It grows naturally along the coastline around Nambucca Heads to Coffs Harbour where I’ve seen it on bushwalks.
S. albidus grows as far south in coastal areas of Victoria and Tasmania doing well in any type of soil, including clay soils.


The flowers have a beautiful fan shape in colours of purple, blue or mauve.
This petal colour is combined with a white or more commonly a yellow centre to give a bright eye catching flower.
The flowers grow along the stems and become smallerfrom the top to the bottom of the plant.

Flowering time is from spring through to the end of summer these although this flowering time alters according to the length of summer and the temperatures of the season.

Visited by butterflies and Honey Bees

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