Heavenly-scented winter flowers | Canberra time

Brown boron (Boronia megastigma) is a “native flower”, i.e. it grows in Australia, but since its native habitat is south-west Western Australia, it’s a bit like saying Italian ice cream belongs to the Hebrides. Brown boronia flowers are much prettier than the name suggests, but as some varieties have been bred to be beautiful and unscented, smell the shrub before buying. Brown boronia needs nutrient-poor, well-drained soil, meaning sloping ground where you won’t ignore it except to pick its flowers and sniff as it passes. Brown boronia also hates moisture, so don’t plant it in the lawn, especially if you mow infrequently. The top of a low rock garden would suit it best.

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