We have an irritating and rather pathetic habit in this country of naming Australian plants after well-known European plants. When the English first arrived in Australia 224 years ago they inevitably tried to reassure themselves by calling Australian plants after familiar plants from back home. It seems we still feel the need to do this. A recent example of this ongoing cultural cringe is the decision by Ozbreed to market Westringea fruticosa as "Aussie Box".
In the past it has been called "Native Rosemary". But now it seems that since Australians have taken such a liking to Box hedging, the marketing people at Ozbreed have decided to capitalize on this. It is true that Westringea does make a great clipped hedge, though whether it will prove as long-lived as Box remains to be seen. The photo shows a young Westringea planted in The Hill Garden near a clipped Bursaria, another Australian plant which was also called Australian Native Box at some stage. It all gets a bit silly really.
Why not just give these plants original Australian names instead of attempting to ape overseas garden traditions yet again? We would never refer to Uluru as Ayer's Rock anymore so perhaps it is time to give local names to local plants. In the meantime I will stick with Latin. To see more on The Hill Garden click here