A Great Year For Alyogyne huegelii
My neighbor's Alyogyne huegelii have been sorry things for years and years, mostly leafless, misshapen, awkward. I wanted one of these open shrubs with gorgeous purple satin flowers for a while--until I saw them in my neighbor's gardens and thought: "Ewwww!"
What these Australian natives apparently need is careful pruning and twelve inches (~30 cm) of December rainfall. These didn't get the careful pruning that would make them more symmetrical and bushier, but the rain brought out the flowers like never before.
This plant, like many Australian natives, is sensitive to Overdose By Phosporus. As you may know, Australian plants evolved to do without phosphorus, which is nearly non-existant in Australian soil. When many Australian plants gets a big hit of phosporus-rich fertilizer, they overdose and die. Alyogyne does well with nothing more nutritious than a yearly layer of good compost around the root system. A pretty good non-commercial info page on Alyogyne here.
Often called "Purple Hibiscus", though it is not in that genus:
The foliage is beautiful, somewhat like a cut-leaf Pelargonium, fuzzy green snowflakes:
While this plant demands excellent drainage and can get along on little irrigation, twelve inches of December rainfall seemed to delight it. The growth habit is the least attractive aspect of the plant. Experts advise frequent pinching to force the shrub to branch. Left to itself, it is awkward, rangy, and asymmetrical.