Patricia Weeks for M & S Textiles. Sturt’s Desert Rose (Gossypium Sturtianum) is the floral emblem of the Northern Territory of Australia. It is a perennial shrub and has a life cycle of 10 years. It is highly tolerant to draught and occurs naturally in sandy or gravelly soils along dry creek beds water courses, gorges or rocky slopes. Flowering time peaks around late winter. The rose is very tolerant in times of drought and grows well in areas with low rain fall.