Lifestyle

It's time to discover our 12,000 native species

The endangered Richmond birdwing butterfly.
The endangered Richmond birdwing butterfly. CSIRO/Wikimedia Commons

AUSTRALIA has more than 24,000 species of native plants. Compare this with the 1200 species native to England and you can begin to see what an extraordinary treasure our native flora is. About 85% of our native species are considered endemic, which means they occur here and nowhere else on the planet.

Australian native plants are a diverse group thanks to the extraordinary range of climatic conditions and soil types in this country. Plants have adapted to survive in environments ranging from coastal heath, through rainforest to the arid outback.

So wherever you are, there are many native plants that will happily grow in your garden. And plant growers have continued to propagate and trial different species, making a wider range available to the home gardener. Plant breeders have developed cultivars which are even more suitable for ornamental gardens thanks to compact growth habits and longer flowering times.

The variety of native plants now available means that you can use them to create just about any style of garden.

Lilly pillies (syzygium and acmena spp) are great for hedges and for topiaries. Daintree pines (gymnostoma australianum) would make a lovely formal conifer walk. Many of the rainforest shrubs such as native gardenia (atractocarpus fitzalianii, formerly randia fitzalanii) or golden penda (xanthostemon chrysanthus) are perfectly suited to a tropical garden with their lovely glossy leaves and showy flowers.

The ivory curl tree (buckinghamia celsissima) is a beautiful small flowering shade tree, its glossy green leaves complemented by lovely cream flowers. It grows to a height of 6m, making it quite suitable for a suburban garden or nature strip planting.

Native grasses including dianella and lomandra are attractive and hardy in most garden situations.

A bonus of native plants is the close relationship they have with native fauna. The Richmond birdwing vine (paristolochia praevenosa) is the primary source of food for the larvae of the vulnerable Richmond birdwing butterfly.

I planted a couple in my garden more than 15 years ago, and last year we saw our first beautiful butterflies. Nectar-laden grevilleas and banksias are absolutely irresistible to a large selection of gorgeous birds.

Lilly pillies and other dense, bushy shrubs provide safe haven for smaller birds.

If you're interested in learning more about Australian native plants, take a look at the website of the Australian Native Plants Society at anpsa.org.au. Another good source is Angus Stewart's website - gardeningwithangus.com.au.

Angus Stewart is one of Australia's leading native plant specialists, and you'll find fantastic articles and videos.

Topics:  australian flora native


Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Damaged but not defeated

BACK ON TRACK: Airlie Cove employees, Tara Craig, Sue Sloan, Betty Lightfoot, Christine Wickham, Michael Quigley, Sue Large and Bianca Paradies outside the pool which had eight trees fall in during Cyclone Debbie.

Airlie Cove is back and running despite being battered by TC Debbie

Free mulch is still available

Free mulch is still available across the Whitsundays, including the site at Gailbrath Park Road.

Free mulch is still available to Whitsunday residents.

Everyday Gourmet cooks up a storm in Airlie

TASTE TEST: Co-owner of Fish D'Vine, Kev Collins joined Justine Schofield on her television show Everyday Gourmet this morning.

Everyday Gourmet paid a visit to Airlie Beach

Local Partners

He survived Cyclone Debbie only to sadly lose cancer battle

THE man who for a while in March was the face of Cyclone Debbie in Airlie Beach has been commemorated.

Debbie's graveyard: Major auction to clear written-off cars

Auto Repair and Towing Service owner Shane Muntelwit at the salvage yard behind Mackay Airport, which has become a graveyard for about 150 vehicles destroyed or written off by Cyclone Debbie.

A salvage yard has become a makeshift graveyard

What to expect at Birds of Tokyo's Ipswich gig

The band will perform at the Racehorse Hotel on Friday.

BAND member Glen Sarangapany talks music, pub grub and doing shoeys

What public holidays are left in 2017

Ipswich residents will get the day off tomorrow for the show.

IPSWICH residents will get tomorrow off for the show

Musical tribute to flood volunteers released

LISMORE songwriter Simon Thomas was moved by the kindness of strangers.

Karl Stefanovic's rant about Schapelle Corby 'a bit rich'

Karl Stefanovic is sick of hearing about Schapelle Corby.

Maybe he just wanted to make himself the story.

Chart toppers to rock Airlie

FEEL THE BEAT: Aussie hip hop act Bliss N Eso are headed to the Whitsundays and will rock the crowd at Magnums next Tuesday.

Bliss n Eso will arrive in Airlie Beach for their show on Tuesday

Could Schapelle be heading for Gladstone?

Australian Schapelle Corby is escorted by Bali Police at the parole office in Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia, 27 May 2017.

Schapelle's mother teases her free daughter could be Gladstone bound

Origin nights set to go off around Airlie

RIVALRY CONTINUES: Amie Warner and Jennifer Davis will be on opposite sides of the fence at the Reef Gateway Hotel on Wednesday night for State of Origin.

Whitsunday gears up for big night of sport.

Six things you never knew about Men in Black

Mushu the pug

It's been 20 years since Men in Black first hit cinemas

10 strange stories behind famous sex scenes

Khaleesi and Khal Drogo in a steamy moment.

Every set has their own way of filming sex scenes

New $46.7m counter-terrorism facility to be built in Wacol

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, pictured with Police Commisioner Ian Stewart, has announced plans to build a new counter-terrorism facility in Wacol.

The facility will be built over three years.

Home to a sex worker: Sordid history of iconic Coast shed

Milojevic Djordjevic's daughter Linda at the derelict shed on Yandina-Coolum Road.

The shed was once a liveable 'barrack'.

This is real estate's billion-dollar man

Bob Wolff at AREC with John McGrath of McGrath Real Estate.

They don’t call him the “Billion dollar man” for nothing

Man's amazing comeback from monster crisis

Pat O'Driscoll agents Penny Keating and Doug Webber sold 56 Agnes St, The Range at auction over the weekend.

NOT long ago, he sold his possessions to pay staff. Now he's back.

Report reveals progress on $319m airport upgrade

Aerials of the Sunshine Coast.Jetstar plane in front of the Susnhine Coast terminal, Sunshine Coast Airport.

Over two dozen government approvals needed for airport expansion

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!