attracts butter flys/
c r e a t e
Port Jackson Mallee
Climbing Guinea Flower
Dusky Coral Pea
Wonga Wonga Vine
a wildlife habitat garden
Red Spider Flower
Thyme Honey Myr tle
Coast Rosemar y
Acacia myr tifolia
Slender Rice Flower
Ball honey Myr tle
of trees, shrubs and groundcover plant species to provide a range of habitat for all seasons.
to provide habitat for invertebrates and insects and feeding areas for frogs and
to provide habitat for frogs.
Place a shallow bowl up off the ground, adjacent to shrubs, to provide
Plant local native plant species (
) as these will have inherited the attributes that allow them to
survive local weather and soil conditions, and provide the food and shelter that native fauna prefer.
for protection for birds against predators such as cats.
as shelter for lizards.
for natural crevices to serve as habitat for lizards and frogs and to provide shade and
sun bathing opportunities.
Retain older trees with
to provide nesting sites for birds and possums.
in your larger trees.
in a level garden to provide visual interest and microclimates for growing a
wider variety of plants.
Replace your lawn
leaf litter. Mulch will suppress weed growth and retain soil moisture, reducing the need to water.
cat out at night
. Even a well-fed cat with a bell on its collar can stalk and kill.
pet food bowls
outside where feral birds, such as Indian Mynas, can feed from them.
plant species. Only a few non-native plant species provide the same habitat
opportunities as native plants.
remove older trees
just because they are inconvenient to you. Think about what else might be relying on
that tree for food or shelter.
neglect nesting boxes
. Check regularly to ensure non-native birds or European bees have not moved in.
as this will kill lizards and frogs. By creating habitat for lizards and frogs this will then deal
with any snail problem. One mature Blue-tongue Lizard can maintain a snail free average sized domestic
. They will kill beneficial insects and native bees and can build up in the bodies of native
birds that feed on these insects (cats and dogs can become seriously ill if they eat poisoned insects or mice).
Gardens can provide food and shelter, or HABITAT, for native fauna such as birds,
lizards, possums, frogs, butterflies, native bees and insects. A few small changes in
the way you think about your garden can make all the difference to local species
and give endless pleasure to you and your family as birds, lizards, frogs and insects
Fauna species have four basic requirements for survival:
The following guidelines will help you achieve these four basic requirements and
get you well on the way to creating your own ECOSYSTEM.
A small mallee eucalypt found on shallow sandstone
soils. The bark is shed in long narrow strips to reveal
silvery green trunks. The leaves are short, thick and
glossy, the creamy white flowers appear in spring to
summer. An excellent small tree for a residential
garden. Fast growing.
Height 3m. Width 4m.
White flowers in autumn to spring. A very hardy,
straight trunked tree with smooth pink to grey bark
punctuated with scribbly patterns created by a bark
dwelling insect. These patterns resemble scribbly
writing and were featured in May Gibbs’ classic stories
of Gumnut Babies.
Height to 15m. Width to 5m.
A small, compact tree with interesting bark and
attractive yellow flowers in summer. Moderately
hardy and reasonably fast growing. Found naturally in
creek lines and gullies so is tolerant of damp, shady
A slender tree with attractive foliage with silver
undersides. Young flowers are green, maturing to
cream in autumn and winter. Very hardy in coastal
conditions and a fast grower particularly in sandy soils.
Prefers a sunny aspect. Very attractive to nectar
feeding birds such as Lorikeets and Honeyeaters. A
member of the Proteaceae family and is therefore
sensitive to phosphorus. Use only native plant
fertilisers and avoid exposure to dog faeces.
Height 5m. Width 3m.
Evergreen shrub or tree with small creamy white
flowers in spring followed by cream to crimson berries
in summer to autumn. Glossy, deep green foliage
which can be pruned to form a hedge. Moderately
hardy, grows well in shade. A good screening species.
Height to 8m. Width to 5m.
A tall shrub or small tree suitable for shady, damp
positions. Produces clusters of cream ball-shaped
flowers in spring. The dark green leaves have an
attractive silvery underside.
Height 4m to 6m. Width to 4m.
This vigorous scrambler prefers to spread across the
ground but produces twining stems that climb
through other plants. The large bright yellow five
petalled flowers are borne all year round and provide
a bright splash of colour.
This hardy, fast growing vine is tolerant of coastal
positions and is useful on sloping banks as a
groundcover. It will twine through other plants or can
be trained over a structure. It produces many large red
flowers in spring to summer which are followed by
10cm long furry, rust-coloured peas. Its dense foliage
and stems create habitat for small birds.
A vigorous, woody climber which has soft, pendulous
compound leaves. The clusters of tubular flowers are
borne in spring and are usually cream with crimson or
mauve speckled throats. The spent flowers fall to the
ground forming a soft carpet. This plant is tolerant of
most eastern suburbs soil types provided sufficient
moisture is available. It prefers a sheltered position.
This attractive twining vine has 10cm long spear-
shaped leaves and bears clusters of purple flowers in
late winter to spring. It is tolerant of shade, preferring
to twist through other plants, its vibrant flowers
providing a sudden shock of colour amongst the
green. It is tolerant of most soil types but prefers
deep soil moisture.
Although this species is found throughout the Sydney
coastal district, the local form is particularly attractive. The
5cm long, grey-green leaves are beautifully offset by the
pendulous red flowers, the size of a child’s hand. Its
spreading form lends itself for use on slopes or as an
interesting foreground plant in a mixed bed.
Height 0.5m. Width 1m.
A moderately hardy shrub suitable for use in damp
places, bearing clusters of curling, mauve flowers in
spring to summer. The leaves are blue-green in colour
and 5mm-12mm long. This shrub can be tip-pruned
after flowering to encourage branching.
Height 1m. Width 1m.
This extremely hardy, frontline coastal plant has
attractive grey-green foliage and is tolerant of both
sandy and sandstone soils. Its four petaled white
flowers appear in autumn to spring. It responds well to
light tip pruning and is suitable for use as a formal
Height 1.5m. Width 1.5m.
landscapes, this hardy, fast growing shrub is ideal for
pruning into formal and informal hedges and screens. Its
small blue-green leaves are salt tolerant, making it ideal
for a coastal garden. The white flowers are often present
all year round.
Height 1.5m. Width 1.5m.
This small compact shrub is ideal for residential
gardens as it produces abundant, large, pale yellow
flowers in spring and displays attractive bronze new
leaves most of the year. It can be lightly tip pruned to
keep a compact shape. Prefers rocky sandstone soils
rather than deep sands. Very hardy and moderately
This extremely hardy shrub has small, needle-like
leaves which make it a suitable small bird habitat
particularly for protection from cats. It can be lightly
tip-pruned for an informal hedge. Its attractive paper
bark and interesting twisted trunk can be exposed by
pruning the lower branches of more mature
specimens or they can be cut at ground level to
produce multiple stems. The perfumed, light yellow,
round clusters of flowers appear in spring.
A common, but variable plant in Sydney bushland, this
small, compact shrub is ideal for a sunny spot in a
cottage garden. The abundant, semi-globular heads of
white flowers are borne mainly through winter and spring
but often flowers can be seen all year round. To
encourage a thickly leaved specimen tip pruning can be
carried out at any time. It is fast growing and moderately
hardy but can become leggy after a few years.
Height 0.5m. Width 0.5m.
A very hardy, fast growing shrub with rigid narrow leaves
which smell of lemon when crushed. The typical brush-
shaped, red flowers appear in both spring and autumn.
The flowers’ nectar is very attractive to honey-eating
birds. It prefers moist sites but will tolerate drier areas.
The eastern suburbs of Sydney once supported a unique variety of native plants which, in turn,
supported a variety of native animals. With the growth of the urban environment, large areas of
this bushland have been lost along with many of the animals it once supported. Although this
process cannot be reversed, private gardens can offer important habitat to many of the remaining
native birds and animals.
Woollahra, Waverley, Randwick and Botany Bay Councils are committed to preserving and
enhancing the biodiversity of the eastern suburbs and undertake many bush regeneration,
revegetation and habitat corridor projects. The councils of the eastern suburbs have joined together
to produce this brochure to encourage local residents to be part of this restoration project. By
creating your own habitat garden you will contribute to the preservation of our natural heritage.
There are over 500 plant species in the Eastern Suburbs to choose from. This brochure gives
examples of easy to grow, attractive natives that are available from native nurseries. But remember,
if the plant is grown from a local specimen it will have inherited the ability to survive the coastal
conditions and is more likely to survive in your garden. Locally sourced plant stock is referred to as
being of local provenance. So ask your nursery for details on the origins of the plant.
Acacia myr tifolia
Murray Fagg Copyright, ANBG
Randwick City Council
City of Botany Bay
Friends of Malabar Headland
Nature Focus, Australian Museum
Frog, Green & Golden Bell
G B Baker
Old Man Banksia
Snow in Summer
Coastal Flax Lilly
Field Guide to the Native plants
of Sydney, Les Robinson,
Kangaroo Press, Roseville, 1991.
Native Plants of the Sydney
District, An Identification Guide,
Alan Fairley & Philip Moore,
Kangaroo Press, Roseville, 1989.
Grow What Where in Randwick,
Guy Knox, Sean O’Connell,
Danie Ondinea, Libby
Stenhouse, Randwick City
Council, Randwick, 1993.
Key for Symbols
Spiny Headed Mat-rush
for growing local native plants
Woollahra Municipal Council
Public Open Space
Bushcare Projects Coordinator
Randwick Council Community Nursery 9399 0933
respond to regular pruning. Pruning emulates the type of
leaf and twig loss many shrub species would have
experienced as they were browsed by kangaroos and
wallabies. The rule of thumb is to prune only green or
current year’s growth. This will encourage branching and
create a bushier specimen.
Sydney region is the water repellent sandy soils, where the
water beads and rolls along the sur face of the soil. This
occurs during long periods of dr y weather when the sandy
soil completely dries. To prevent this happening there are
Firstly, you can mulch around the plants with organic
soil and increase the soil’s water holding capacity.
Mulch the sur face with leaf litter, wood chips or
compost and allow the earth worms to do all the hard
work. This is an excellent way of recycling your garden
waste, improving your plants drought resistance and
Secondly, you can apply a wetting agent to the soil.
help water spread more easily through the soil
sur face. A good wetting agent will breakdown the
water repellence of the soil, increase its water holding
capacity and will remain active in the soil for up to a
seedlings. Over watering leads to the plant establishing a
shallow root system. This reduces the plant’s ability to
sur vive dry periods and as the plant grows older it will be
susceptible to blowing over in windy conditions.
Choose the plant according to its expected size at
What appears to be a large space may appear very
Plant tall species to the back and smaller to the front
Large leaved plants will appear bolder and come
in the foreground.
If you live in a front line coastal environment choose
These species have fine hairs on their leaves and are
able to withstand salt laden winds.
Co-existing with nature
Outdoor living spaces can be accommodated on
Children gain endless pleasure from winding paths
Traffic and other noises can be disguised with closer,
trees, running water or frog calls.
Fruit trees, vegetable and herb gardens can be
allocated to one area.
The key to long-term success with your native garden is
thorough preparation. There is no substitute for good
weed control. Carr y out a number of weed control
sessions allowing a few months in between each one to
allow weeds to re-emerge before planting. The simplest
way to convert your garden to natives is to divide it into
sections and just do one section at a time. Alternatively,
remove species you don’t like and replace with suitable
native species, conver ting your garden gradually.
A weed is a plant out of place. Weeds are categorised
those identified by the
Noxious Weeds Act 1993,
because they pose a problem to human health or the
environment. By law, these must be removed.
Environmental weed species are those that pose a
problem due their invasiveness and/or difficulty to
control. It is best to eradicate these species from your
garden before you start as future control amongst your
growing plants may be time consuming and tedious.
Contact your local council for information on the control
of par ticular species.
Always dig a hole approximately twice the size of the
planting into is loosened up for the newly developing
roots of your plant.
You can dig in organic matter to make sandy soils
soil more open, however avoid digging organic matter
deeper than 200mm. Below this depth organic
matter has trouble breaking down and can actually
retard plant growth.
Place the plant level with the existing soil sur face.
lead to rot. Do not leave roots exposed as this may
lead to drying out of the root ball.
It is a good idea to build up a raised ring of earth
water on to the rootzone when being watered, and
Mulching around the base of the plant is an effective
keep the rootzone cool in summer.
If you keep your garden well mulched, weeding can be
kept to a minimum. If weeds are removed before they can
set seed on top of the mulch, many weeds can be totally
eliminated in time. Mulch will also reduce the need for
watering. Mulch can be obtained from your local nurser y,
landscape supplier or arborist and should be spread to a
depth of about 100mm. At this depth it need only be
replaced ever y year or as required. It is impor tant to make
sure mulch does not build up against the plant stem as
this can lead to fungal infection and insect attack.
Local native plants do not require fer tilising as they
have evolved adaptations to extract the nutrients they
need from local soils. Decaying mulch and leaf litter will
provide most of the required nutrients. An application of
blood and bone in the hole at planting or over the soil
sur face once a year can be beneficial. Use a fer tiliser
specifically designed for use on native plants. Do not
use regular garden fer tilisers as they contain
phosphorus levels that can damage native plants.
A small tree with papery bark and masses of white
flowers over the canopy in summer. It is attractive to
honey-eating birds and the dense foliage provides
small bird habitat. This fast growing shrub is especially
suitable for damp areas in a sheltered position .
Height 8m. Width 4m.
A hardy frontline coastal shrub which responds well to
a light foliage pruning can also be pruned to create
twisted shapes from its multiple trunks. It has soft small
grey green leaves and produces abundant white
flowers in spring. It prefers a sunny position in drier
Height to 4m. Width to 4m.
Perhaps the best known of Sydney’s Banksia species with
its gnarled bark, serrated leaves and ‘Big Bad Banksia
Man’ flower spikes. Soft grey flowers maturing to cream
are produced in summer through to winter. Prefers a
sunny position and is tolerant of coastal conditions.
An upright shrub with large toothed leaves and
bronze new growth that is found naturally in poorly
drained shallow soils overlying rock. A useful feature
plant which bears grey-green flower spikes in summer
Height to 2m. Width to 1.5m.
A member of the Proteacaea family which bears
large orange cylindrical brush-like flowers in autumn
to winter. A small leaved hardy shrub, fast growing,
will tolerate damp conditions but prefers a sunny
position. A preferred nesting plant for small native
birds. Sensitive to phosphorus in the soil.
Height to 3m. Width to 3m.
This ground hugging succulent occurs naturally on
coastal sand dunes and rocks near the sea, making it
very salt and heat tolerant. It has thick, fleshy,
triangular leaves, 4 to 10cm long and bears numerous
large, hot pink to purple, shiny petalled flowers mostly
through spring and summer. Suitable for hot, dry
exposed areas especially on slopes or where soil
erosion is a problem. Also useful for creating a cooler
soil environment and microclimate for other shrub
Height 0.1m. Width 3m.
An erect, tufted plant suitable for wet, damp or dry
areas. Very hardy and fast growing, requiring no
maintenance. The flowers are a brown, globular
cluster towards the end of the stems. This plant
gradually expands from rhizomes and therefore
provides good erosion control. Useful strong
sculptural interest especially if planted en masse. Can
be cut back to ground level to invigorate growth.
Height 0.7m. Width expanding.
A long-cultivated soft leaved fern, this plant is an ideal
groundcover in shaded or partly shaded damp areas.
It can also be grown in the crevices of rock outcrops or
cliffs. Although the leaves may die back during
extended periods without water, its hardy rhizomes
remain alive to produce delicate, curled leaf fronds
after the first rain. Susceptible to snails - encourage a
Blue-tongue Lizard for biological control.
Height 0.3m. Width expanding.
A glossy, green tufted plant found in exposed coastal
areas and is very tolerant of salt winds and dry sandy
soils. Grows well in sunny areas or under trees and
shrubs. Clumps gradually expand from rhizomes so
useful for filling bare spaces. Produces rich blue
flowers with yellow stamens in spring and summer on a
curved ‘walking stick’ stem, followed by many
succulent blue-purple berries.
Height 0.75m. Width expanding.
A much-loved cut flower, this plant is extremely easy
to grow provided it has a sunny spot with deep soil
moisture. It is a short-lived plant, needing
replacement every couple of years. Its long, white,
flannel ‘petals’, tipped in green, surround the true
flowers in the centre. The much divided, grey flannel
leaves make this an interesting contrast plant.
Interestingly, this plant is in the same family as carrots
Height 0.3m. Width 0.5m.
A common tufted plant with 1cm wide leaf blades,
frequently used in public landscapes. It is hardy, fast
growing and adaptable to most conditions. The local
eastern suburbs coastal form has stiff, grey-green
leaves and is very tolerant of salt winds. This plant
provides strong vertical interest in a garden and has a
male and female plant, distinguished by their different
Height 1m. Width 1m.
A small creeping herb with kidney-shaped leaves
suitable for use as a lawn substitute requiring no
mowing or as a groundcover between pavers. Small
white flowers appear in spring to summer. It prefers
semi shaded moist areas but will grow in sandy areas.
Seed can often be obtained from nurseries for sowing
large areas. Quickly expands from original plant.
Height 5cm. Width expanding.
A widespread species of Australian grass, this tufted
grass has many forms. The coastal form, tolerant of salt
winds, has a prostrate habit and blue-grey leaves,
making it a very attractive contrast plant. The most
common form is a light green, upright clump bearing
clusters of rust-coloured spikelets on slender stalks in
spring and summer. Like most Australian grasses this
species attracts butterflies. Height 0.3m. Width 0.2m.
Height 0.3m. Width 0.2m.
This brochure has been funded by the Green Web Sydney project,