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Height 10 metres
Low maintenance tree with quick growing, grey-green weeping needle-
like branches. Wide range of soils. Full sun to part shade. Well drained
conditions. Ripening fruit attracts an array of native birds. Is also an
important food source for the endangered Glossy Black Cockatoo.
Height 3-10 metres
Tall open shrub or small tree. Grows in sandy, well drained soils. Flower
spikes produce large quantities of nectar, which attract honeyeaters,
parrots and small marsupials.
Height to 7 metres
Tall shrub to small tree with graceful drooping branches. Small, attractive
ﬂ owers present throughout summer. Drought tolerant and hardy.
Was popular amongst early European settlers for its upright growth
and termite-resistant wood. Fruit attracts honeyeaters, parrots and
wattlebirds, which play an important role in the seeds germination.
Southern Cypress Pine
Height 5-12 metres
A hardy species which is the only conifer native to the Adelaide Plains.
Sandy and limestone soils. Well drained conditions. Full sun. Plant as
individual specimens or in groupings. Several species of native parrots are
attracted to maturing fruits.
Height to 30 metres
Medium to large single stemmed tree, suitable for large gardens only.
Display of cream-coloured ﬂ owers in summer. Full sun, open position,
suits most well-drained soils.
South Australian Blue Gum
Shrub or small tree. Bark is white and papery, often peeling. Flowers
white, crowded into clusters at the ends of branches. Flowering in spring
to early summer. Usually grows in saline soils.
Height 2-4 metres
Width 2-3 metres
Medium sized shrub with prickly thorns along the stems. Clusters of
bright yellow ﬂ owers from late winter and into spring. Excellent habitat
and protection for small birds such as wrens.
2 x 5 metres across
Large, densely foliaged spreading shrub with masses of yellow ﬂ ower
spikes in winter and spring. Grows in coastal areas, sandy and limestone
soils. Provides shelter for native fauna such as birds and reptiles.
Height to 2 metres
Elegant, fast growing shrub with an open branching form. Hosts masses
of yellow ﬂ owers in spring along the entire length of the stem. Can be
pruned after ﬂ owering to maintain a more compact form. Prefers an
open, sunny position in most well drained soils.
Height to 5 metres
Very hardy shrub, suitable as a hedge or screen planting. Flowers solitary,
or two or more together at the ends of short branches. Performs best in
moist, shady areas.
Height 2 metres
Aromatic shrub with grey-green foliage. Coastal form, preferring well
drained conditions. Seeds are a food source for parrots.
Height to 4 metres
Hardy shrub with glossy green leaves and crimson winged seeds that
appear after ﬂ owering. Full sun to part shade. Well drained soils. Prune
to maintain shape. Seeds are an important food source for bird and
Height to 3 metres
Fast growing, densely-foliaged, hardy shrub with cream ‘bottle-brush’
ﬂ owers from spring to summer. Sheltered sunny position. Most well
drained soils. May require additional water over summer. Prune to
promote dense growth.
Twiggy, open shrub with white Grevillea-like ﬂ owers in winter and spring.
Good habitat and food source for honeyeaters and insects, with seeds
attracting the Yellow-Tailed Black Cockatoo.
Height 1.5 metres
Width 1.5 metres
Hardy, dense spreading shrub with crimson berries present throughout
summer. Drought tolerant. Prefers sand or clay soils. Important food
source for native birds and lizards.
Height 2 to 3 metres
Hardy, upright plant. Glossy green leaves, with displays of fragrant white
ﬂ owers in spring and summer. Full sun. Well drained or sandy soils. Low
water requirement once established.
Height 0.5 metres
Small shrub with large, bright yellow daisy-like ﬂ owers and dark green
leaves that are lobed in shape. Easily grown from cuttings or fresh seed.
Prune after ﬂ owering to maintain compact form.
Height to 1 metre
A spreading, medium-sized shrub with densely clad stems. Yellow, ﬁ ve-petalled ﬂ owers
predominately occur throughout spring. Very tolerant of dry clay soils and harsh conditions.
Important species for native insects and butterﬂ ies.
Common Everlasting Daisy
Height 0.4 metres
Variable perennial herb. Clusters of yellow button ‘everlasting’ ﬂ owers mainly in spring. Leaves are
long, silvery-grey and covered in ﬁ ne hairs. Once widespread, this species is now restricted to a
few locations around the foothills and coast. Attractive plant for garden settings and for cut ﬂ ower
arrangements. Can be pruned after ﬂ owering to encourage new growth. Believed to be an important
food plant for the Painted Lady Butterﬂ y.
Height 2-3 metres
Medium sized, open shrub with small leaves. Masses of starry, pale pink ﬂ owers in spring. Prefers
an open position in well drained soils. Believed to be an important food plant for the Painted Lady
Height to 0.3 metres
Large leaved, bright green herb. Pale pink ﬂ owers are dotted with red-ﬂ ecks, and evident
throughout late spring and early summer. Dies back after ﬂ owering. Prefers lighter soils. Seeds are
a food source for ant and bird species.
Height 0.3 – 0.5 metres
Small, spreading herb with signature displays of white-pink pea ﬂ owers throughout spring. Grows
well in drained soils. A fast growing perennial. Larval food plant for the Pea Blue and Common
Grass Blue butterﬂ ies.
Small, open shrub with light pink to crimson red ﬂ owers in spring. Grows in full sun to dappled
shade, in well drained or dry soil types. Drought and moderately frost tolerant. Important source of
nectar for native insects and honeyeaters.
Twiggy, open, intricate shrub with white Grevillea-like ﬂ owers in winter and spring. Needs well
Height 0.4 – 0.9 metres
Perennial herb with violet to blue (occasionally white), bell shaped ﬂ owers at the end of long,
slender stalks. Best planted in groups. Long-ﬂ owering period, extending from late spring to
autumn. Makes ideal container plant. Requires moist, well-drained soils.
Twiggy Daisy Bush
Height to 1.5 metres
A species native to the Adelaide Plains. Compact form with grey-green foliage and small white
ﬂ owers. Full sun to part shade. Moist soils. Prune to maintain shape.
Height to 1.2 metres
Width 1.2 metres
Dense, low-growing shrub with attractive silver foliage. Masses of small,
yellow ﬂ orets appear in summer. Prefers sandy and clay based soils.
This brochure highlights local native plants that once inhabited the Adelaide Plains and would have occurred in the areas now occupied by suburbs in the City of West Torrens. These locally
indigenous plants are experiencing a resurgence in popularity as more people become aware of their beneﬁ ts. Indigenous plants are adapted to local climatic conditions and soils. They rarely
require supplementary water once established and provide an important source of food and habitat for wildlife. These plants also produce unique, beautiful ﬂ owers throughout winter, spring
The City of West Torrens makes no representations, expressed or implied as to the accuracy, completeness or
correctness of the information, facts or data contained within this publication. Council accepts no liability regarding
any use of the information in this publication. Any use of this information is at the user’s own risk and the user is
responsible for ensuring that any data used is accurate and/or complete for the purposes of their own use.
Photographs courtesy of: Caroline Taylor - Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges Natural Resources Management Board,
Jason Tyndall - City of Holdfast Bay, and State Flora.
Attractive climber which displays masses of voilet or white pea ﬂ owers in winter. Was thought to be a
common species across the Adelaide Plains prior to European settlement, excluding coastal areas.
Width to 2 metres
Drought tolerant groundcover. Prominent scarlet pea ﬂ owers with yellow centre in spring. Full sun to
part shade. Most soils. Larval food plant for Pea Blue Butterﬂ y.
Width to several metres
Small creeping shrub enjoys sandy soils and full sun. Can be a challenge on other soil types. Attractive
white ﬂ owers in spring and summer. Fruits eaten by birds and lizards.
Height 0.3 metres
Width to 1 metre
Delicate groundcover. Frequently scrambles onto adjacent plants. Small, bright red berries which
sometimes appear orange or yellow in saline soils. Found across the Adelaide Plains, this versatile
species grows well in full sun or part shade. Tolerates dry conditions.
Height 0.1 – 0.3 metres
Width to 3 metres
Prostrate groundcover with semi-succulent foliage, forming large mats. Asymmetrical ﬂ owers up to
1cm across are dappled with purple ﬂ ecks. Flowers appear in spring, and are lightly scented. Myoporum
species can be found in a variety of soil types, however Myoporum parvifolium is considered a coastal
specialist. Berries are an important food source for birds.
A sprawling herb that branches from the base and is suitable for most soil types. Leaves are thin and
Height 0.5 metres
Width 1 metre
Resilient groundcover, forming a dense mat. Leaves are branched, grey-green and slightly toothed.
Small, inconspicuous ﬂ owers are evident in summer. Fruit is a small, ﬂ eshy red berry. A rapid coloniser,
this species also acts as a ground stabiliser. Grows well in sun or semi-shade. Tolerates dry soils.
Width 0.4 metres
Attractive prostrate plant with bright green, semi-succulent leaves. Displays of distinctive fan-shaped,
lilac ﬂ owers present throughout spring and summer. Often forms a mat on the ground up to 40cm
across. Can be grown in full sun to part shade in a wide range of soils.
A relative of the common garden daffodil, this attractive bulb provides a display of pink ﬂ owers
throughout summer. Flowers are showy and occur in clusters of drooping bell-like umbels. Strappy,
deep green leaves emerge during winter. Wide range of soils. Plant in groups for visual impact. Prefers
Width to 1 metre
Small, soft stemmed shrub which forms a dense mat once established. Foliage is mid-green to grey-
green in colour. Small, ﬂ eshy berries evident throughout summer. Berries ripen to an attractive scarlet
red, yellow, orange or hot pink. Hardy species, ideal for use as a groundcover. Tolerates sun or part
shade, and saline conditions.
Tussock plants and grasses
Occurring across the Adelaide Plains, this is a hardy evergreen plant. Compact clumps of strap-like
leaves, with electric blue ﬂ owers in spring. Part shade to full sun. Most soils. Dianella revoluta is the
Hardy evergreen species, bearing clumps of strap-like leaves with a prominent vertical vein. Abundant
bloom of small, electric blue ﬂ owers develop in spring. Flowers have ﬁ ve petals, with black anthers.
Prefers a well lit position, but will grow in semi-shade. Dianella brevicaulis is a coastal specialist, and can
be distinguished from Dianella revoluta as ﬂ ower stems are shorter than the leaves. Fruits are eaten and
distributed by birds and lizards.
Height 0.6 – 1.5 metres
Attractive rush with strong form. Characterised by russet coloured seed heads, which are held below
the tip of the leaf. Important sand stabiliser in coastal environments. Tolerates a broad range of
conditions, including sand and clay based soils, mild salinity and wet or dry soils. Grows in sun or
Height 0.3 - 1.2 metres
Needle-leaved tussock with ﬂ owers that are brownish-red from October to January. Grows in most soils.
Important habitat plant for bird species.
Hard strappy leaved tussock plant with inconspicuous brown-yellow stalked ﬂ owers. Excellent habitat
plant for several species of native butterﬂ ies, whilst its seeds are a source of food for lizards. Full sun to
Attractive tall, drought tolerant tussock grass which was once widespread across the Adelaide Plains.
Has also been found to occur along parts of the coast. Showy display of russet coloured seed heads
throughout summer. Most well drained soils. Plant in groups for maximum visual impact.
Tussock plants and grasses
Fast growing species occurring in riparian areas or where conditions are periodically damp. Spiny
leaﬂ ets emanate around a centre of tight russet coloured balls at the end of long stems. Clumping
habit. Plant individually or in groups approximately 60cm apart. Important soil stabiliser.
Width 0.3 metres
Tall slender grass forming clumps with ﬂ owering spikes. Plant in small groups for the best effect of the
unusual ﬂ ower heads. Very hardy once established.
New Holland Daisy
Small perennial daisy to knee-high. Short-lived, although proliﬁ c seed production ensures the succession
of this species. Several species occur across Adelaide. Leaves are small, lobed and grey-green. Attractive,
daisy-like lilac ﬂ owers (sometimes white). Pale, fuzzy seed heads are notable after the ﬂ owering period
in spring. Prefers drier, well-drained soils. Excellent species for cottage-style gardens.
Height: 0.1 - 1 metre
Small to medium clumping grass. Leaves are either short, or long and drooping. Can be distinguished
from other grasses by ﬁ ne hairs at the stem joint. Fluffy white ﬂ ower heads evident throughout spring
and summer. Seeds up to 1.5cm long, with a distinctive central awn. Acts as a soil stabiliser in dry
conditions. Sun or part shade. One of about ﬁ fteen species found across Adelaide. Larval food plant for
butterﬂ ies. An important food source for kangaroos and wallabies.
Height 0.5 – 1.5 metres
Elegant grass with long, thin, arching leaves. Flowering, tawny spikes up to 1.5m, with the main
plant reaching 0.5m tall. Leaves have a strong, lemon-like scent when crushed. Flowers are long
and branched, with tawny seed heads. The ﬂ owering period chieﬂ y extends throughout spring and
summer. Spectacular garden plant that will self-seed, but is not overly invasive. Tolerates dry conditions
and rocky, well-drained sites. Requires full sun. Suited to clay and loam soils. Similar to another locally
indigenous species, Cymbopogon obtectis.
Width 1 - 2 metres
Attractive groundcover with succulent foliage, spreading up to several metres once established. Bears
pink, daisy-like ﬂ owers throughout spring and summer. Colonises damp, saline areas. Prefers full sun.
Coast Tussock Grass
Height 0.2 metres - 0.9 metres
Medium clumping grass with dense foliage, making it an ideal landscaping feature. Leaves are thin,
with tawny ﬂ ower-heads during spring and summer. Predominately occurs in coastal habitats, but can
also be found inland on the Adelaide Plains. Tolerates a wide variety of conditions. Sun or part shade.
Important larval food plant for butterﬂ ies.
The gradual expansion of our urban settlements has led to the disappearance of many local native plants across the Adelaide Plains. By planting locally indigenous species that are now
rare in their natural environment, you will be helping to ensure they are preserved for future generations.