Native plants of West Torrens

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Native plants 

of West Torrens

165 Sir Donald Bradman Drive, Hilton SA 5033



T elephone: 8416 6333

The City of West Torrens uses


Greenhouse Friendly


ENVI Carbon Neutral Paper

ENVI is an Australian Government

certified Geenhouse Friendly™ Product














Drooping Sheoak

Allocasuarina verticillata

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.


Silver Banksia

Banksia marginata

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.

Native Apricot

Pittosporum phylliraeoides

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

Callitris gracilis

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.

Swamp Paper-bark

Melaleuca halmaturorum

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

Eucalyptus leucoxylon

Height to 7 metres

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.


Kangaroo Thorn

Acacia paradoxa

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.

Coastal Wattle

Acacia longifolia var. sophorae

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.


Round-leaf Wattle

Acacia acinacea

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.  

Silky Tea Tree

Leptospermum lanigerum

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.

Coast Daisy-bush

Olearia axillaris

Height 2 metres

Aromatic shrub with grey-green foliage. Coastal form, preferring well 

drained conditions. Seeds are a food source for parrots.

Sticky Hop Bush

Dodonaea viscosa

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 

parrot species.

River Bottlebrush

Callistemon sieberi

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.

Erect Hakea

Hakea carinata

Height to 2 metres

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.

Seaberry Saltbush

Rhagodia candolleana

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.

Sweet Bursaria / Christmas Bush

Bursaria spinosa

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.

Variable Groundsel

Senecio lautus

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.


Clasping Goodenia

Goodenia amplexans

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

Chrysocephalum apiculatum

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.

Common Fringe-myrtle

Calytrix tetragona

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 

Butterfl y.

Native Stork’s-bill

Pelargonium australe

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.

Austral Trefoil

Lotus australis

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.

Lavender Grevillea

Grevillea lavandulacea

Height 0.5 metres

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.

Dwarf Hakea

Hakea rugosa

Height to 1 metre

Twiggy, open, intricate shrub with white Grevillea-like fl owers in winter and spring. Needs well 

drained soils.

Native Bluebell

Wahlenbergia stricta

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

Olearia ramulosa

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.

Cushion Bush

Leucophyta brownii

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. 

Full sun.

Native plants of West Torrens

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 

and summer. 

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.


Native Lilac

Hardenbergia violacea

Height to 1.2 metres

Width 1.2 metres

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. 


Running Postman 

Kennedia prostrata

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.


Kunzea pomifera

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.

Climbing Saltbush

Einadia nutans

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.

Creeping Boobialla

Myoporum parvifolium

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.

Lagoon Saltbush

Atriplex suberecta

Height 0.4 metres

A sprawling herb that branches from the base and is suitable for most soil types. Leaves are thin and 


Berry Saltbush

Atriplex semibaccata

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.

Pale Fanfl ower

Scaevola albida

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. 


Garland Lily

Calostemma purpureum

Height 0.3 metres

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 

open conditions.

Ruby Saltbush

Enchylaena tomentosa

Height 0.3 metres

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

Black-anther Flax-lily

Dianella revoluta

Height to 1 metre

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 

inland species.

Short-stemmed Flax-lily

Dianella brevicaulis

Height to 1 metre

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.

Knobby Club-rush

Isolepis nodosa

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 


Sea Rush

Juncus kraussii

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 Mat-rush

Lomandra multifl ora

Height 0.5 metres

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 

part shade.

Kangaroo Grass

Themeda triandra

Height 1.5 metres

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

Spiny Flat-sedge

Cyperus gymnocaulos

Height 1.5 metres

Width 1.5 metres

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.

Feather Spear-grass

Stipa elegantissima

Height 0.4 metres

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

Vittadinia species

Height 0.3 metres

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. 

Wallaby Grass

Austrodanthonia species - formerly Danthonia

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.   

Lemon-scented Grass

Cymbopogon ambiguus

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.

Round-leaf Pigface

Disphyma crassifolium

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. 

Coastal species.

Coast Tussock Grass

Poa poiformis

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. 

To source these plants and obtain professional advice, contact one of Adelaide’s specialist native plant nurseries.

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