Native plant species

Brisbane City Council offers a variety of plants through the Free Native Plants Program, suitable for all garden types and sizes. Descriptions, growing conditions and fauna attracting information will help you choose the plants most suitable for your garden. Every plant adds to our city's urban forest, supports our unique wildlife and makes Brisbane cleaner, greener and more sustainable.

While Council endeavours to supply the variety of plant species on offer throughout the year, due to seasonal availability this is not always possible.  If any species is not available at the time of request, it will be substituted with a similar plant type and size available through the Free Native Plants Program.

Note: information contained on this page is intended as a guide only.

Groundcovers

Table showing species, description, growing conditions and fauna benefits of groundcovers and ferns.
Species Description and growing requirements Attracts
Coastal boobialla (Myoporum boninese) Low growing, hardy spreading groundcover with thick fleshy glossy leaves.  Grows to three metres.  White flowers appear in spring and summer followed by purple berries.  Prefers a sunny well-draining position.  Suitable in pots or containers and rockeries. Birds, lizards
Creeping boobialla (Myoporum parvifolium) Hardy prostrate groundcover that grows to one metre. Purple and white flowers during the summer months. An excellent spreading groundcover for a sunny well-drained position. Suitable in pots or containers. Birds, lizards
Fan flower (Scaevola aemula) Spreading groundcover that grows to 60 centimetres with dark green foliage and small mauve-pink flowers in spring and summer. Prefers well-drained soils. Great for hanging baskets. Bees, lizards
Native violet (Viola hederacea) Attractive dense groundcover that grows to 15 centimetres suitable for damp shady areas. Small, round, light green leaves with violet flowers throughout the year. Ideal for rockeries, mass plantings, pots and hanging baskets. Lizards, frogs

Tufting plants and grasses

Table showing species, description, growing condition and fauna benefits of tufting plants and grasses.
Species Description and growing requirements Attracts
Blue flax (Dianella caerulea) Hardy plant with long, strappy leaves that grows to 45 centimetres. Blue flowers on branched spikes appear in spring. Bright blue berries occur after flowering. Prefers a sunny position in well-drained soil. Birds, lizards
Knobby club rush (Ficinia nodosa) Tough, fast-growing, spreading, tufting grass with upright, dark green foliage up to one metre. Grows best in a full sun position. Brownish flower heads are produced on spikes throughout the year. Great plant for water features, ponds and effective in mass planting or containers. Birds, frogs, lizards
Mat rush (Lomandra sp.) Deep green, glossy, narrow strap leaves to one metre. Small yellow-cream flowers in spring and summer. Grow in a full sun to partial shade position. Lizards, frogs

Climbers

Table showing species, description, growing condition and fauna benefits for climbers.
Species Description and growing requirements Attracts
Guinea vine (Hibbertia scandens) A vigorous twiner with glossy, dark green leaves and large, golden yellow flowers over spring and summer. Grows to 1.5 metres and makes an excellent screening plant on walls or fences. Prefers well-drained soil. Grow in full sun to partial shade in an open position. Suitable for tubs and containers or as a groundcover. Birds
Wonga-wonga vine (Pandorea pandorana) A hardy, vigorous, fast growing, evergreen twining plant with bell-shaped white or yellow flowers in spring followed by large oblong shaped seed pods.  Spreads up to six metres. Prefers an open, sunny position in well-drained soil.  Great as a screening plant on a fence or trellis.  Will grow in a large pot. Butterflies, bees, insects

Small shrubs - 0.5 metres to two metres

Table showing species, description, growing condition and fauna benefits of small shrubs.
Species Description and growing requirements Attracts
Bottlebrush (Callistemon sp.) Fast growing, hardy, woody shrub that grows up to two metres that produces beautiful blooms in a variety of single colours in spring and summer and sometimes again in autumn. Plant in a moist, well-drained, sunny position. Regularly prune to encourage bushier growth and increased flower production. Great for containers, edging, rockeries, hedges and borders.  Birds, insects
Coastal rosemary (Westringia sp.) Hardy, small, fast-growing, evergreen shrub that grows to 1m². Long flowering and suitable as a hedge or screening plant or for low maintenance gardens, exposed sites and coastal gardens. Suitable for container planting. Birds, butterflies, insects
Honey myrtle 'Claret Tops' (Melaleuca linariifolia) A dense and compact shrub that grows to 1.5 metres with attractive, claret-coloured new growth and white flowers in summer. A great foliage plant for shrubberies or in a pot. Grows well in full sun or semi-shaded positions. Birds, insects
Swamp banksia (Banksia robur) - seasonal Hardy, evergreen shrub to two metres with bold flowing spikes in a variety of single colours. Flowers appear from autumn through to spring. Plant in an open, sunny position in well-drained soil. To encourage flower production and thicker foliage, cut flowering spikes and use in a floral display. Birds, bees, butterflies, insects
Tea tree (Leptospermum sp.) Attractive small shrub ranging in size from 80 centimetres up to two metres. Showy pink or white flowers in spring and autumn. Prefers moist well-drained soil in full sun or light shade. A useful feature plant for rockeries or over retaining walls. Insects, bees
Thyme honey myrtle (Melaleuca thymifolia) Small hardy shrub to 1m². Mauve claw type flowers occur in clusters and are borne during summer. Grows best in full sun with good drainage. Suitable for large pots or containers. Insects

Medium shrubs - three to five metres

Table showing medium shrubs three to five metres with species, description, growing condition and fauna benefits.
Species Description and growing requirements Attracts
Banksia (Banksia sp.)  seasonal Hardy evergreen shrubs with attractive foliage with bold single colour flowering spikes. Plant in an open sunny position in well-drained soil. Birds
Bottlebrush (Callistemon sp.) Hardy, woody shrub that grows up to five metres that produces beautiful blooms in a variety of single colours in spring and summer and sometimes again in autumn. Plant in a moist, well-drained, sunny position. Regularly prune to encourage bushier growth and increased flower production. Bottlebrushes make excellent screening plants and are quick growers. Birds, insects

Grevillea (Grevillea sp.)

Showy, evergreen plants that grow to four metres with nectar-rich flowers. They produce a 'spider flower' in a
variety of single colours throughout the year. Grevillea's do best in a sunny position with light, gritty,
free-draining soil.
Birds, bees, butterflies
Lillypilly (Syzygium sp.) Hardy evergreen plants to five metres with glossy, green leaves with fluffy, pom-pom, white flowers in spring and summer followed by red berries. Prefers a sunny position with well-drained soil. Lillypillies make excellent screens, windbreaks and hedges and can be pruned to size and shape.  Birds, bees, flying foxes
Tea tree (Leptospermum sp.) A bushy rounded shrub that grows to five metres. White flowers cover the shrub in spring. Prefers well drained soil in a sunny position. Ideal as a screen, hedge or windbreak. Insects, bees

Shade and feature trees - over five metres

Table showing species, description, growing condition and fauna benefits of shade and feature trees over five metres.
Species Description and growing requirements Attracts

Flame Tree (Brachychiton acerifolius) seasonal

Spectacular, hardy deciduous tree to 10 metres with light green lobed leaved.  Profuse bell- shaped flowers occur in late spring or summer.  Grows in most soils in a sunny position. Butterflies
Golden penda (Xanthostemon chrysanthus) An attractive specimen tree up to eight metres. Showy, dense cluster of golden yellow flowers appear from summer to winter. Plant in full sun to part shade in well-drained soil. Suitable as a hedge, windbreak, screen, or feature tree. Birds
Ivory curl tree (Buckinghamia cellsissima)  seasonal Fast-growing evergreen tree that grows to eight metres. Striking, long, creamy-fragranced flowers from spring until autumn. Prefers moist, well-drained soil in full sun to semi shade. Birds, bees
Lemon-scented myrtle (Backhousia citriodora) Great small feature tree to five metres. White flowers appear from summer to autumn. Leaves are lemon scented. Prefers moist, well-drained soil in semi shade. Ideal for hedges or mixed shrub bed. Birds, butterflies, bees

Tuckeroo (Cupaniopsis anacardioides) seasonal

Attractive evergreen shade tree with rounded canopy. Grows to 8 metres. Green-yellow flowers are produced in autumn followed by orange fruits in winter. Plant in a full sun to partial shade position in organic rich soil.  Ideal as a shade or specimen tree.  Birds, bees, insects
Tulipwood (Harpulia pendula) seasonal A hardy, fast-growing, evergreen tree that grows up to 10 metres with attractive, pale green foliage. Large sprays of light green-yellow, slightly fragrant flowers appear in summer followed by orange fruit. Requires open sunny position in a light to medium soil type. Excellent shade tree. Birds, bees

Weeping lillypilly (Waterhousia floribunda)

Hardy, evergreen tree that grows to 8m². Clusters of white flowers appear from spring to summer, followed by green, round fruits. Plant in a sunny open position in well-drained soil. Regular trimming will produce colourful, new growth and keep the plant bushy. Can be trimmed to shape and size. Ideal as a dense screen or windbreak, or stunning as a large container plant. Birds, bees
Last updated: 25 May 2022
Topics: green

Brisbane City Council acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of the land and their unique relationship with their ancestral country. We pay respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders of Brisbane, and recognise their strength and wisdom.