Native plant species | Brisbane City Council

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.

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

Groundcovers

Species Description and growing requirements Attracts
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
Cut leaf daisy (Brachyscome multifida) Hardy eye-catching ground cover that grows to 15 centimetres with purple daisy flowers throughout the year. Best grown in full sun. Especially effective in rockeries, mass plantings, pots, hanging baskets and borders. Bees, 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

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
Brisbane River lily (Crinum pedunculatum) Tufting plant with strappy leaves up to two metres. Open white flowers on thick stems from November to March. Prefers a damp spot in full sun or part shade. Lizards, insects
Common rush (Juncus usitatus) Very hardy vigorous, upright, clumping grass that grows to one metre. Grows well in moist soils. Pale brown flowers in spring. Great for stabilising banks and for decorative ponds. Grow in full sun. Frogs, lizards
Knobby club rush (Fincinia 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
Palm lily (Cordyline sp.) Striking feature plant to 2m with green leaves and mauve flowers from September to October. Great for shady gardens or as an under-storey plant. Grow in well-drained soil. Birds, lizards, butterflies
Sedge (Carex appressa) Tall sedge growing to 80 centimetres. Attractive large, yellow seed heads in spring. Likes wet areas in full sun or partial shade. Ideal plant for around pool areas in pots or mass plantings. Frogs, lizards

Climbers

Species Description and growing requirements Attracts
Bower vine (Pandorea jasminoides) A hardy, vigorous, evergreen twining plant over four metres with spectacular floral display. Flowers are pale pink with a deep pink throat and appear from spring through to late summer. Thrives in a full sun to partial shade position with good drainage. Best grown as a screen on a fence or trellis. Also great in large pots. Butterflies, bees, insects
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. Birds
Sarsaparilla vine (Hardenbergia violacea) A hardy, fast growing, evergreen small climber which has dark green, leathery leaves. Produces a mass of dark purple pea flowers in winter and spring. Grows to 1.5m². Prefers a sunny position in well-drained soil. Great as a groundcover or can be planted to cover fences, trellises and pergolas. Suitable for container planting. Butterflies

Small shrubs - 0.5 metres to two metres

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
Grevillea (Grevillea sp.) Showy, evergreen plants that grow to two 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
Hairpin banksia (Banksia spinulosa) Hardy, evergreen shrub to two metres with bold flowing spikes in a variety of sinle 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

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
Little penda (Xanthostemon verticillatus) Hardy shrub up to two metres with glossy dark green leaves with profuse clusters of pale lemon flowers throughout the year. Grows well in moist, well-drained soils in full sun. Prune after flowering to promote bushy growth. Suitable for tubs and containers. Birds, bees and insects
Native ginger (Alpinia caerulea) Clumping plant with stems to two metres. Large light green leaves with white flowers in spring. Prefers moist shady areas. Frogs, lizards
Native lasiandra (Melastoma affine) Hardy bushy shrub to two metres. Showy large pink/purple flower in summer. Prefers partial shade. Birds, bees and 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

Species Description and growing requirements Attracts
Banksia (Banksia sp.) 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
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
Lillypilly (Syzgium 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
Purple pea bush (Hovea acutifolia) A small to medium fast-growing shrub which is stunning in flower. Grows to four metres with masses of purple pea flowers from July to September. Best planted in a lightly shaded position in well-drained soil. Suitable as a windbreak, hedge or in a large pot or tub. Birds, bees
Twiggy heath myrtle (Baekea virgata) Very hardy, bushy erect shrub that grows to 3.5 metres. Profuse small white flowers occur in clusters in spring and summer. Prefers a lightly shaded position in well-drained soil. Great for hedges or tubs. Birds

Shade and feature trees - over five metres

Species Description and growing requirements Attracts
Bangalow/piccabeen palm (Archontophoenix cunninghamiana) Medium-tall, fast growing palm to 20+ metres.  Lilac flowers followed by bright red fruits December to May. Suited to well composted soil with ample water and in a frost free area. This is a self-cleaning palm. Birds
Black she-oak (Allocasuarina littoralis) A densely foliaged fast growing small to medium tree to 12 metres. Grows in well-drained soil. Suitable as a hedge or windbreak. Birds
Blueberry ash (Elaeocarpus reticulatus) Small, dense tree growing to eight metres. Masses of white or pink, small fringed, bell-shaped flowers are produced in summer. The flowers are followed by small blue fruits. Most soils are suitable and grow best in full sun to partial shade. Birds
Bottlebrush (Callistemon sp.) Fast growing, hardy tree with beautiful blooms in a variety of single colours in spring and summer. Plant in a moist, well-drained sunny position.  Bird, insects
Brisbane golden wattle (Acacia fimbriata) A fast-growing, bushy, small tree growing to 6m². Dense, yellow, perfumed, ball-shaped flowers appear in late winter and spring. Good hedge or screening plant and can be pruned to shape. Plant in a full sun to a partial shade position. Hardy in most situations. Birds, butterflies, bees
Flame tree (Brachychiton acerifolius)
seasonal
Hardy upright tree 10+ metres. Light green large lobed leaves are shed in winter and followed by profuse red bell-shaped flowers in late spring and summer. Grows well in a sunny position in well-drained soil.  Spectacular in flower. 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
Grevillea (Grevillea sp.) Showy evergreen plants with nectar-rich 'spider flowers' in a variety of single colours. Plant in a sunny location with light, gritty, free-draining soil. Birds, bees, butterflies
Ivory curl tree (Buckinghamia cellisima) - 
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 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
Lillypilly (Syzgium sp.) Hardy, evergreen plants 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
Tuckeroo (Cupaniopsis anacardioides) -
seasonal
Attractive, evergreen, shade tree with rounded canopy. Grows to eight metres. Orange fruits produced in winter. Grows in most soils. Plant in a full sun to partial shade position. Birds, butterflies
Tulipwood (Harpulia pendula) - seasonal A hardy, fast-growing, evergreen tree that grows up to 10 metres with attractive, pale green foliage. Large sprays of greenish-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
Weeping paperbark (Melaleuca leucadendra sp.) Hardy tree to 14 metres with bright green leaves and papery bark. Prefers open sunny position. Creamy pale yellow flowers with sweet nectar in spring and summer. Birds, flying, foxes, bees

 

30 January 2019
Topics: