Native plant species for residents | Brisbane City Council

Native plant species for residents

Brisbane City Council offers a variety of plants through the Free Native Plant 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, supporting our unique wildlife and making Brisbane cleaner, greener and more sustainable.

NOTE - information contained on this page is intended as a guide only.

Groundcovers and ferns

Species Description and growing requirements Fauna benefits
Creeping Boobialla
Myoporum parvifolium
Hardy prostrate groundcover to one metre. Purple and white flowers are borne during the summer months. This is an excellent spreading groundcover for a sunny well-drained position or is suitable in pots or containers. Birds, lizards
Cut Leaf Daisy
Brachyscome multifida
Hardy eye-catching ground cover to 150 millimetres 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 to 600 millimetres 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 to 150 millimetres suitable to 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 Fauna benefits
Blue Flax
Dianella caerulea
Hardy plant with long strappy leaves to 450 millimetres. Blue flowers on branched spikes appear in spring. Bright blue berries occur after flowering. Prefers sunny position in well-drained soil. Birds, lizards
Common Rush
Juncus usitatus
Very hardy vigorous upright clumping grass to one metre that grows well in moist soils. Pale brown flowers are produced 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 500 millimetres. Grow 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 in containers. Birds, frogs, lizards
Mat Rush
Lomandra sp.
Deep green glossy narrow strap leaves to 700 millimetres. Small yellow-cream flowers in spring and summer. Grow in full sun to part shade position. Lizards, frogs
Sedge
Carex appressa
Tall sedge growing to 800 millimetres. Attractive large yellow seed heads in spring. Likes wet areas in full sun or partial shade. Ideal plant for around pool area in pots or mass plantings. Frogs, lizards

Climbers

Species Description and growing requirements Fauna benefits
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 and produces a mass of dark purple pea flowers in winter and spring. Grows to 1.5 metres square. 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 Fauna benefits
Bottlebrush
Callistemon sp.
Fast growing, hardy woody shrub 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. Grows up to two metres. Birds, insects
Coastal Rosemary
Westringia sp.
Hardy small fast growing evergreen shrub one metre square. Long flowering and suitable as a hedge or screening plant or for low maintenance gardens, exposed sites and coastal gardens. Birds, butterflies, insects
Grevillea
Grevillea sp.
Showy evergreen plants 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 that features attractive foliage with bold flowering spikes in a variety of single colours. Flowers appear 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
Melaleuca linariifolia
'Claret Tops'
A dense and compact shrub 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. 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
Tea Tree
Leptospermum sp.
Attractive small shrub with a weeping habit, ranging in size from 80cm 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 one metre square. 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 Fauna benefits
Bottlebrush
Callistemon sp.
Hardy woody shrub 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
Lemon-Scented Tea Tree
Leptospermum petersonii
A bushy rounded shrub with strongly lemon-scented fine leaves. Grows to three 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 sunny position with well-drained soil. Lillypillies make excellent screens, windbreaks and hedges and can be pruned to size and shape. Grows up to five metres. Birds, bees, flying foxes
Native Lasiandra
Melastoma affine
Hardy, fast growing bushy shrub to two metres. Showy large pink/purple flower in summer. Prefers sunny to partial shade position. Suitable as a hedge or container plant. Lizards, butterflies
Purple Pea Bush
Hovea acutifolia
A small to medium fast growing shrub which is stunning in flower. Grows 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 to 3.5 metres. Profuse 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 Fauna benefits
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. Will grow in full sun to partial shade. Birds
Brisbane Wattle
Acacia fimbriata
A fast growing bushy small tree growing to six metres square. 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 full sun to a partial shade position. Hardy in most situations. Birds, butterflies, bees
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 as a feature tree. Birds
Ivory Curl Tree
Buckinghamia cellisima
(seasonal)
Fast growing evergreen tree 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
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 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. Most soils are suitable. Plant in a full sun to partial shade position. Birds, butterflies
Tulipwood
Harpulia pendula
(seasonal)
A hardy, fast growing evergreen tree 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 light to medium soil type. Excellent shade tree. Birds, butterflies
Weeping Lillypilly
Waterhousia floribunda
Hardy evergreen tree to eight metres square. 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 as desired. Can be trimmed to shape and size as desired. Ideal as a dense screen, windbreak or stunning as a large container plant. Birds, bees
09 October 2018
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