10 Types of Australian Plants

Last Updated on February 19, 2023 by Derek

Australia is home to many kinds of plants
One of the very various types of plants native to Australia

Australia is known for its diverse wildlife and the home for many amazing plants and unique shrubs. Plants play a central role in the four major components of the ecosystem; tundra, grasslands, deserts, and forests.

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Typical Characteristics of Types of Australian Plants

Key Takeaways – Australian Plant Types:

  • Adaptation to harsh conditions: Many types of Australian plants have evolved to survive in dry regions, characterized by long periods of drought and high temperatures.
  • Diverse flora: Australia has a wide range of plant species unique to the continent. Good examples are eucalypts, banksias, and acacias.
  • Fire adaptation: Australian plants have developed several ways of coping with wildfires – these happen regularly in many parts of the country. Some species have thick bark or regenerative buds, while others rely on fire to stimulate seed germination.
  • Phosphorus-deficient soils: Many Australian soils are low in phosphorus, which has led to the evolution of plants with unique root systems that allow them to absorb nutrients efficiently.
  • Floral diversity: Australian plants often have unique and showy flowers that are adapted to the country’s diverse range of pollinators, including birds, insects, and mammals.
  • Sclerophyllous leaves: Many Australian plants have sclerophyllous leaves, which are tough and leathery and help the plant to conserve water in dry conditions.
  • Chemical defenses: Some Australian plants produce secondary compounds that deter herbivores and protect the plant from damage.

Top 10 Native Australian Plant

There is a wide range of exciting flora to appreciate in Australia and many have been around for thousands of years.

The native forests and gardens are the best way to ensure that animals feel safe in their natural habitat. There are approximately 24,000 species of Australian native plants. Here are some of them you probably did not know. 

Common plants in Australia

  • Spider flower (Cleome hassleriana)
  • Native bluebell (Wahlenbergia stricta)
  • Golden Everlasting daisy (Xerochrysum)
  • The flannel flower (Actinotus helianthin)
  • Rice Flower (Ozothamnus diosmifolius)
  • Silver Spurflower (Plectranthus argentatus)
  • Everlasting Strawflower (Xerochrysum bracteatum)
  • Callistemon Little John Bottlebrush or weeping bottle-brush (Callistemon viminalis)
  • Trigger Grass (Stylidium graminifolium)
  • Small Crowea, Dwarf Crowea or Low Crowea (Crowea exalata)

Video – 10 Colourful Native Plants in Australia

Not all Australian plants are succulents and cactus – there are beautiful flowers, too!

Popular Australian Plants

Australia boasts of most of the best hybrid native plants the earth has seen in many years. They have fantastic color ranges and sizes. They also have beautiful flowering plants. Here are some of the famous Australian native species of plants.

Blue gum (Eucalyptus gunii)

Well-known Eucalytpus Tree
Eucalyptus gunii – Eucalyptus Tree is endemic to Australia

Blue gum, also called cider gum, is a low-maintenance Australian native tree that achieves a mature size of 9m to 21m in height and 5.4m to 12m in width. It can grow in any type of soil as long as it is moist and well-drained, though it can also stand poorly-drained soil.

Eucalyptus gunnii
Common Name Botanical Name Soil pH Range Soil Type Sunshine Growing Zones
Cider Gum Eucalyptus gunnii 5.5 – 7.5 Well-draining Full sun to partial shade 7-10

Eucalyptus Trees – Gov.Au

It thrives well in partial sun to full sun exposure. It prefers acidic or neutral PH. Plant life evolved separately from the rest of the planet and there are many unusual and unique species within a diverse range of growing conditions.

Eucalyptus is fragrant, showy, and evergreen. Throughout summer, fall, and winter, it blooms in spring with pale-blue flowers that attract birds. It is deer and drought-resistant and can grow from Melbourne to Sydney and is also common in Canberra, Queensland and Brisbane.

Bottlebrush (Callistemon citrinus)

Bottlebrush (Callistemon citrinus)
Bottlebrush really does look like a bottle-cleaning brush!

Crimson bottlebrush is an evergreen shrub with arch-like branches common in NSW. A mature plant is 3 inches to 7.5 inches tall and 3 inches to 20 inches wide. It grows well in moist, well-drained sandy, clay, or loamy soils with acidic or neutral PH and full sun exposure. 

Bottlebrush is fragrant, showy, and evergreen and attracts butterflies, hummingbirds, and birds. It blossoms in spring, all summer, fall, and winter.

Bottlebrush (Callistemon citrinus)
Common Name Botanical Name Soil pH Range Soil Type Sunshine Growing Zones
Bottlebrush Callistemon citrinus 6.0 – 7.0 Well-draining Full sun 9-11

Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria

Yellow Wattle (Acacia pycnantha)

Yellow Wattle (Acacia pycnantha) branch with flowers
Yellow Wattle (Acacia pycnantha) thrives in Australia
Yellow Wattle (Acacia pycnantha)
Common Name Botanical Name Soil pH Range Soil Type Sunshine Growing Zones
Yellow Wattle Acacia pycnantha 6.0 – 7.5 Well-draining Full sun 8-11

Yellow wattle, also called bailey acacia, is a shrub or small tree that grows as tall as 6m to 9m and 6m to 12m wide. It grows in moist, well-drained acidic or neutral loam or sandy soil.

It is showy and deer-resistant and requires exposure to full sun to flourish. It blooms throughout spring, summer, fall, and winter. It is ideal for wall-side borders.

Kangaroo paw (Anigozanthos flavidus)

Kangaroo paw is a popular shrub in Australian gardens

Kangaroo paw is a low-maintenance perennial plant that is showy and evergreen. It grows well in well-drained neutral or acidic loam or sandy soil. It requires full sun exposure to flourish. A kangaroo paw plant can grow up to 1 to 6 inches in height and 1 to 3 inches wide. It is drought, rabbit, and deer-resistant and attracts birds. Kangaroo paw is suitable for patio and containers, beds, and borders.

Kangaroo paw (Anigozanthos flavidus)
Common Name Botanical Name Soil pH Range Soil Type Sunshine Growing Zones
Kangaroo paw Anigozanthos flavidus 6.0 – 7.0 Well-draining, sandy or loamy soils Full sun to partial shade 9-11

Australian Native Plants List with Pictures

The beauty of Australian flora and fauna is beyond imagination. Australia flaunts some of the most beautiful and unique plants. These native plants are popular, and you can easily incorporate them into any garden and landscape style. Check out these great Australian native plants and pictures. 

Adenanthos Coral Carpet or flame bush (Adenanthos cuneatus)

Picture of Coral Carpet in Australian
This plant does look like a coral carpet
  • Adenanthos Coral Carpet is a low-growing, spreading plant that is native to Australia.
  • It produces small, bright red flowers that bloom in the spring and summer.
  • The plant prefers well-draining, sandy soils and requires full sun to partial shade for optimal growth.
  • Adenanthos Coral Carpet is drought-tolerant and can survive in dry conditions, but it benefits from occasional watering during extended periods of heat or dryness.
  • The plant is an excellent choice for rock gardens, borders, or ground cover, and it attracts birds and other wildlife to the garden.
Adenanthos Coral Carpet
Common Name Botanical Name Soil pH Range Soil Type Sunshine Growing Zones
Coral Carpet Adenanthos sericeus ‘Coral Carpet’ 5.5 – 7.0 Well-draining, sandy Full sun to partial shade 9-11

Bird’s nest fern (Asplenium nidus)

Bird's nest fern Australian plant
Bird’s nest fern looks great as a pot plant, with corrugated green foliage.
  • Bird’s nest fern is an epiphytic plant that is native to tropical regions around the world, including Southeast Asia, Polynesia, and Hawaii.
  • The plant gets its name from its distinctive nest-like rosette of fronds that grow from a central point, resembling a bird’s nest.
  • Bird’s nest fern prefers to grow in bright, indirect light and high humidity environments, making it a popular houseplant.
  • The fern is relatively low maintenance and can be grown in a variety of containers, including hanging baskets and terrariums.
  • Propagation of bird’s nest fern is typically done through division of the plant, which can be done as needed when the plant has outgrown its current container.
Bird’s Nest Fern (Asplenium nidus)
Common Name Botanical Name Soil pH Range Soil Type Sunshine Growing Zones
Bird’s Nest Fern Asplenium nidus 5.5 – 7.5 Well-draining, rich in organic matter Partial to full shade 9-11

Asteromyrtus Fireball (Asteromyrtus brassii)

Asteromyrtus Fireball shrub
Asteromyrtus Fireball vivid red flowers
  • Asteromyrtus Fireball is a hybrid plant that is a cross between two different species, Asteromyrtus and Symphyocarpa.
  • It is a compact, evergreen shrub that typically grows up to 2-3 feet tall and wide.
  • The plant produces small, pink or red flowers in the summer and fall, and has aromatic foliage that is commonly used for making essential oils.
  • Asteromyrtus Fireball is a relatively low-maintenance plant that is resistant to pests and diseases, and can tolerate a range of growing conditions, including heat, humidity, and poor soil.
  • It is commonly used as a landscaping plant in warm, tropical climates, and can be grown as a specimen plant, in groups, or as a hedge.
Asteromyrtus Fireball
Common Name Botanical Name Soil pH Range Soil Type Sunshine Growing Zones
Asteromyrtus Fireball Asteromyrtus symphyocarpa ‘Fireball’ 5.5 – 6.5 Well-draining Full sun to partial shade 9-11

Tasmanian Waratah (Telopea truncate)

Tasmanian Waratah bush flowers
Anitpodean Tasmanian Waratah shrubs grow lovely, delicate red flowers
Tasmanian Waratah
Common Name Botanical Name Soil pH Range Soil Type Sunshine Growing Zones
Tasmanian Waratah Telopea truncata 4.5 – 6.0 Well-draining, acidic Full sun to partial shade 8-10

  • The Tasmanian Waratah (Telopea truncata) is a striking evergreen shrub native to Tasmania, Australia.
  • It produces large, vibrant red flowers that bloom in spring and summer, attracting nectar-feeding birds such as honeyeaters.
  • Tasmanian Waratah prefers well-draining, slightly acidic soil and partial shade to full sun.
  • This plant is often used for ornamental purposes in gardens, and is sometimes grown for cut flowers.
  • Tasmanian Waratah is also an important cultural symbol for Tasmanian Aboriginal people, who used the plant for medicinal and ceremonial purposes.

Misty Pink Grevillea’ (Grevillea banksii x sessilis)

Flowers native to Oz - Misty Pink Grevillea
Another Pink flower found ‘down-under’! This is one of the hardy plants common in Western Victoria.
  • The Misty Pink Grevillea is an evergreen shrub that can grow up to 4-6 feet tall and wide.
  • This plant produces beautiful pinkish-red flowers that bloom year-round, attracting hummingbirds and other pollinators to your garden.
  • The Misty Pink Grevillea prefers well-draining, slightly acidic soil and thrives in full sun to partial shade.
  • This plant is drought-tolerant and low-maintenance, making it a great choice for gardeners who want an attractive yet easy-to-care-for plant.
  • The Misty Pink Grevillea is native to Australia but can be grown in many regions with similar growing conditions.
Misty Pink Grevillea
Common Name Botanical Name Soil pH Range Soil Type Sunshine Growing Zones
Misty Pink Grevillea Grevillea ‘Misty Pink’ 6.0 – 6.5 Sandy, well-draining Full sun to partial shade 9-11

Swan River Myrtle (Hypocalymma robustum)

Swan River Myrtle is a shrub native to Oz with delicate white and yellow blossoms.
  • Swan River Myrtle (Backhousia myrtifolia) is an evergreen shrub or small tree that is native to Australia.
  • The plant produces fragrant white or pale pink flowers in summer, followed by small, edible fruits that taste like a combination of cinnamon and cloves.
  • Swan River Myrtle prefers well-draining soil and can tolerate full sun to partial shade.
  • This plant is drought-tolerant once established and is suitable for growing in USDA hardiness zones 9-11.
  • Swan River Myrtle is commonly used for landscaping and is a popular choice for hedging or as a specimen plant in the garden. Its leaves and flowers are also used in cooking and for making essential oils.
Swan River Myrtle
Common Name Botanical Name Soil pH Range Soil Type Sunshine Growing Zones
Swan River Myrtle Backhousia myrtifolia 5.5 – 7.0 Well-draining Full sun to partial shade 9-11

Australian Native Trees and Shrubs

Some of the most attractive trees growing naturally, and some that are best for growing in your yard are Australian natives. These plants are either perennial or annual, and all grow in different climatic conditions. The native plants have significant benefits to both humans and animals. 

Some of the most outstanding Australian native trees and shrubs are flowering while others are fruit-bearing plants. The native trees provide shade for people and food, and a home for wild animals. The shrubs can make unique statement plants in your garden and create an ideal habitat for animals, including crawling insects.

There is a diverse range of trees throughout Australia, from oil-bearing trees like Eucalyptus to tea treas and the incredible Flame Tree (Brachychiton acerifolius). Wood from the sclerophyll forest as used by early man for fires and charcoal creation, preceding European colonisation.

  • Wattle tree (Acacia)
  • Illawarra plum tree (Podocarpus elatus)
  • Tucker Bush cherry tree (Syzygium austral)
  • Grevillea tree (Grevillea robusta)
  • Acacia Honey Bun (Acacia howittii)
  • Acmena Cherry Surprise (Acmena smithii)
  • Acacia Minicog (Acacia cognata)
  • Spotted Gum (Corymbia Maculata)

Infographic – Try these Australian plants for your garden at home

Some species of plants are only found in Australia
5 Australian plants suitable for growing in your home garden or pots

Australian Native Shrubs

The native shrubs of Australia are a significant resource. They make the environment attractive and offer homes and food to some animals. The Mediterranean climate and the adjacent semi-desert regions of Australia provide the ideal conditions for the survival of most of the shrubs in Australia.

The native shrubs of Australia are a significant resource. They make the environment attractive and offer homes and food to some animals. The Mediterranean climate and the adjacent semi-desert regions of Australia provide the ideal conditions for the survival of most of the shrubs in Australia.

A broad range of Australian native compact shrubs makes a fantastic feature shrub. The best thing is that most shrubs are low-maintenance after their establishment. Check these tremendous selections.

  • Wax flower (Philotheca buxifolia)
  • Black Eyed Susan (Tetratheca thymifolia)
  • Heart-leaf flame pea (Chorizema cordatum)
  • Native Fuchsia (Correa jezabell)
  • The Dampiera (Dampiera stricta)
  • Chamomile Sunray (Rhodanthe antimonides)
  • Brown Boronia (Boronia megastigma)

Australian Native Plants for Garden

Apart from the naturally growing native plants in Australia, some species are fit for growing in the garden. All you need is to choose a plant that accepts the soil and sun conditions in your garden. Check out some Australian native plants for the garden.

Brachyscome Daisy or swan river daisyBrachyscomeSwan river daisy is a perennial plant that grows 12 to 18 inches tall and spreads up to 1 to 3 feet wide. It produces blue, lavender, pink, or white flowers in summer and fall. It grows best in rich, well-drained slightly acidic to alkaline soil and requires full sun exposure to flourish.
Balm Mint bushesMentha spp.Mint bush is a perennial herb that can grow as tall as 12 to 18 inches and spread to 18 to 24 inches. It thrives in moist, well-drained loamy soil with acidic or neutral PH. Its season of interest is summer. 
Spider flowersGrevilleaThe spider flower is an Australian shrub that grows 120cm to 180cm tall and spreads 120cm to 180cm in well-drained neutral or acidic loam or sandy soil. The spider flower plant blooms in spring, summer, fall, and winter and requires partial to full sun. the spider flower is drought and deer-resistant. 
Austromyrtus Midgen BerryAustromyrtus dulcisThe midgen berry is a perennial shrub that thrives in all well-draining soil types. It produces small white flowers in spring and summer. It flourishes in tropical and sub-tropical climates and requires partial shade to full sun.  
Juncus pallidusPale RushPale rush is an evergreen plant that grows in all soil types as long it is boggy, moisture-retentive, and has acidic, neutral, or alkaline PH. Juncus pallidus Pale Rush thrives in partial shade to full sun. 
With ample water and a sunny poisition many plants are suitable for a domestic Australian garden

Colorful Australian Native Plants

Here are some native Australian plants that spruce up the environment. 

  • Fan flower
  • Bush pearl
  • Flowering gum
  • Grey cottonheads
  • Callistemon ‘All Aglow’

Small Australian Native Plants

Some Australian native plants are small and suitable for growing in pots and containers. Here are examples of such small plants. 

  • Lily lily
  • Westringia
  • Aussie Flat Bush
  • Grevillea Crimson Villea
  • Green John or Callistemon viminalis


What Is the Plant That Is Only Found in Australia?

Plants unique to Australia - Sturt’s desert rose
Sturt’s desert rose is only found in Australia

A Sturt’s desert rose (Gossypium sturtianum) is only found in Australia. It is a large shrub with a maximum height of 3meters. It tolerates any soil type that is dry and well-drained with acidic, neutral, or alkaline PH. It is drought-resistant. It thrives in full sun. Sturt’s Desert Rose blooms from winter all year round, producing mauve flowers.

  • Sturt’s Desert Rose (Gossypium sturtianum) is a flowering shrub that is native to Australia and can grow up to 2-3 meters tall.
  • It is commonly found in arid and semi-arid regions, and is adapted to drought and high temperatures.
  • The flowers of Sturt’s Desert Rose are large, showy, and can range in color from white to pink or purple.
  • The plant is named after Captain Charles Sturt, a British explorer who led expeditions through inland Australia in the 19th century.
  • Sturt’s Desert Rose is used in traditional medicine to treat a range of ailments, including skin conditions, infections, and digestive issues.
Sturt’s Desert Rose
Common Name Botanical Name Soil pH Range Soil Type Sunshine Growing Zones
Sturt’s Desert Rose Gossypium sturtianum 6.5 – 7.5 Sandy or loamy Full sun 9-11

What Are Some Indigenous Plants in Australia?

Australia has many varieties of indigenous plants ranging from flowering to fruit-bearing. Here is a list of some of these plants.

  • Acacia (wattles) 
  • Eucalyptus (gum tree) (notably in the Blue Mountains of NSW)
  • Native bluebell
  • Grass tree (one of the ancient three species of trees)
  • EremopHila
  • Melaleuca
  • Bull Kauri
  • Palm Valley Myrtle
  • Hillgrove Spotted Gum
  • Sturt’s Desert Rose

What Is a Famous Plant in Australia?

Eucalypt native forests are iconic and essential in the conservation of Australia’s biodiversity. The Eucalyptus gum tree is the most famous tree in Australia’s environment. It is a unique addition to any home garden, not the surrounding at large. Native Australians use almost every part of the eucalypt tree for their own benefit. 

Eucalypts are a significant source of wood due to their size, wood quality, and their widespread distribution. Eucalypts have various features like durability, weight, wood color, shape, and strength, ideal for many applications.

Oil from eucalypt leaves is suitable for making perfumes and aromatherapy. A eucalypt is also ideal for fuelwood, chipping, and paper pulp. 

What Is Australia’s Native Flower?

Aus. national flower- golden wattle
Golden wattle – symbol of the Golden land ‘down-under’.

The golden wattle (Acacia pycnantha) has been a well-known Australian floral emblem since 1901. It is a small evergreen tree or spreading shrub. It mainly grows in the under storey or woodlands, open scrubs, and open forest in southern Australia, new south Wales, and the capital of Australia.

Australia has over 760 different varieties of wattles. Australians hold the golden wattle flower high and use it to make various products.

Golden Wattle (Acacia pycnantha)
Common Name Botanical Name Soil pH Range Soil Type Sunshine Growing Zones
Golden Wattle Acacia pycnantha 6.0 – 7.5 Well-draining Full sun 9-11

Golden Wattle Gov site

  • Golden Wattle is a widely cultivated Australian native plant, recognized as the country’s national floral emblem.
  • This tree can grow up to 8-10 meters in height and blooms in bright yellow flowers during late winter and early spring.
  • Golden Wattle prefers well-draining soils and full sun exposure, and can be grown in various climates ranging from subtropical to semi-arid regions.
  • The flowers of Golden Wattle are rich in nectar and pollen, making them an important food source for pollinators such as bees.
  • Indigenous Australians have a long history of using Golden Wattle for food, medicine, and in traditional ceremonies.

Some main points relating to Australian plants, flowers, shrubs and trees 

  • Australia is one of the largest countries and also an island, with diverse climate extremes and arid conditions
  • Many leaf vegetable types are edible, such as Warrigal greens, but take care – many plsnts are downright poisonous
  • Some plant species are common to New Caledonia and New Zealand, while many are unique and endemic
  • Climate change is impacting some plant species by reducing rainfall where there was once ample water
  • There are many National Parks and protected areas in Australia to try and conserve the flora
  • The biological sciences acknowledge that Austrlia contains unique species of both flora and fauna
Video roundup of Australian plants and flowers

Other notable Australian species of plants

  • Hardenbergia violacea (The Happy Wanderer)
  • Agathis microstachya (Bull Kauri)
  • Alyogyne huegelii (Blue Hibiscus)
  • Swainsona formosa (Sturt’s Desert Pea)
  • Citrus australasica (Finger Lime)

Other resources relating to Australian plants native to Australia

Australia’s native plants – Tourism Australia

9 Australian native plants and trees to attract wildlife

Australian Native Plants • March 2022

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