Plant Natives

Pincushion Hakea popular with the European honeybee.
Pincushion Hakea popular with the European honeybee.

Australian native plants come in a huge array of shapes and sizes. There is pretty much a native plant for all occasions.

Native plants are species naturally found in your region, more broadly we also consider them to be plants that are indigenous to Australia. They provide pollinators with their only food source: nectar and pollen. They are an obvious choice when helping native pollinators because this is what these pollinators have adapted to feed on. They’re great garden choices because they’re adapted to Australian soil and weather conditions. If you plant them in the right spot, they’ll thrive with no extra watering, fertilisers or chemicals. Join a native plant group to find the best plants for your area or visit your local nursery and talk to an expert.

It's a party in a banksia flower.
It’s a party in a banksia flower.

Below is a list of common native plant species that I have found both honeybees and native pollinators enjoy.

Native plants

  • Flowering gums
  • Banksia
  • Callistemon
  • Hakea
  • Grevillea
  • Westringia
  • Correa
  • Leptospermum
  • Melaleuca

Selecting Plants

Selecting native plants or any plants for that matter can be frustrating and confusing. The ACT Governments ‘act smart‘ website has a bunch of useful information about a range of things to help us as a community be more sustainable. A fantastic tool on this website is the Canberra Plant Selector webtool.

Canberra Plant Selector - a great tool.
Canberra Plant Selector – a great tool.

This tool lets you select a number of criteria by which to search the plant list. Options include:

  • Plant type (tree, shrub etc)
  • Frost tolerance (level)
  • Watering requirements
  • Sun and shade requirements
  • Miscellaneous (native or exotic)

As well as this you can browse the collection or search by plant name if you know it.

A list of plants native to the Canberra region is available from the www.tams.act.gov.au

There are other benefits of growing native plants to, planting natives will bring a whole variety of birds and some nectar loving mammals into your backyard, providing both habitat and food.

Ants enjoying the Corymbia ficifolia in my front yard.
Ants enjoying the Corymbia ficifolia in my front yard.
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