Plant species list

To see all these plants growing in Kensington, head to Borthwick Park (between Bridge Street and Thornton Street).

Large Trees

Eucalyptus cameldulensis River Red Gum

Small trees and larger shrubs

Acacia pycnantha Golden Wattle
Acacia retinoides Swamp Wattle
Allocasuarina verticillate Drooping Sheoak
Callitris gracilis Native Pine
Melaleuca lanceolata Dryland Tea-tree
Pittosporum phyllaeriodes Native Apricot

Shrubs

Acacia acinacea Gold-dust Wattle
Banksia marginata Silver Banksia
Bursaria spinosa Christmas Bush
Dodonaea viscosa var spatulate Sticky Hop-bush
Goodenia ovata Hop Goodenia
Leptospermum continentale Prickly Tea-tree

Groundcovers and climbers

Enchylaena tomentose Ruby Saltbush
Goodenia Amplexans Clasping Goodenia
Hardenbergia violacea Native Violet
Myoporum parvifolium Creeping Boobialla

Grasses and rushes

Austrodanthonia caespitose Common Wallaby grass
Ficinia nodosa Knobby Club-rush
Themeda triandra Kangaroo Grass

Large Trees

Eucalyptus cameldulensis
River Red Gum

eucalyptuscamaldulensis

Description: Iconic and much loved large tree often exceeding 30m. Multicolour flaking bark and massive trunk. Adult leaves grey-green, typical 'gum' leaves. Small white flowers in late summer. Fast growing. Long-lived, up to 1,000 years.

Cultivation: Easy to grow in most soils, although too large for most gardens. Prefers full sun. Tolerant of drought and frost.

Other:

  • Helps stabilise creekbanks
  • May drop large limbs unexpectedly. Tree hollows provide homes for possums, lorikeets etc.
  • Traditional Aboriginal uses: seeds used to be eaten by aboriginal people. Known as "karra" in Kaurna language
  • Timber used for heavy furniture. Termite resistant.
  • Bird and butterfly attracting

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Small trees and larger shrubs

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Acacia pycnantha
Golden Wattle

acaciapycnantha

Description: Small tree or large shrub: 4-7m tall. Grey-green foliage although large and glossy when young. Brilliant globular yellow fragrant flowers in late winter to mid spring. Fast growing, short lived (under 15 years).

Cultivation: Prefers sunny or part shaded spot in well drained soil. Tolerant of most soil types. Moderately drought and frost tolerant.

Other:

  • Australia's national floral emblem
  • Provides nectar for insects and birds
  • Traditional Aboriginal uses: gum or resin (eaten or for adhesives) or seeds/fruits eaten

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Acacia retinoides
Swamp Wattle

Description:Small open tree or large shrub 5-8 m high. Pale bark. Long grey-green foliage. Globular yellow flowers most of the year. Short-lived. Up to 15 years.

Cultivation:Prefers full sun or part shade. Happy in moist soils. May need additional watering over summer.

Other:

  • Bird and butterfly attracting
  • Traditional Aboriginal use: seeds were ground into flour and eaten.

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Allocasuarina verticillate
Drooping Sheoak

allocasuarinaverticillata

Description: Evergreen, shady small to medium-sized tree 6 to 10m on straight trunk. Foliage grey-green drooping branches with needles rather than leaves. Fast growing. Long-lived (over 15 years).

Cultivation: Prefers full sun or part shade and well-drained or dry soils.

Other:

  • Aboriginal name is ‘karko’ in Kaurna language.
  • Use as firewood and fuel for river boats is largely responsible for its massive clearance across SA.
  • Male plant has drooping brown/yellow flowers on needle tips. Female plant has round fruit cones.
  • Important for some bird species such as the Glossy Black Cockatoo.
  • The mat of needles that falls from the tree prevents understorey and can be a nuisance.

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Callitris gracilis
Native Pine

callitrisgracilis

Description: Medium size conifer growing up to 12m on a straight trunk. An elegant ornamental tree with bright green needles. Tiny flower structures are insignificant. Fast growing. Long-lived and hardy.

Cultivation: Well-drained or dry soils. High tolerance to drought and frost.

Other:

  • The only native conifer in Adelaide region. Suitable in large gardens only.
  • Also know as the Southern or Slender Cypress Pine.
  • World’s hardest softwood timber, the wood is termite and pest resistant.
  • Fruit is attractive to cockatoos.
  • Distinguished from other pines and cypresses by the ‘floppy top’.
  • Aboriginal name ‘narnu’ in Kaurna language. Wood was used for fish spears.

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Melaleuca lanceolata
Dryland Tea-tree

melaleucalanceolata

Description: Dense, shady, dark-barked shrub or small tree to 8 m. Leaves small and pointed. White flowers similar to bottle-brush in early summer. Fast growing. Long-lived (over 15 years).

Cultivation: Full sun to part shade. Moderately frost and drought tolerant.

Other:

  • Bird and butterfly attracting.
  • Responds to pruning.
  • Used to make tea by early settlers.

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Pittosporum phyllaeriodes
Native Apricot

pittosporum

Description: Small tree to around 6m, sometimes to 10m. Graceful weeping habit, with long, slender, bright green leaves. Slow growing and long lived. Small yellow flowers in summer. Yellow orange fruit. More recently known as Pittosporum angustifolium.

Cultivation: Easy to grow. Prefers full sun and well-drained soil. Drought and frost resistant.

Other:

  • Widespread in inland Australia.
  • Bird attracting.
  • Aboriginal use: an infusion of the leaves, seeds, fruit pulp or wood was used to treat bruises, muscle-ache, sprains and cramps.
  • Infusions were drunk to treat coughs and colds as well as to induce lactation.
  • Also known as Gumbi-Gumbi.

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Shrubs

Acacia acinacea
Gold-dust Wattle

acaciaacinacea

Description: Straggly low or more erect tough and durable open shrub to 3m. Bright green foliage. Flowers late winter to early spring in a profusion of yellow globular flowers. Fast growing, short lived (under 15 years).

Cultivation: Prefers full sun or part shade and well-drained soil. Drought and frost tolerant.

Other:

  • Bird and butterfly attracting.
  • Useful ornamental and reliable plant.

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Banksia marginata
Silver Banksia

Description: Medium woody shrub, typically 2m high but variable. Leaves dull green. Cylindrical pale yellow flower spikes may appear year-round. Fairly fast growing. Long-lived.

Cultivation: Prefers full sun or part shade and well-drained soils but tolerant to damp soils. Drought and frost tolerant.

Other:

  • Bird and butterfly attracting.
  • Banksias are named after Sir Joseph Banks, botanist on Cook’s first voyage to Australia.
  • The under-surface of the leaves is silvery, giving the plant its common name.

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Bursaria spinosa
Christmas Bush

bursariaspinosa

Description: Variable large spreading shrub up to 3m or more. Leaves are bright green and oval. Stems may have thorns. Creamy perfumed flowers in late spring to summer. Slow growing. Long lived, up to 60 years.

Cultivation: Prefers full sun or part shade and well-drained soil. Moderately drought and frost tolerant.

Other:

  • Also known as Sweet Bursaria.
  • Bird and butterfly attracting.
  • Leaves produce the glycoside aesculin, used in manufacture of some pharmaceuticals.

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Dodonaea viscosa var spatulate
Sticky Hop-bush

dodonaeaviscosa

Description: Hardy spreading or erect shrub up to 4 m. Sticky bright green leaves. Flowers insignificant. Colourful pink or red fruit like hops in spring. Quite fast growing. Long-lived to around 30 years.

Cultivation: Prefers full sun or part shade and well-drained soil. Drought tolerant and moderately frost tolerant.

Other:

  • Aboriginal use: leaves were chewed to relieve toothache. Wood was used to make clubs.
  • Used to make beer by early settlers.

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Goodenia ovata
Hop Goodenia

goodeniaovata

Description: Small open scrambling shrub up to 2m high. Glossy green, sticky oval leaves. Conspicuous bright yellow flowers in spring and summer. Fast growing, short-lived.

Cultivation: Prefers full sun or part shade. Tolerates boggy conditions and moist soils. Drought and frost tolerant.

Other:

  • Bird and butterfly attracting.
  • Responds well to pruning.
  • Aboriginal use: leaves have mild sleep-inducing effect.

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Leptospermum continentale
Prickly Tea-tree

lepidospermacontinentale

Description: Upright and narrow shrub to 2 or 3m. Rigid prickly leaves with white flowers massed along stems. Long lived.

Cultivation: Prefers full sun or part shade. Tolerates poorly drained soils. Frost and drought tolerant.

Other:

  • Bird and butterfly attracting.
  • Aboriginal use: spears and pegs.
  • Prune to encourage bushiness.

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Groundcovers and climbers

Enchylaena tomentose
Ruby Saltbush

enchyleanatomentosa

Description: Small straggly woody shrub or prostrate mat up to 1m high and 1m across. Leaves cylindrical, green or grey-green and semi-succulent. Showy soft fleshy berries in various shades of red.

Cultivation: Prefers full sun or part shade and well-drained soil. Frost and drought tolerant.

Other:

  • Bird and butterfly attracting.
  • Hardy and easy to establish.
  • Aboriginal use: salty sweet fruits were eaten raw.

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Goodenia Amplexans
Clasping Goodenia

goodeniaamplexans

Description: Spreading small shrub up to 1m. Bright lime-green leaves, fleshy and sticky. Profusion of yellow flowers in summer. Perennial.

Cultivation: Prefers part shade. Prefers well-drained soil but will tolerate boggy soils. Frost and drought tolerant.

Other:

  • Bird and butterfly attracting.
  • Distinctive spicy smell.
  • Can be pruned to promote growth.

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Hardenbergia violacea
Native Violet

hardenbergiaviolacea

Description: Distinctive woody vine with twining stems climbing vigorously to 3m through fences or supports. Leaves dark green. Profusion of purple pea-shaped flowers in winter and spring.

Cultivation: Grows well in a variety of soils in full sun or part shade. Moderately drought and frost tolerant.

Other:

  • Bird and butterfly attracting.
  • Cultivars are available in blue and white variants.
  • Train over a fence or allow it to form a scrambling low bush.
  • Aboriginal use: leaves were boiled to make a sweet drink.

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Myoporum parvifolium
Creeping Boobialla

myoporumparvifolium

Description: Prostrate shrub forming dense mats up to 3m in diameter. Leaves rich green, thick and semi-succulent. White flowers in summer.

Cultivation: Prefers full sun or light shade. Prefers well-drained soil but tolerant of differing soil types. Frost and drought tolerant.

Other:

  • Bird and butterfly attracting.
  • Useful hardy groundcover. Easy to establish.

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Grasses and rushes

Austrodanthonia caespitose
Common Wallaby grass

wallabygrass

Description: Perennial grass about 90cm high with clumping habit. Leaves fine and flat or rolled. Flowers in summer. Light green or pale seed heads. Individual plants may grow for up to six years. Slow growing.

Cultivation: Prefers sun or part shade. Tolerates most soil types. Hardy. Frost and drought tolerant.

Other:

  • May be used as an alternative to lawn. Can be mown and will grow from seed after autumn rains.
  • Attracts seed eating birds.
  • Also known as White Top.

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Ficinia nodosa
Knobby Club-rush

Description: Small hardy perennial sedge around 1m with characteristic knobby seed heads. Fast growing. Narrow dark green cylindrical leaves with sharp tips.

Cultivation: Prefers full sun or part shade. Damp to dry soil. Useful for boggy areas, but also tolerates extended dry periods. Great for difficult areas like slopes. Can be divided when mature to form new plants. Drought and frost tolerant.

Other:

  • A reliable, sculptural plant.
  • Attracts butterflies and seed eating birds.
  • Aboriginal use: basket weaving.

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Themeda triandra
Kangaroo Grass

themdatriandra

Description: Iconic and distinctive tall grass with clumping tussocky habit. Grows to 1.5m with long drooping green leaves turn to brown and purple with maturity. Distinct red-brown spikelets appearing in summer.

Cultivation: Prefers full sun or part shade. Will grow in most soils. Drought and frost tolerant.

Other:

  • Attracts seed-eating birds.
  • Aboriginal use: seeds were ground into flour, baked and eaten.

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