Indigenous plants

What are indigenous plants?

Indigenous plants are those that occur naturally in an area having evolved there over thousands of years. Native plants are simply plants that occur naturally in one or more part of Australia.

Why grow indigenous plants?

 There are lots of great reasons for growing indigenous plants in your garden. They provide food for native birds such as honeyeaters, parrots and rosellas. They are culturally significant as they provide a link to the past. They are hardy and often don’t need much water. Indigenous plants also create an identity to a landscape, and provide variation and difference rather than having all areas that look the same.

Indigenous plants have evolved with the local conditions so they are likely to grow better than plants native to other areas of Australia or the world. Indigenous plants can be used in informal and formal garden settings and can provide diverse colours, textures, much like a traditional garden. Native plants from around Australia can also be a good source of food.

Growing indigenous plants contributes to sustainability through the creation of healthier ecosystems and increasing habitat for animals.

Indigenous plant guide

The Shire of Cardinia and the City of Casey include the southern slopes of the Dandenong Ranges and continue south of Western Port. Within these municipalities there are areas of the original vegetation (remnants) of the area. These areas can be of state, national and even international importance. They include Western Port, Barn Bam Swamp in Casey and Bunyip State Park in Cardinia. However, only a small amount remains of the vegetation that was and only 7% of Casey’s original vegetation remains.

The two Councils have jointly developed and indigenous plant guide. The guide highlights a selection of plants that grew in the area before European settlement.

This guide aims to highlight the importance of protecting areas of remnant vegetation in Cardinia and Casey, and encourage residents to grow in their gardens and on farms.

How to use the indigenous plant guide

The guide has information on 141 plant species indigenous to both the areas of Cardinia and Casey. Photos are included for 97 of these plants and 44 species without photos are listed towards the back of the guide. Plants with photos have been grouped into five colour coded sections with strips along the sides of pages being yellow for trees, green for shrubs, blue for wildflowers, violet for grasses, sedges and rushes, and orange for groundcovers and climbers.

To help with plant selection, maps of Cardinia and Casey have been divided into vegetation zones based on soil types, topography and natural influences. You can find a suitable plant species for your property by identifying the zone your property lies within and then selecting plants labelled with your zone.

To download the guide, click here City of Casey Indigenous Plant Guide (2mb).

For more information please contact the City of Casey Environment Department on 9705 5200.

Useful links

Ecological Vegetation Classes (EVC) are a way of classifying plant communities.

Australian Plant Society

Sustainable Gardening Australia