Australian Plants

Australia has areas ranging from deserts and temperate climates to tropical rainforest, giving it an enormous variety of plant life much of which is not seen anywhere else in the world. Ask questions about plants native to Australia here.

993 Questions
Biology
Botany or Plant Biology
Australian Plants

What are the adaptations of the waratah?

The waratah, a hardy Australian plant, has several adaptations to help it to survive in its environment.

  • It has thick waxy leaves to cope with dry seasons. The waxy surface prevents the leaves from losing too much moisture through evaporation.
  • Its large, bright flowers attract birds such as honeyeaters to assist pollination.
  • Waratahs live for a long time.
  • They are resistant to bushfires as, even if the plant above the surface is burnt, it is able to sprout again from the rootstock.
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Koalas
Australian Plants

What is the meaning of eucalyptus?

The eucalyptus is a native Australian tree.

The name "eucalyptus" comes from the Greek eu, meaning "well", and kalyptos, meaning "cover." It is called this because it of ts "gumnuts", or solid, woody, well-covered flower buds.

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Australian Plants
Botany or Plant Biology

Does a Cyclamin need water?

No a cyclamin does not need water because it can live on its own with just alittle sunlight

All plants need water to survive. Cyclamen need very little water to live and thrive.

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Kangaroos
Australian Plants

Where does the kangaroo paw live?

The Kangaroo Paw is a native Australian shrub which is found in southwestern Western Australia. It prefers a drier climate than that found in the east. Its habitat is sandy soil in grassland and semi-arid areas.

939495
Flower Gardening
Australian Plants

What Two colours would you find on Sturt's Desert Pea?

The flower of the Sturt's Desert Pea is red and black.

It also has grey-green foliage.

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Trees
Botany or Plant Biology
Australian Plants

What are Australian native plants and trees?

  • Eucalyptus - the well-known 'gum trees' with over 600 species in Australia, including Tasmania's emblem, the Tasmanian Blue Gum
  • Acacia, known more commonly as the wattle tree - many species exist throughout Australia, in all conditions, as it is a highly adaptable plant; Australia's national floral emblem is the Golden Wattle
  • Banksia - named by botanist Sir Joseph Banks who was with Captain Cook when he charted Australia's eastern coast
  • Blackboy, or grass trees
  • Bunya Pine, Wollemi Pine, Hoop Pine
  • Callistemon, also known as the bottlebrush
  • Casuarina
  • Common heath, floral emblem of Victoria
  • Correa, a small to medium sized shrub
  • Dryandra, closely related to the banksia
  • Eremophila, also known as the Emu bush
  • Ferns - many varieties, particularly common in rainforests
  • Fabaceae, also common to rainforests, tropical and temperate zones - includes a variety of herbs, vines, shrubs, trees, and lianas
  • Hakea
  • Grevillea (spider flower) - related to Hakeas. One example is the Silky Oak (Grevillea robusta).
  • Hardenbergias - vines with beautiful pea flowers
  • Leptospermum, more commonly known as the tea-tree
  • Leschenaultia, a beautiful Western Australian wildflower
  • Kangaroo paw, an unusual flower from the western half of the continent, and the floral emblem of WA
  • Kurrajong
  • Mallee
  • Melaleuca, another very adaptable and versatile species
  • Moreton Bay Fig
  • Mulga
  • Native Hibiscus, different to the exotic hibiscus favoured by many gardeners
  • Isopogon and petrophile - low growing shrubs
  • Palm trees, such as the Pandanus Palm, Alexandra (King) Palm, Cabbage Tree Palm and Foxtail
  • Sturt's Desert Rose and Sturt's Desert Pea, both desert flowering shrubs, and the emblems of NT and SA respectively
  • Vines such as the Strangler Fig
  • Waratah (NSW floral emblem)
  • Triodia, also known as spinifex grass, which grows in the desert
  • Zygochloa, another desert grass

    One could also add the Norfolk Island Pine (Auracaria heterophylla) which is in the same genus as Bunya Pine. However, it is not found naturally on the Australian mainland, but is native to the Australian offshore territory of Norfolk island.

    For a more complete listing, see the related link.

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Australian Plants

What are waratah characteristics?

native flower

moderately frost resistant

has a very different look than many other plants

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Trees
Botany or Plant Biology
Australian Plants

Name an Australian tree starting with m?

Native Australian plants which start with 'm' include:

  • melaleuca
  • mulga
  • mallee
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Australian Plants

List of native Australian rainforest plants?

See the related links for lists of Australian tropical rainforest plants and temperate rainforest plants.

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Australian Plants

How do banksias survive in their environment?

The banksia is a plant with unique adaptations to help it survive in its environment.

Firstly, the nature of its flower structure attracts many more birds, animals and insects that can help to ensure pollination to other plants. The flowers are long and cylindrical, rather than single cuplike structures.

Also, banksias are able to survive bushfires better than other plants. Some banksias have thick bark that protects them from fire, whilst others have lignotubers, which are underground swellings on their roots, from which they are able to sprout again after fire. these lignotubers are protected, being underground, and rarely damaged by bushfires.

Banksia flowers rely on fire to stimulate the release of their seeds. The seeds are protected from bushfires by a resinous coating, and the action of the fire passing triggers their release as the fire melts the resin.

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Western Australia
Australian Plants

How often does the kangaroo paw plant bloom?

The Kangaroo Paw plant flowers once a year, usually during the late winter to spring months, depending on the variety.

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Plants and Flowers
Fruits and Vegetables
Australian Plants

Are darling peas and idiot fruits poisonous?

yes

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Australian Plants
Poisons and Toxins

Is Eucalyptus poisonous?

Neither eucalyptus trees nor the eucalyptus oil that can be extracted from the leaves is "poisonous". However, it does contain some toxins which can cause acute gastric problems if ingested.

The few animals which feed on eucalyptus leaves, such as koalas, Ringtail possums and Greater gliders, are able to filter out the toxins through their digestive systems.

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Australian Plants

What does the plant kangaroo paw look like?

The plant grows in a clump with strappy leaves approximately 1 metre in height although smaller types are available. The furry flowers are vaguely reminiscent of a kangaroo's paw (hence the name)and grow on a sturdy stalk taller than the leaves. There are a number of color combinations, a common one being a yellowish green while there is a striking red and green form from Western Australia. Hybrids have been cultivated in a variety of shades including pinks and purples. See the Related Link below for some photos.

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Australian Plants

How are ghost gum trees affected by floods?

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Australian Plants

What is the root system of the Eucalyptus?

The majority of eucalyptus trees' roots - up to 90% - extend horizontally in the top 30cm of ground. However, eucalyptus trees also have an incredible taproot which, in the right soil conditions, can extend vertically downwards about 20 metres, or 60 feet. This taproot will anchor the tallest tree securely, but not all soil conditions are conducive to growing such a taproot. Clay, for example, will prevent the taproot growing to the minimum 2 metres it requires to anchor properly.

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Explorers and Expeditions
Australian Explorers
Australian Plants

What famous tree is found at Cooper Creek?

Cooper Creek is the home of the Dig Tree, a large, old coolibah. It marks the site of one of Australia's most tragic stories of miscommunication resulting in death.

Burke and Wills were two explorers who, with a huge party of men and supplies, departed Melbourne in August 1860 to cross Australia to the Gulf of Carpentaria in the north and back again. Burke was an impatient leader who was keen to cross the continent quickly, so he made several bad decisions. One was his decision to leave part of his party first at Menindee, then again more of the party at a depot at Cooper Creek. Burke then raced ahead in the heat of mid-summer to cross to the Gulf and back again, with just Wills, his second-in-command, and two other men, Gray and King.

The men who were left at Cooper Creek were to return to Menindee if Burke's small party did not return in three months. Travelling to the Gulf and back took over four months, and along the way Gray died. The men spent a full day burying Gray's body. When Burke returned to Cooper Creek, he discovered a message carved on a large coolibah tree at the depot. The tree became known as the "Dig Tree" because the message gave instructions to dig for the supplies the other men.

Burke made another mistake when he left the Dig tree to try to reach the police station at Mt Hopeless, 240km away. he did not leave any reply message he had seen the first message on the Dig tree, so when a rescue party returned to Cooper Creek, ,they found no sign that anyone from Burke's small party had been there. Through a series of misundertsandings and lack of communication, no rescue party ever reached Burke and Wills. King was saved by local Aborigines, and it was he who relayed what had happened to the other three men.

In September 1861, the cache beneath the Dig tree, was dug up, and only then was found the evidence that Burke and Wills had been there, had eaten the rations, and had headed for Mt hopeless. Had the cache been dug up earlier, Burke and Wills' movements could have been tracked and the tragedy avoided.

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Australia
Scattergories and Words Starting with Certain Letters
Australian Plants

Australian animal starting with m?

  • Marsupial mole
  • Mahogany glider
  • Mareeba rock-wallaby
  • Mt Claro rock-wallaby
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Botany or Plant Biology
Forests
Australian Plants

How do plants survive after bush fires?

Answer for thismost plants may thrive because nutrients released and carbon deposited are the fundmentals to plant life. whenph is out there will be a time of healing. Usually rain wind speeds up the process.roots underground are savouring every bit of energy whilst there are no leaves so the young ones die or just not but new life shoots from the elder trees and seeds that are native have adapted to those climates with seed pods which have been designed yes by a designer quite cleverly to rot open or open buy fire so fire really in some plants are absoloutely essential for new growth fire burns at thick skined trees but the fires usually do not burn down thick trees
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Animal Life
Australia Animal Life
Australian Plants

Why does Australia have such unique flora and fauna?

Probably due to its isolated position. Coupled with the fact that 'outsiders' didn't start arriving until fairly recently in evolutionary terms. Therefore the existing species had a long period of time to develop on their own before eventually being interbred with external species.

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Australian Plants

What is a succulent plant of the south Australian deserts?


Old Man Saltbush - Atriplex nummularia

Bluebush- Maireana species

Inland pigface- Carprobrobrotus modestus





272829
Australian Explorers
Explorers and Expeditions
Australian Plants

What famous tree is found at Cooper Creek and why is it famous?

Cooper Creek is the home of the Dig Tree, a large, old coolibah. It marks the site of one of Australia's most tragic stories of miscommunication resulting in death.

Burke and Wills were two explorers who, with a huge party of men and supplies, departed Melbourne in August 1860 to cross Australia to the Gulf of Carpentaria in the north and back again. Burke was an impatient leader who was keen to cross the continent quickly, so he made several bad decisions. One was his decision to leave part of his party first at Menindee, then again more of the party at a depot at Cooper Creek. Burke then raced ahead in the heat of mid-summer to cross to the Gulf and back again, with just Wills, his second-in-command, and two other men, Gray and King.

The men who were left at Cooper Creek were to return to Menindee if Burke's small party did not return in three months. Travelling to the Gulf and back took over four months, and along the way Gray died. The men spent a full day burying Gray's body. When Burke returned to Cooper Creek, he discovered a message carved on a large coolibah tree at the depot. The tree became known as the "Dig Tree" because the message gave instructions to dig for the supplies the other men.

Burke made another mistake when he left the Dig tree to try to reach the police station at Mt Hopeless, 240km away. he did not leave any reply message he had seen the first message on the Dig tree, so when a rescue party returned to Cooper Creek, ,they found no sign that anyone from Burke's small party had been there. Through a series of misundertsandings and lack of communication, no rescue party ever reached Burke and Wills. King was saved by local Aborigines, and it was he who relayed what had happened to the other three men.

In September 1861, the cache beneath the Dig tree, was dug up, and only then was found the evidence that Burke and Wills had been there, had eaten the rations, and had headed for Mt hopeless. Had the cache been dug up earlier, Burke and Wills' movements could have been tracked and the tragedy avoided.

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Australian Plants

Are kangaroo paws endangered?

The Kangaroo Paw plant is not endangered. It has a limited natural habitat, but it is a common nursery plant, and available for gardeners to cultivate.

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Australia Natural Disasters
Australian Plants

How do eucalyptus trees help bushfires spread?

The eucalyptus oil in the leaves of a eucalyptus tree can reach excessive temperatures, literally exploding the crown of the tree, sending sparks flying. Other trees do not explode like this. At these higher elevations (high up in the tree) where the tree crown tends to be exposed, the wind gusts generated by the flames are more intense, and the sparks and flaming branches and leaves will spread further to other bushland.

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Australian Plants
Grasslands

Do kangaroo paws live in the grasslands?

Yes. The kangaroo paw is native to parts of Western Australia, where the climate is drier than in the east, with plenty of grassland and semi-arid areas.

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