While native plants may be particularly trendy at the moment, they also happen to be extremely beneficial for both your garden and the environment in general. Native plants tend to be super-resilient, low-maintenance, and a fantastic food/shelter source for local wildlife. If you’re looking to plant more natives into your Australian garden, here are three trees that you definitely need.
The Queensland Bottle Tree
Let’s start with a true classic – the Queensland Bottle Tree. As you can tell from its name, this tree is native to Queensland, but it also grows naturally in parts of New South Wales. This unique, bottle-shaped tree has played a key role in the lives of the Indigenous people, providing everything from food to water to fibre.
In addition to its show-stopping shape, one of the best things about this tree is the fact that you don’t necessarily need much space for it. The Queensland Bottle Tree grows well in a pot, and would even thrive if kept as a houseplant.
The Glauca Grass Tree
Another tree that’s native to New South Wales, the Glauca Grass Tree is also sometimes referred to as the Blue Grass Tree. Why? Because it’s sword-shaped leaves are a beautiful blue-grey colour, making them an instant focal point in any garden.
Back in the day, this tree had numerous uses. Its resin was used to make adhesives, while its flowers were fermented into alcohol. Today, it’s mostly loved for its ornamental qualities, and is usually chosen over other Grass Tree varieties for its adaptability and high survival rate.
Just like the Queensland Bottle Tree, the Glauca Grass Tree does well in a pot. However, this does mean that it’ll need some extra attention when it comes to watering and drainage.
The Native Australian Finger Lime
Looking for a native tree that also produces edible fruits? If so, the Native Australian Finger Lime is a candidate worth considering. The small limes produced by this fruit are considered to be quite the delicacy in many parts of the world, with their pearl-like flesh and distinct flavour adding an extra dimension to whichever dish you include them in. Chances are, even at shops or markets near you, these fruits aren’t easily available, making it more than worth growing your own at home!
The only downside to this tree is the fact that it isn’t frost-tolerant. It’s originally from the tropical regions of New South Wales, meaning that it can handle cool, but not freezing cold, temperatures. However, don’t worry if you live in a cooler region – consider growing a Native Australian Finger Lime tree in a pot instead. This way, you’ll be able to move it to a more sheltered spot each winter once temperatures begin to dip.
If you’re trying to keep your garden as environmentally-friendly as possible, then adding in more native trees and shrubs is a great way to do this. Try planting specimens of each of the above-mentioned varieties, before seeking out native shrubs and ground cover plants to grow beneath and around them.