|Flora in our City|
The City contains a diverse range of flora in its bushland, creekline, wetland and riverbank environments. Some of these species you may notice day to day, such as the majestic Tuart tree Eucalyptus gomphocephala or Grass Tree Xanthorrhoea preissii. Others, such as Red Ink Sundew Drosera erythrorhiza are inconspicuous and might only be observed once a year after the winter rains. Read on to find out more information about a few of the characteristic flora species found within the City.
Tuart (Eucalyptus gomphocephala)
The Tuart is one of the largest trees of the Perth coastal plain, growing up to 40 m in height. It has rough bark and glossy, light green leaves. Parrots and other fauna use the tree hollows for nesting and the tree attracts insects and lizards. The Baudin's Black Cockatoo chews into the branchlets with its strong beak and eats the grubs. White flowers appear in mid-summer to mid-autumn. Its club headed' fruit look like ice-cream cones and the mature 'gum nut' is bell-shaped.
Flooded Gum (Eucalyptus rudis)
The Flooded Gum is a graceful tree, common near lakes and swamps. Its trunk and lower branches have flaky, rough bark, while its upper branches are smooth. The blue-green leaves are long and slender, the flowers are cream and the small fruit is hemispherical. This tree is one of the most ecologically important trees in the Perth metropolitan region. It attracts many insects and is used by water birds for roosting, nesting and feeding.
Grass Tree (Xanthorrhoea preissii)
Grass trees are long-lived tree-like shrubs that can grow to 5 m tall. They bear long spike inflorescences from June to December. A grass tree can survive multiple bushfires in its lifetime by resprouting from the top of its trunk. Grass trees grow on average one centimetre per year, meaning a grass tree with a trunk 1 m tall is likely to be nearly 100 years old!
Common Woollybush (Adenanthos cygnorum)
The Common Woollybush is a grey-blue coloured shrub to 4 m high, found in many Banksia woodlands in the City. It is soft to the touch, and produces cream to pink flowers from July to January. It is greyer than the woollier Woollybush, Adenanthos sericeus, endemic to Albany and Esperance but now commonly growing in many Perth gardens.
Zamias are known as cycads which are characterised by a short woody trunk with a crown of large, hard and evergreen leaves. Zamias make an excellent local alternative to exotic Girdsnest palms in suburban gardens. Zamias are dioecious meaning that plants are either male or female, differentiated by the production of male or female cones.
Red Ink Sundew (Drosera erythrorhiza)
Red Ink Sundews are flat 'carnivorous' plants with a glittery appearance that die back to underground tubers during summer. Red Ink Sundews acquire nutrients by trapping live prey such as insects using their sticky leaf glands and closable leaf blades. This nutrient acquisition strategy enables Red Ink Sundews to survive in soils with low nutrient concentrations like those of the Swan Coastal Plain.
Native Wisteria (Hardenbergia comptoniana)
Native Wisteria is a beautiful native climber that produces bright purple or white flowers during winter. This species prefers to grow in sandy soils, perfect for many areas within the City. Native Wisteria can be grown in a sunny position next to a trellis or fence.