Native plants

The South Australian Arid Lands region is home to an extraordinarily diverse range of native vegetation (flora). Native vegetation refers to any naturally occurring local plant species which are indigenous to Australia, from small ground covers and native grasses to large trees and water plants. However, a quarter of all the plants recorded in South Australia are considered to be threatened, and less than 30% of native vegetation remains in the agricultural areas, with some areas lower than 10%. Find out about the significant and endemic native plants in the region.

Why is flora important?

Native flora is important for many reasons:

  • Ecological value: Australia’s native flora is extraordinarily diverse and many are found nowhere else in the world. As a result, they provide the unique landscapes of the region, provide habitat for native animals, create wildlife corridors, provide shelter belts to protect stock and crops, provide protection from wind and water erosion by holding the soil together, protect water quality; and reduce the greenhouse effect.
  • Economic value: economically, native vegetation and its direct soil and water functions support the productive capacity of many important sectors of the Australian economy, including agriculture, forestry, fisheries, aquaculture and tourism.
  • Social and cultural value: native vegetation shapes the Australian culture and national identity, and so we want to allow future generations to enjoy our unique environment. For Indigenous Australians, the land and its resources have underpinned Indigenous history, innovation, culture, spirituality and economics for tens of thousands of years.

Why manage flora?

Native vegetation plays a vital role in the health and prosperity of South Australia's ecosystems, communities and natural resource-based industries. As a result, threats to native vegetation have potentially serious consequences for Australia. These include the decline of biodiversity and reduced ecosystem functioning, reduced water quality, increased erosion and salinity, increased greenhouse gas emissions, reduced productivity and impacts on cultural and spiritual identity.

Threats to flora

  • clearance
  • declining ecosystem health
  • fragmentation of ecosystems
  • changed fire patterns, such as changed frequency, intensity and scale of fire
  • changed quantities and patterns in water and water flows
  • unnatural water regimes
  • competition with introduced plants
  • grazing by feral animals and livestock
  • pollution and diseases
  • climate change
  • salinity
  • mining impacts
  • tourism and recreation impacts
  • urban growth

Flora we are working to protect

Acacia araneosa

Name: Acacia araneosa
Scientific name: Acacia araneosa
Regional status: Not listed
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Acacia carneorum

Name: Acacia carneorum
Scientific name: Acacia carneorum
Regional status: Not listed
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Acacia menzelii

Name: Acacia menzelii
Scientific name: Acacia menzelii
Regional status: Not listed
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Acacia pickardii

Name: Acacia pickardii
Scientific name: Acacia pickardii
Regional status: Not listed
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Alectryon oleifolius

Name: Alectryon oleifolius
Scientific name: Alectryon oleifolius
Regional status: Not listed
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Citrus Glauca

Name: Citrus Glauca
Scientific name: Citrus Glauca
Regional status: Not listed
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Codonocarpus pyramidalis

Name: Codonocarpus pyramidalis
Scientific name: Codonocarpus pyramidalis
Regional status: Not listed
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Eriocaulon carsonii

Name: Eriocaulon carsonii
Scientific name: Eriocaulon carsonii
Regional status: Not listed
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Grevillea treueriana

Name: Grevillea treueriana
Scientific name: Grevillea treueriana
Regional status: Not listed
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River red gum

Name: River red gum
Scientific name: Eucalyptus camaldulensis
Regional status: Not listed
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Slender swainsona

Name: Slender swainsona
Scientific name: swainsona-murrayana
Regional status: Not listed
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