Native plants

The Northern and Yorke 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. About 50% of the region is covered by native vegetation, with around 45% of this contained within national parks, reserves and heritage agreements. 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%. View a map of the native vegetation formations and the roadside vegetation in the region.

 Natural Resources Northern and Yorke works on a number of projects and with volunteers to help conserve habitats and manage threats that impact our precious native species.

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

There are many threats to native plants in the Northern and Yorke region. These include clearance, competition with introduced plants, grazing by feral animals and livestock, and salinity. Changes to natural patterns are also a threat, such as changed frequency, intensity and scale of fire and changed quantities and patterns in water and water flows resulting in unnatural water regimes. Other threats include climate change, pollution and diseases, mining impacts, tourism and recreation impacts and urban growth. All of these threats can lead to declining ecosystem health and the fragmentation of ecosystems.  

How you can help

  • Planting locally indigenous plants on your property is a great way to help these species. The State Flora South Australia nursery offers a variety of plants indigenous to South Australia which can be used for re-vegetating land, windbreaks, coastal plantings and home garden use.
  • Privately owned bush blocks complement conservation areas in providing habitat for native plants and can be formally protected through a heritage agreement.
  • Know what you can grow in your own backyard using the Coastal Gardens Guide.
  • Volunteer.

Threatened ecological communities we are working to protect

Flora we are working to protect

Bayonet spider-orchid

Name: Bayonet spider-orchid
Scientific name: Caladenia gladiolata
Regional status: Endangered
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Clover glycine

Name: Clover glycine
Scientific name: Glycine latrobeana
Regional status: Vulnerable
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Ghost spider-orchid

Name: Ghost spider-orchid
Scientific name: Caladenia sp. Brentwood
Regional status: Endangered
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Large-club spider-orchid

Name: Large-club spider-orchid
Scientific name: Caladenia macroclavia
Regional status: Endangered
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Osborne's eyebright

Name: Osborne's eyebright
Scientific name: Euphrasia collina ssp. osbornii
Regional status: Endangered
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Resin wattle

Name: Resin wattle
Scientific name: Acacia rhetinocarpa
Regional status: Vulnerable
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River red gum

Name: River red gum
Scientific name: Eucalyptus camaldulensis
Regional status: Not listed
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Silver daisy bush

Name: Silver daisy bush
Scientific name: Olearia pannosa ssp pannossa
Regional status: Vulnerable
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Spalding blown grass

Name: Spalding blown grass
Scientific name: Lachnogrostis limitanea
Regional status: Endangered
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Spiny daisy

Name: Spiny daisy
Scientific name: Acanthocladium dockeri
Regional status: Critically endangered
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