Approximately 1500 species of native plants are found within the Hills and Fleurieu region, including gum trees, orchids, ferns, grasses, herbs, lilies and rushes. At the national or state level 121 of these are considered threatened, and in the Hills and Fleurieu it is around 34 per cent. Unfortunately some of these threatened plants have not been recorded in the region for more than 20 years and it is likely that these species no longer exist here.
Common native plants
Here are some resources to aid you in finding plants local to your area:
- Census of South Australian plants, algae and fungi
- Australia’s virtual herbarium
- Atlas of living Australia
- The backyards for wildlife section of this website
- Common flora guide of Kuitpo and Mt Crawford forest reserves
- Native grasses - a regional guide for rural landholders
Threats to native plants
Some of the major threats to plant conservation within the region are:
Climate change, drought and severe weather – including the threat of long-term climatic change which may be linked to global warming and other severe climatic/weather events, such as droughts, temperature extremes and storms and flooding.
Weed invasion – European colonisation introduced many new species of plants to the Australian landscape. Many weed species can affect the growth, recruitment and survival of native plants because of their ability to invade and spread rapidly within native vegetation; persist for long periods of time (including in the soil seed bank); out-compete native plant species and suppress the growth and germination of native plants; change soil chemistry; and alter habitats. They may also alter hydrological cycles, fire regimes and soil pH and nutrient levels.
Water management and use – the regulation of rivers and diversion of water for urban supplies, industry and agricultural production have significantly altered flow regimes. Plant species requiring wet or moist conditions, and with narrow habitat requirements, will be most affected by water management and use. Impacts will likely be more pronounced during dry seasons and extended drought periods where human use tends to exacerbate already low levels.
Inappropriate fire regimes – while fire is a natural part of the landscape, changes to factors such as fire frequency, season and intensity can change habitat suitability for flora.
Grazing and disturbance by stock – grazing of stock can have positive and negative effects on habitats. Positive effects include stimulation of growth in native grasses and controlling weed abundance. Negative effects include changes to vegetation structure and composition and changes to the physical and chemical properties of the soil.
Find out more about key species we are working to protect. You can also view a list of threatened native plants found in the region.