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.
The Northern and Yorke Landscape Board 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

Threatened ecological communities we are working to protect

  • Ardrossan Native Grassland - Grassroots Grant funding was provided to produce the Ardrossan Native Grassland Site Management Plan to better manage a significant native grassland. More than 80 native species have been recorded within the 6.8 hectare grassland located off Park Terrace within the township of Ardrossan.
  • Peppermint Box Grassy Woodland - view the National policy statement.
  • Iron-grass Natural Temperate Grassland of South Australia - view the National policy statement.
  • Grey Box Eucalyptus microcarpa Grassy Woodland - view a fact sheet

Flora we are working to protect

Bayonet spider-orchid

Name: Bayonet spider-orchid Scientific name: Caladenia gladiolata Regional status: Endangered Related links:

Clover glycine

Name: Clover glycine Scientific name: Glycine latrobeana Regional status: Vulnerable Related links:

Ghost spider-orchid

Name: Ghost spider-orchid Scientific name: Caladenia sp. Brentwood Regional status: Endangered Related links:

Large-club spider-orchid

Name: Large-club spider-orchid Scientific name: Caladenia macroclavia Regional status: Endangered Related links:

Osborne's eyebright

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

Resin wattle

Name: Resin wattle Scientific name: Acacia rhetinocarpa Regional status: Vulnerable Related links:

River red gum

Name: River red gum Scientific name: Eucalyptus camaldulensis Regional status: Not listed Related links:

Silver daisy bush

Name: Silver daisy bush Scientific name: Olearia pannosa ssp pannossa Regional status: Vulnerable Related links:

Spalding blown grass

Name: Spalding blown grass Scientific name: Lachnogrostis limitanea Regional status: Endangered Related links:

Spiny daisy

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