Frequently Asked Questions
11. I live in a bushfire prone area.... are there any Australian native plants that are fire-retardant?
All native and exotic plants will burn but some are more difficult to ignite than others and will, hopefully, slow down the advance of a fire. There are, however, a range of plants which present a greater risk.
There is not a lot of published data on fire retardant plants but, generally, the most fire retardant species have the following characteristics:
- Large, broad leaves having a high moisture content (e.g. rainforest plants) or a high salt content (e.g. saltbushes)
- Smooth non-fibrous bark
- A fairly dense growth habit
Plants which burn vigorously include:
- Those with a high content of volatile oil in their trunks, branches or leaves (e.g. melaleucas, bottlebrushes, tea-trees, boronias, mint bushes and eucalypts).
- Trees with bark that hangs down in ribbons
The following references provide further information, including some recommended species to use:
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