The following article is based on one published in the March 1994 issue of "Native Plants for New South Wales", the newsletter of the Society's NSW Region. It resulted from numerous inquiries that were received following the disastrous New South Wales bushfires of January 1994. At that time little information was available on plants suitable for planting in areas subject to bushfire threats. Since 1994, more information has become available - see "Further Information" below.
Please note that we know of no plant that is completely non-flammable. The Society cannot guarantee that the species listed in the article will not burn...they are simply more resistant than many other species.
All plants, whether they are exotic or Australian, will burn when subjected to sufficient heat. Different fire conditions have varying effects at different times on the same species. Nevertheless, trees of the type recommended in the following list, if correctly sited, conserve moisture, serve as a wind break by absorbing and deflecting radiant heat from the fire and act as a barrier to flying sparks and embers. In any area likely to be subject to bush fires, attention must be given to proper planning and regular maintenance. The following are some of the factors that should be considered.
|"All plants, whether they are exotic or Australian, will burn when subjected to sufficient heat."|
The following list was compiled from various sources. A key to the symbols used is given at the end of the list.
Alectryon subcinereus (st), Callicoma serratifolia (s/st), Canthium coprosmoides (ls/st), Cassine australis (st), Croton insularis (s/st), Cupaniopsis anacardioides (s/mt), Cuttsia viburnea (s/st), Denhamii celastroides (st), Diospyros australis (s/st), Eleocarpus reticulatus(s/st), Eupomatia laurina (s/st), Glochidion ferdinandi (st), Grevillea robusta (lt), Guioa semiglauca (st), Hodgkinsonia ovatiflora (st), Lomatia fraseri (s), Mallotus philippensis (s/st), Melia azedarach (s/mt), Hymenosporum flavum (s/mt), Petalostigma triloculare (st), Podocarpus elatus (mt), Rapanea howittiana (s/st), Rapanea variabilis (s), Rhodosphaera rhodanthema (s/mt), Sarcopteryx stipata (s/m), Scolopea braunii (s/mt), Stenocarpus sinuatus (lt), Streblus brunonianus (s/mt), Symplocos stawellii (st), Symplocos thwaitesii (st/mt).
Acacia dealbata (mt), Acacia elata (lt), Acacia melanoxylon (mt*), Acmena smithii (mt), Agonis juniperina (st), Allocasuarina verticillata (mt), Angophora costata (lt), Banksia integrifolia (mt), Brachychiton acerifolius (lt), Brachychiton populneum (lt), Buckinghamia celsissima (mt), Casuarina glauca (lt), Casuarina cunninghamii (lt), Corymbia (syn.Eucalyptus) maculata (lt), Eucalyptus alpina (mt*), Eucalyptus pauciflora (mt*), Heterodendrum oleifolium (ls/st), Hymenosporum flavum (st), Lophostemon confertus (lt), Lagunaria patersonii (s/mt), Myoporum insulare (s/st), Pittosporum spp (mt/st*).
Acacia baileyana (ls), Acacia cultriformis (ls), Acacia howittii (st), Acacia iteaphylla (ls), Acacia pravissima (ls/st), Acacia prominens (ls/st*), Acacia saligna (st), Acacia sophorae (s), Acacia terminalis (st), Acacia vestita (ls), Acacia spp. others suited to site, Atriplex spp (ss), Angophora hispida (st/s), Banksia marginata (st/s), Bursaria spinosa (ls/st), Cassia spp. suited to site, Dodonaea spp. suited to site, Einadia hastata (ss), Eremophila maculata (s), Grevillea spp. suited to site, Hakea elliptica (s), Hakea salicifolia (st), Hakea suaveolens (s), Jacksonia scoparia (ls), Maireana spp (ss), Rhagodia baccata (s).
Ajuga australis, Carpobrotus glaucesens, Dichondra repens, Einadia nutans, Eremophila debilis (syn. Myoporum debile), Hardenbergia violacea (will climb), Kennedia prostrata (*), Kennedia rubicunda (will climb), Myoporum parvifolium, Pelargonium spp (*), Pultenaea prostrata, Scaevola spp.
|*||species not included in the original article (refer Newsletter of SGAP Victorian Region, December 1984)|
Several books are available which provide detailed information on bushfires and bushfire protection. There are also a number of useful resources on the internet. Some of the most detailed references are listed below.