Austral indigo (Indigofera australis)
A delicate, open shrub that is part of the Pea family and found throughout Australia.
- It grows to a size of 1.2m x 1.2m and has feather-like leaves, openly spaced along the stem.
- It has a fresh, clean and unblemished appearance in all seasons.
- Austral indigo produces an abundance of beautiful pink or mauve blooms in tapering sprays from August to September.
- Bright green pods hang from the Austral indigo once it has flowered. The ripened pods produce a square-shaped, hard seed.
- Austral Indigo prefers semi-shade.
- A beautiful specimen plant for a partly shaded, well-drained spot. It needs regular watering during dry periods and to be pruned to maintain its vigour.
- It can be used to great effect when planted under trees or as a hedge or border.
- In Boroondara, the Austral indigo can be seen at Yarra Bend Park.
- The Austral indigo provides a source of food for butterflies.
- Traditionally, Aboriginal people used the flowers to create a blue dye and the crushed roots to stun fish.
Gold dust wattle (Acacia acinacea)
An open, spreading, small- to medium-sized shrub with attractive bright green, rounded foliage evenly arranged along the stems.
- It has an abundance of bright yellow ball-shaped flower heads along arching branches. They flower from August to November.
- The spiralled, green seed pods change to brown as they mature. The seeds drop from the pod after maturity.
- It prefers light shade.
- It is a good, low specimen or screening plant that adapts to well-drained soils.
- It is drought and wind tolerant and looks lovely planted below established trees on exposed areas.
- Trim lightly to develop a more compact and dense form. It often self-seeds in the garden.
- In Boroondara, Gold dust wattle can be seen in Markham Reserve, Ashburton.
- The blossom and seed pods attract a wide variety of native birds and insects that feed on them.
Golden spray (Viminaria juncea)
A willowy, tall, leafless shrub with pendulous branches and long, needle-like branchlets.
- It produces long drooping sprays of yellow pea flowers from October to February.
- Golden spray can be easily propagated from the single seed contained within the soft, oval-shaped pods.
- Golden spray grows best in full sun.
- A fast growing attractive shrub that provides a brilliant display when in flower, it can be adapted to drier conditions if it is watered during summer.
- In Boroondara, it can be seen along Back Creek in South Surrey Park as well as at the intersection with Anderson Street.
- It provides insects with a home and in turn is a source of food for insect-foraging birds.
Snowy daisy-bush (Olearia lirata)
A soft, open shrub with dark green, lance-shaped leaves, growing to a size of 3m x 2m.
- It may also be known as Olearia stellulata.
- The Snowy daisy-bush has masses of small white flower heads with about 15 ray florets in large, loose bunches.
- It flowers from September to December.
- The seeds, known as achene, are borne through the air on a silky hairy pappus.
- The Snowy daisy-bush may only produce a few viable seeds if damaged by insects.
- It grows best in part or full shade or a sheltered position.
- The Snowy daisy-bush prefers a moist, well-drained soil and is an excellent shrub to brighten a sheltered corner of the garden.
- Once established it can accept a drier soil.
- It is a beautiful screening or specimen shrub and provides attractive cut flowers.
- It is presumed extinct as a naturally occurring population in Boroondara, however, it is being reintroduced into sites along the Yarra River corridor.
- The Snow daisy-bush attracts insect-eating birds to your garden.
Sweet bursaria (Bursaria spinosa)
Sweet bursaria is a narrow to rounded shrub or small tree 2m x 1.5m in size with shiny dark leaves and spines along the branches.
- Plants tend to have more spines and smaller leaves in drier sites.
- Sweet bursaria has massed bunches of tiny, creamy white flowers at the ends of its branches and flowers from November to February.
- Attractive brown seed capsules are held on the branches for a long time after flowering.
- It grows in full sun.
- It is valuable in the home garden for its attractive flowers, leaves and seeds, and can be useful for screening or as a small shade tree.
- It has low to medium water requirements and is drought and lime tolerant.
- For the plant to retain its vigour the tips need to be pruned.
- In Boroondara, Sweet bursaria occurs along the Yarra River and Gardiners Creek and in grassy woodland sites such as South Surrey Park.
- It provides nectar for birds as well as food for butterflies, particularly for the rare Eltham Copper Butterfly.