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Trees & Grasses

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Coast Sword-sedge 

Lepidosperma gladiatum

A dense sedge growing up to 1.5m with strong sword-like leaves flowering spring to summer.


The tough leaves are ideal for weaving and making strong rope and also help to protect the plant from salt near coastal areas.


The white base of the leaf is edible and can be eaten raw or roasted.

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Coastal Wattle

Acacia longifolia

A bushy shrub growing up to 6m with distinct yellow/golden flowers densely arranged in elongated clusters and coiled seed pods.


Ants store the seeds in their nests and eat the seeds' arils. This act spreads the plant to new locations in the dunes.


The seeds can be ground to make flour.

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Dryland Tea-tree

Melaleuca lanceolata

Attractive cream to white “bottle brush” flowers occur along the stem which are attractive to birds and butterflies.


The oil was used to treat colds by the Kaurna people and the rough, hard bark used for wrapping food.

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Native Apricot

Pittosporum phylliraeoides

A small, graceful, pale barked tree growing up to 7m with leaves and branches hanging willow-like from the trunk.


It produces orange heart shaped fruits which contain several hard seeds in a sticky matrix which are eagerly eaten by birds.

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Sticky Hop Bush

Dodonaea viscosa

A very hardy species, it is known as a hop bush as it was used to make beer by early European settlers. It was also traditionally used by indigenous peoples to treat toothache, cuts and stingray stings.


Growing up to 4m, it has shiny leaves that have a slightly sticky texture. The flowers are very small and hard to see, however they soon develop into masses of reddish or purple hop like fruits.


Coast Tussock-grass 

Poa poiformis

A hardy perennial tussock grass growing up to 1m high with thin blue-green leaves and brown-yellow flower heads.


It is also known as blue tussock grass and is attractive to lizards.

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Common Boobialla

Myoporum insulare

The name “bubiala” is believed to have originated from an Aboriginal Tasmanian language. Its white flowers provide nectar for butterflies and birds love the berries. As summer ends, it produces smooth, round, purple fruits which are great for jams, jellies and preserves, but with an astringent sweetness. Aromatic, juniper-like qualities makes this plant an exciting local botanical for essential oils and gin.

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Knobby Club-rush 

Ficinia nodosa
A rush growing up to 1.5m high with reed-like deep green cylindrical leaves.


It flowers in spring and summer, with a semi-spherical brownish/cream flower at the top of the stems.


Used in basket weaving by the Kaurna people.

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Santalum acuminatum

A  small tree growing to 5m, it used to be quite common in parts of the Adelaide area prior to European settlement. An important food plant for many insects, the fruits were also eaten by mammals, in particular emus which used to roam the peninsula which helped to spread the seed. It was also an important food source for the Kaurna people. The tart flesh makes wonderful jams, pies and sauces.

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Coastal Spinifex 

Spinifex hirsutus

A grass which grows via long runners, some up to several metres long.


It is an important species in colonising the foredunes as it binds and stabilises the sand dunes. Its seed heads detach at maturity and can be seen rolling along the beach driven by the wind.


The species provides an important habitat for birds nesting on the beach and foredune.

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Drooping Sheoak

Allocasuarina verticillate

A shady tree growing to 10m, known as ‘karko’ in the Kaurna language.


Recognised by its dark vertically fissured bark and its large cones, the seeds are eaten by a variety of bird species, whilst the endangered Glossy Black Cockatoo depends on this plant for survival.

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Marram Grass

Ammophila arenaria

Marram grass is not native to Australia. It was introduced from Europe in the late 1800s to help stabilise coastal dunes.


Tolerant and stimulated by progressive sand burials, the plant’s dense growth habit and extensive root system entraps mobile sand and allows the building of dunes.

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Short Stem Flax Lily

Dianella brevicaulis

A small clumping plant growing to shin height. Its leaves are blue green, stiff and strap like. Purple flowers occur on wiry branched stalks within the foliage.


It provides a habitat and food source for wildlife with the berries eaten by birds and lizards. This plant is buzz-pollinated so attracts a range of native insects such as the Blue-Banded Bee.

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