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     "Australian Plants  for
Fire Prone Central Coast Gardens"

Fire has been part of the Australian landscape for hundreds of thousands of years, with the plants adapting to its occurrence.

All plant material will eventually burn if subjected to enough heat for a long enough time.  However, some are able to resist the force of fire better than others. These fire resistant plants are able to slow the progress of a fire and thus help with fire control. Select trees with low oil and resin content in their leaves, smooth bark and high leaf moisture content such as in many of the rainforest plants.


With careful planning, planting and regular maintenance, we can make our properties safer.

  • Plant an 'ember catcher'- a row of tall rainforest trees to catch embers and slow the fire.
  • Regularly clean leaves from gutters and roof valleys.
  • Allow for a clear space around the house. If possible this should be at least 5 metres wide and it needs to be a hard surface or lawn.
  • Don't allow branches to overhang buildings. Avoid growing plants up against the walls of buildings.
  • A fire break can be created by positioning a tennis court, swimming pool, lawn or car parking area between your home and the direct line of a fire threat.
  • Maintain a regular tree and shrub maintenance program, removing excessive growth, dead wood and rake up fallen leaves and sticks.
  • Avoid having a continuous canopy of trees which allows the fire to be carried through the tree tops.
  • Avoid growing rough fibrous bark trees eg. Syncarpia glomulifera -Turpentine tree, or trees that produce long ribbon strips of bark, eg. Eucalyptus viminalis -Manna gum.
  • Fit all external doors with draft sealers, screens to all windows. If possible, avoid using a combustible doormat.
  • Always position your gas bottle with the vent pointing away from the house. If fire threatens and your home uses bottled gas- turn off, disconnect and remove the gas bottles to a fire safe location.
The following list of plants have all shown some resistance to fire-
  • by acting as a windbreak,
  • by absorbing and deflecting the heat,
  • by trapping burning embers and sparks from a fire.
Fire resistant native plants

Prostrate and low growing plants

Ajuga australis                          Austral bugle
Chrysocephalum apiculatum   
Common everlasting
Carpobrotus glaucescens 
Dichondra repens 
                     Kidney weed
Grevillea "Bronze Rambler"
Grevillea x gaudichaudii
Grevillea "Royal Mantle"
Hardenbergia violacea             
False sarsparilla
Kennedia prostrata 
                  Running postman
Myoporum parvifolium 
             Creeping boobialla
Myoporum debile   
Scaevola aemula   
                  Fairy fan flower

Acacia iteaphylla        Flinders Range wattle
Acacia sophorae   
Coastal wattle
Anigozanthos species   
Kangaroo paw
Banksia marginata   
Silver Banksia
Banksia spinulosa   
Hair-pin Banksia
Correa glabra   
Rock Correa

Eremophila maculata    Emu bush
Hakea salicifolia   
Willow leafed Hakea
Myoporum insulare   
Philotheca myoporoides syn.  Eriostemon myoporoides
Long leaf wax flower
Solanum lanceolatum   
Kangaroo apple

Acacia howittii    Sticky wattle
Acacia saligna   
Golden wreath wattle

Acacia pravissima    Ovens wattle
Acacia terminalis   
Sunshine wattle
Angophora costata   
Dwarf apple
Angophora hispida   
Sydney red gum
Banksia integrifolia   
Coastal Banksia
Brachychiton acerifolius   
Flame tree
Lophostemon confertus   
Brush box
Pittosporum undulatum   
Sweet pittosporum

Pittosporum phillyreoides
Pittosporum rhombifolium


Rainforest treesBuckinghamiacelsissima.jpg (16132 bytes)

Acmena smithii    Lilly pilly
Buckinghamia celsissima    Ivory curl tree
Cuttsia viburnea    Native elderberry
Callicoma serratifolia   
Black wattle
Elaeocarpus reticulatus   
Blueberry ash
Glochidion ferdinandi   
Cheese tree
Grevillea robusta   
Silky oak
Hymenosporum flavum   
Native frangipani
Melia azederach   
White cedar
Podocarpus elatus   
Plum pine
Stenocarpus sinuatus   
Firewheel tree

Arrowup.gif (934 bytes)                                                                                                                                           Buckinghamia celsissima    Ivory Curl


Produced by the Australian Plants Society, Central Coast Group
in conjunction with Gosford City Council and Wyong Shire Council