Backyard Buddies

Trees

Acacias

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Photo credit: John Tann

Acacias

Acacias, or Wattles, grow all over Australia – there are over 1000 known species. The Golden Wattle, Acacia pycnantha, is the Australian national floral emblem and our national colours, green and gold, come from the flowers and leaves of this popular tree. They have very small flowers that occur in clusters to make their characteristic bright yellow display. Some have paler coloured flowers and one species, Acacia purpureapetala, ha..

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Eucalypts

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Photo credit: JJ Harrison

Eucalypts

Eucalypts are commonly known as gum trees and are an iconic Australian tree. There are almost 900 species growing across Australia. These tall trees provide food and shelter for many birds, insects, and mammals. They also provide hollows for cockatoos, parrots, gliders, possums and other buddies to nest and shelter in. It can take up to 100 years or more for eucalypts to develop tree hollows, so avoid removing any from your place if you ..

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Hakeas

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Photo credit: Unknown

Hakeas

There are around 150 species of Hakeas native to Australia and they are an excellent choice for your garden to attract native birds. Each species has a different type of flower but they are all beautiful and provide a food source for many backyard buddies of fruits, seeds and nectar. They are closely related to Grevilleas and the two are sometimes confused. There are some small differences mainly in the leaf appearance but the easiest wa..

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Illawarra Flame Tree

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Photo credit: Bidgee

Illawarra Flame Tree

The Illawarra Flame Tree, or Currajong, grows in the wild from the Illawarra area of southern coastal New South Wales north into Queensland. It grows up to 35 m in the wild but only about 10m in gardens. The bright red bell-shaped flowers grow in clusters at the end of branches, often after the leaves have dropped, giving the plant a distinctive look. It is a deciduous tree that is often found growing alongside the Red Cedar in lowland r..

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Leatherwood

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Photo credit: John Tann

Leatherwood

Leatherwood trees in flower produce lots of sweet nectar in their masses of sweetly scented white flowers. During the Leatherwood flowering season from late spring to summer, beekeepers put numerous beehives in areas near dense stands of flowering Leatherwoods. Bees encouraged to collect nectar mainly from Leatherwoods in Tasmania produce a special, famous and gourmet type of honey called Leatherwood Honey. 70% of Tasmania's honey comes ..

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Melaleuca

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Photo credit: FNPW Image Library

Melaleuca

Melaleucas, or paperbarks, belong to the genus Melaleuca. There are over 300 species of melaleucas, most of which grow in Australia. We know the larger species as paperbarks, while the smaller are usually called honey myrtles. The often brightly coloured bottlebrush-like flowers of the paperbark tree attract nectar feeding birds such as honeyeaters and lorikeets, so they are an excellent tree to attract wildlife to the garden. Ma..

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Red Cedar

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Photo credit: Dinesh Valke

Red Cedar

Australia's native Red Cedar, Toona ciliata, towers above pretty much everything else in the lowland rainforests. It can reach 60 m in height with a massive girth of 3m. You would be lucky to spot one these days. A century or more of clearing and felling for timber has decimated the wild population and most now grow only in plantations or as single, ancient giants in the rainforests of eastern Australia. Being deciduous, Red Cedars ..

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Scribbly gums

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Photo credit: John Tann

Scribbly gums

Scribbly gums are a type of eucalyptus or gum tree. There are a few species that are known as scribbly gums as they all have the 'scribbles' across their bark. Like all gum trees, large older trees are crucial habitat for many native animals and birds, providing tree hollows essential for nesting. It has clusters of five or so cream coloured flowers which provide nectar for native birds and bees. They are easily recognised from their..

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Silky Oaks

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Photo credit: Bidgee

Silky Oaks

The Silky Oak, Grevillea robusta, is a very popular native tree in Australian gardens and can grow to 20 metres and live for up to 100 years. In spring, their ferny, yellow-orange bottle brush flowers are full of nectar which attracts Singing Honeyeaters, Red Wattlebirds, Purple-crowned Lorikeets, Carnaby's Black-cockatoos, possums, bees, butterflies and other insects. It was originally native only to eastern Australia but now grows ..

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