Australian Native Trees and Tall Shrubs For Dry Areas

This is the first list of plants for dry and alkaline soils. They need to be watered regularly for the first few months at least.

  • Acacia pycnantha (Golden Wattle) Australia’s floral emblem. 4-8m high in ideal conditions.
  • Acacia saligna (Golden Wreath Wattle) 3-8m high.
  • Acacia baileyana (Cootamundra Wattle) to 6m. Amazingly, this does well here.
  • Eucalyptus leucoxylon forms
  • Eucalyptus diversifolia
  • Eucalyptus porosa
  • Eucalyptus stricklandii
  • Eucalyptus spathulata
  • Eucalyptus woodwardii
  • Eucalyptus torquata (Coral Gum)
  • Eucalyptus platypus
  • Eucalyptus macrocarpa (Rose of the West or Mottlecah)
  • Eucalyptus ficifolia (Western Australian Flowering Gum)
  • Eucalyptus erythrocorys (Red Cap Gum)
  • Eucalyptus eremophila
  • Eucalyptus forrestiana (Fuschia Gum)
  • Eucalyptus pyriformis (Pear Gum)
  • Eucalyptus sideroxylon (Iron Bark)
  • Grevillea robusta
  • Santalum acuminatum (Wild Peach, Quandong)

This is not an exhaustive list. If you know of more species to add to this list (ie. dryland planting plus alkaline soil), let me know, please.


14 Responses to “Australian Native Trees and Tall Shrubs For Dry Areas”

  1. Mike Austin says:

    We have recently moved to Parrakie, renting the homestead at Clairmour. Clairrmour is a large native garden established by Mrs Clair Lithgow in the 1960s. Unfortunately it has declined since they moved to Adelaide. The house was empty for a number of years before we came. We are keen gardeners and hope to bring the gardens back to their original state. Originally all the trees and plants had name plates, unfortunately a lot of these are now illegible. A steep learning curve is ahead of us to learn the names of them.
    Your site is a great help and I have a large folder of articles I have copied from it.
    Keep up the good work.

  2. Tony F says:

    This list is excellent and very accurate. Of the many native tree species that I have planted on Kangaroo Island, only those mentioned above seem to be thriving in our limestone soils. A great reference and help, thank you.

  3. Tony F says:

    Forgot to mention that I’m also having success with Agonis flexuosa (WA Peppermint Willow). I’m going to try the A. flexuosa cultivar “Jervois Bay After Dark” as it should also do well on dryish and alkaline soils like those I have here near the north coast of KI.

  4. Rick Moran says:

    A few years ago we purchased an old goat farm at Punyelroo near Swan Reach S.A We are approx 1km from the Murray and about 35m above water.We are currently in the process of re-vegetating the property as the goats had eaten everything besides about 6 trees.We only have between 20-30mm of top soil before we hit solid limestone so we have had to build up soil levels slightly at planting sites.I have 8 of the eucs on your list doing well but have also had great results with euc. Salmonophloia,Callistemon Harkness,Dodonea viscosa and Melaleuca Lanceolata.

  5. Joy Perkins says:

    I am living in the area of Winkie in the Riverland. It is a particularly harsh area and with water restrictions it was going to be hard to keep the water up to our estab-lished trees, until we invested in large rainwater tanks and harvested our own rain water. This has made it possible now to keep our garden supplied. We are however experiencing something at the moment which is of concern. Our native eremophila trees which grow against the back fenceline of our house compound are dying. We have certainly watered them regularly and yet we are watching them (3 in total) just keel over. We were wondering if anyone has an idea of what we can do. We are new to the Mallee (6 years) coming up from Adelaide and settling into our property and feel we have done a lot to give back to the soil in terms of re-forestation. Does anyone know of the soil composites or layers that could be affecting the roots of our trees OR should we be considering deep watering methods to try to save these beautiful specimens.
    We have also found that eucalyptus cyanophyla trees are absolute successes and thrive in the harsh conditions in this region.
    Than ks

    • Corinne says:

      How regular is your ‘regular watering?’ Some thing to consider is that you may be giving too much water. One deep soaking is worth many light waterings. You did not say what species of eremophila is involved and this information may help. Also what is the basic soil type, sand or loam or clay.

  6. Adrian says:

    Hi,Looking to plant a naitive trees along the boundary fence and would like to stagger plantings between tall and smaller trees/shubs etc what would you suggest

  7. Corinne says:

    Hi Adrian,
    I suggest some homework.
    1. What is the rainfall, are you going to be able to water for a while to establish the plants?
    2. What about frost? Wind?
    3. Height of plants required, and spread = number of plants required.
    4. Soil type: clay, loam, sand, rocky,acid,alkaline? ie. do some plants become yellow around the new growths?
    5. What type of plants do you like? Do you like Eucalypts, melaleucas, eremophilas, etc.
    6. I would suggest 2 rows if you can. One for the tall trees, and shrubs forming another layer of windbreak.
    7. Track down your nearest indigenous plant nursery, like a Woods and Forests nursery and take some guidance from them. Add in what ever else you like within your climatic and gardening conditions.

  8. Randi says:


    I have recently moved to the Hunter Valley in NSW and am looking to plant a native tree that will grow and have strong branches for my future children to climb or even hang a swing. As the area and land is new to me… I was hoping you may have a suggestion.


  9. Bailee Read says:

    hi i am in grade 5 i am researching on Australian native trees could anyone help me with that if so put something on this site and i will get back to you soon after you reply

  10. Corinne says:

    Hi Bailee,
    I will be very happy to help you with your research. You might like to use the contact email at the top of the page, under the name of this Blog to ask me your questions. Otherwise we can have a ‘conversation’ in the comments.

  11. Greg Marston says:

    Just happened on your site and noted that all 3 Acacia spp on the above list but especially pycnantha & baileyana are notorious weed species owing to their prolific seed production and viability. Nuseries have an obligation to stop selling these species to customers to protect our endemic natives (wherever they may be)from unwanted invasive plants – albeit Australian natives and pycnantha being the Australian floral emblem!

    Western Australia

  12. Todd Hamilton says:

    Eucalyptus polyanthemos, we have a number of these around Safety Bay. PH ranging from 8-9 and they seem to love it. They would be aprox. 25 yrs old.


  13. paul lowe says:

    hi, would like imformation on what trees & shrubs to plant south australia,hawker,flinders rangers thanks paul

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