Creating a native plant flammability database

Empowering people through information on native plant flammability with a simple to use online database

Creating a native plant flammability database

Empowering people through information on native plant flammability with a simple to use online database

Capacity to Deliver

The issue

Native plants are regaining popularity in gardens for their aesthetic and practical benefits, such as adaptation to dry climates and local environments. People are also increasingly conscious of promoting biodiversity by planting native species to attract insects, birds, and other animals. Fire preparedness and landscape design are crucial, and required for building permits. There is a need for a simple, easy-to-use resource on selecting native plants to manage bushfire impacts, specifically tailored to the local area.

The solution

A collaborative effort with Landcare nurseries across the South East region created a user-friendly native plant flammability database for fire-resilient landscaping. Collaborating with nursery managers all the native plants grown in the SE Landcare Nurseries were reviewed and categorised by plant form and geographic location. Each plant also received a flammability rating, informed by a thorough a literature review of over 900 species from credible sources. This online resource enables users to filter and select plants tailored to their needs, promoting safer landscaping practices.

The project utilised Safer Gardens by Leslie Corbet as a key reference, and distributed copies to nursery managers and stakeholders to enable informed plant selection in the nurseries and in Landcare revegetation projects across the region.

The impact

After recent fires devastated the state, there's a heightened focus on restoring vegetation with the right native plants in suitable locations. This balance is crucial for ecosystem recovery and boosting fire resilience. This database provides:

  1. Initial Reference for Plant Flammability: It serves as a starting point for individuals seeking information on the flammability of native plants, aiding informed decisions in landscape design.
  2. Resource for Landcare Nurseries: Landcare nurseries can now guide the community using this resource, promoting fire-safe landscaping practices.
  3. Vegetation Reestablishment: By recommending suitable species for specific areas, it empowers communities to replant with less flammable species, reducing future fire risks.
  4. Educational of the Landcare Community: Each Landcare district now has access to Safer Gardens by Leslie Corbet, aiding informed plant selection for nurseries and projects.

Key facts

  • After recent bushfires the community is wanting to revegetate areas but in a way which mitigates the impact of future fires.
  • A simple to use native plant flammability database has been created as a starting point to make informed plant decisions.
  • The collective knowledge of the Landcare Community can be leveraged to increase the understanding of the community as a whole.

Project Partners