Why use indigenous or local plants in your garden?

When referring to indigenous flora, we mean the plants that occurs naturally within a given area. The term indigenous plant differs from the terms native plant. The term native usually refers to plants that have originated in Australia. All indigenous plants are native plants, but native plants are not necessarily local to your area. Local plant is another term often used to refer to an indigenous plant.

When looking at the Elster Creek catchment area's natural history. We see over many thousands of years the plants and animals that lived in this region evolved into their natural communities. These plant communities were well adapted to the prevailing local conditions.

Conditions like soil types, soil fertility, wet or dry areas, more or less shade, higher salinity conditions near the bay area, frequent or less frequent fire events.
These prevailing conditions and other condition too numerous to mention here, led to small but important variations within a species. Localised gene pools bring a distinctive character to local flora & fauna.

For example, a plant that had evolved in one region may have genetic differences or variations to the same plant species found in other localities. These differences play an important role in the overall biodiversity of that species. Small evolutionary differences are important to the long term survival of all plants and animals, because the more widespread & genetically varied a species is the more likely it can adapt to change.

This is why it is important to use local or indigenous plants propagated from your local remnant plants found in your region. Local indigenous plant nurseries specialize in doing this.

By purchasing local plants from your surrounding indigenous nurseries you are helping to preserve local gene pools and strengthening your regional biodiversity. As well as having a beautiful garden, you are providing habitat and food for our local birds and animals, and very importantly supporting our local indigenour plant nurseries with income.

The Publication : "Live Bayside - Plant Bayside" - Indigenous Plant Guide For Bayside Gardens. Classifies Baysides original vegetation communities as

Coastal Dune Grassland/Scrub
Coastal Banksia Woodland/Dune Scrub
Swamp Scrub
Herb-rich Woodland
Sedgy Swamp Woodland
Heathy Scrub/Woodland
Grassy Woodland

The Elster Creek Catchment would have near all of the above plant communities within its catchment.