What’s the difference between native and indigenous?
Australia is a big country, with varying soils and climates. A plant which is native to a desert area may not be suitable for planting in your backyard, as it may die or even become weedy and invade areas of remnant bushland. We plant locally indigenous plants as they are suited to our soils and climate, and our local fauna prefer the habitat of these plants.
We also want to maintain the genetic integrity of our local plants. For example, a red gum of the same species that is indigenous to northern Victoria has different characteristics to our local forms.
Maintaining our local genetic diversity is important to ensuring vibrant populations suited to our conditions and perfect habitat for our local fauna.
Sourcing locally indigenous plants
The majority of our plants come from St Kilda Indigenous Nursery Co-operative (SKINC).
The staff there have fostered populations of over 250 species of remnant plants found in the region of City of Port Phillip and propagate these for use by council, local residents – and of course – the Friends of Westgate Park! SKINC, as our local nursery, has the plants which are suited to our climate and conditions.
If you live locally and wish to plant an indigenous garden go to www.skinc.com.au. The staff there can assist you with plant selection for your garden which will not only assist in providing vital habitat for birds and insects, but also create an attractive landscape for you at home.
If you don’t live in the local region, there are many other nurseries which supply locally indigenous plants throughout Victoria. Greening Australia has compiled a list of these nurseries. If you live in the greater Melbourne region go to http://www.greeningaustralia.org.au/uploads/General%20pdfs/VIC_Indig_nurseries_FINAL_1009.pdf
If you live in rural Victoria go to http://www.greeningaustralia.org.au/uploads/General%20pdfs/VIC_Regional_Nurseries_909.pdf
For elsewhere in Australia go to http://www.greeningaustralia.org.au/our-services/seed-and-nursery and find your state for relevant information.