The profiles of native plants that are provided below are based on our experience of having grown the vast majority of these species, most of which we have also viewed in the wild. It is important to see plants in nature, to gain an understanding of the conditions that have shaped them, and also of the aesthetics of natural plant communities.

In addition to our interest in expanding the use of native plants, we utilise a significant range of exotic species within our work - notably for seasonality and flowering performance. However, we have limited these plant profiles to native species, as a considerable number of worthwhile members of our flora are still little-known (and under-utilised within landscape design).

The most recent plant profiles to be added, in July and August 2016, concern one of our most famous native trees, the cabbage tree (Cordyline australis), and a commonly-planted tussock, Anemanthele lessoniana (which has become increasingly rare in the wild). At the same time, we have added further images and information to our profile on Muehlenbeckia astonii, garnered from a recent visit to a population of that nationally endangered species on the Wellington coastline.

Upcoming profiles will be added in September 2017, on an attractive, yellow-flowered shrub from the East Coast, Brachyglottis perdicioides, and a dwarf sedge (with burgundy-coloured leaves) from damp alpine areas, called Carex berggrenii.


How to use these plant profiles

Each page is devoted to one genus (for example, Pimelea), and within a single page there may be descriptions of several species - for example, within the page on Pimelea, we currently have profiles on four different native species. Bear this in mind if you are interested in a particular species; it may be described in the lower part of the page.

For ease of use, we have separated the plant profiles into distinct categories (such as 'ferns' or 'climbers'), based on the growth habits of certain horticulturally significant members of each genus. These divisions are not always 'hard and fast'; for example, some genera contain both shrubs and climbers. They are simply intended to assist readers in finding information of particular interest to them.


Trees and shrubs



Herbs and low-growing shrubs

Flax and lily-like plants

Grasses, sedges and rush-like plants





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