Plants of the Murray Mallee

Sweet Sue Lake

Emu Family

Emu seeking Mate

"No Overtaking Unless Safe"
Road Sign in South Australia

A selection of plants found in the Mallee region near Swan Reach, South Australia. This region has significant limestone deposits in sheet and pebble form, and usually quite thin sandy soils.

This is a photographic study of the plants of the region. The botanical names have been taken from nearby botanical surveys and may not be accurate. Any corrections to these would be most welcome.



Eucalyptus Gracilis

Yorrel. A mallee eucalypt.

Eucalyptus Oleosa

Giant Mallee. One of the larger mallee trees, quite impressive.

Eucalyptus Socialis

Pointed Mallee. Very common species.

Eucalyptus Anceps

Kangaroo Island Mallee. Somewhat uncommon.

Myoporum Platycarpum

Sugarwood. Common leafy tree to about 6m with small white flowers often quite prolific and long lasting.

Santalum Acuminatum

Quandong. Small tree with edible fruits.

Large Shrubs

Acacia Ligulata

Sandhill Wattle

Acacia Nyssophilla

Wait-a-while. Prickly wattle shrub with attractive globular golden-yellow flowers

Exocarpus Aphylla

Leafless Ballart. Very shady but leafless large shrub.

Melaleuca Lanceolata

Moonah. Dryland bottlebrush flowering plant.

Small Shrubs

Beyeria Lechenaultii

Felted Wallaby-Bush. Turpentine Bush

Boronia Inornata

Desert Boronia

Dodonaea Attenuata

Narrow-leaf hopbush. While not a true hop, the early settlers nevertheless did make beer from the fruits.

Eremophila Glabra

Common Emu Bush. Very common attractive small shrub with red sigmoidal flowers.

Eremophila Alternifolia

Poverty Bush. Uncommon attractive small shrub with mauve spotted or white sigmoidal flowers.

Eutaxia Microphylla

Common Eutaxia

Halgania Andromedifolia

Smooth Blue-Flower. Attractive small four-lobed blue flowers.

Scaevola Spinescens

Spiny Fan-Flower. Unusual one-sided fan shaped flowers.

Senna Eremophila

Cassia. Very common small shrub, very attractive when flowering. Yellow pea-like flowers very profuse in good years.

Westringia Rigida

Very common low shrub to about 0.5m with small cylindrical leaves and small white spotted long lasting flowers.

Smaller Plants

Atriplex Stipitata

Kidney Saltbush. Small dome-shaped shrub with grey green leaves.

Calandrinia Eremaea
Dryland Purslane.

Enchylaena Tomentosa

Ruby Saltbush

Hyalosperma Glutinosum

Golden Sunray

Maireana Erioclada

Rosy Bluebush. Attractive wheel-shaped fruits green to pink when fresh.

Maireana Brevifolia

Yanga Bush. Another bluebush with wheel-shaped fruits.

Maireana Sedifolia

Pearl Bluebush

Microcybe Multiflora

Red microcybe. Characterized by long stamens in flowers.

Minuria Leptophylla

Minnie Daisy.

Olearia Magniflora

Magnificent Daisy. Attractive, large purple daisy-like flowering bush

Olearia Muelleri

Mueller's Daisy bush.

Rhagodia Gaudichaudiana

(also Chenopodium curvispicatum) Cottony Saltbush. Unusual spade shaped leaves.

Rhagodia Nutans

Climbing Saltbush. Unusual lobed leaves but otherwise rather forgettable.

Rhagodia Crassifolia
Fleshy Saltbush. Attractive red berries.

Teucreum Racemosum

Grey Germander. Small plant with distinctive and prolific white flowers.

Thysanotus Baueri

Mallee Fringe-lily. Small, short lived, mauve flowers with long fringes on the petal margins.

Velleia Paradoxa

Spur Velleia. Unusual flower shape.

Vittadinia Gracilis

Wooly New Holland Daisy.

Wahlenbergia Communis

Tufted Bluebell.

Zygophyllum Apiculatum

Gall Weed. Very common low ground cover, large, brilliant green leaves with attractive yellow flowers and unusual ridged fruits. Doesn't deserve the name.

Zygophyllum Aurantiacum

Shrubby Twinleaf. Very common small woody shrub, small twinned leaves with attractive yellow flowers and four-winged fruits.

Unidentified Plants

Unidentified Plants

Various attractive flowers and plants not yet identified.


Salvia Verbenaca

Wild Sage.

Some of the more attractive inhabitants of the mallee bushland

Australian Golden Orb-web Spider

Uncommon, unknown species of large fly, about 1cm long.

Australian Ringneck drinking dew from the roof of the car (couldn't get closer). The fun part was to see them put their lower beak flat on the roof, then run furiously along to scoop up the drops. These birds are not stupid! They are quite common: a bright turquoise colour on their backs with black edged wings and always go in pairs.

A "legless" lizard? The legs are fairly useless and the lizards move like snakes.
Identified as Lerista punctatovittata (Spotted Burrowing Skink) thanks to David De Angelis, Latrobe University.
The second photo was taken inside a building and doesn't show the colours correctly.

Identified as Christinus marmoratus (Southern Marbled gecko) thanks to David De Angelis, Latrobe University.

Spotted Grass Frog (Limnodynastes tasmaniensis, acknowledgement to Ellura) seen after the second appearance of the lake, March 2011. The region is 20km from any sort of permanent water and has been dry for over a decade.

Emus, probably a male with three nearly mature young. These are reasonably common in the area.
See also Baker's Dozen.

"Plants of Western New South Wales", by Cunningham, Mulham, Thorpe, Leigh, 1981 (most plant identifications).
Ellura Sanctuary about 10km away. Acknowledgements to Brett & Marie Smith for identification of some of the species.
"Eucalypts - a Field Guide, Vol 1, South Eastern Australia"
"The Vegetation of South Australia", by Specht.
"Native Trees of South Australia", C. D. Boomsma, 1981


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First created 3 December 2005
Last modified 8 September 2014
© Ken Sarkies 2006