Revegetation for healthy waterways

​​​​​One of the biggest impacts on a healthy waterway system is salinity. Salinity is salt in soil or water and is produced by either natural processes, such as weathering of rocks or wind and rain depositing salt over thousands of years, or by widespread land clearing and altered land use. Excessive salinity can affect significantly affect agriculture, drinking water supplies and ecosystem health for both rural and urban communities.

Managing salinity typically requires diverting saline groundwater to evaporation basins; maintaining the health of wetlands; planting crops that reduce drainage; and restoring vegetation cover with appropriate native species.

Native plants do more than just improve soil and water quality. They are essential to the health of the ecosystem and overall biodiversity, expanding existing microhabitats for native fauna, providing food sources and nesting materials.

Our passion for rebuilding our natural habitat led us to create a specialist native revegetation department.

Our experienced and knowledgeable team propagate and produce the highest quality native tube stock for revegetation and landscaping projects across metro and regional areas – including those combating high salinity.

This includes mass producing wetland reeds and sedges such as Baumea articulata, Baumea juncea (Bare Twig Rush), Baumea preissii (Soft Twig Rush) or Baumea rubiginosa; Bolboschoenus caldwellii (Marsh Club Rush); Juncus pallidus (Pale Rush) and Schoenoplectus Validus (Lake Club Rush). These plants are typically found in dams, swamps, lakes, creeks and on the edge of brackish water in coastal rivers and lagoons. They spread along the water’s edge, providing habitat for native water birds, frogs, insects and small fish.

These wetland species are ideal for cleansing the soil and water in an affected area. An example of their use is the highly successful Eric Singleton Bird Sanctuary in Bayswater WA. This urban wetland’s rehabilitation project aimed to combat high levels of nutrients and heavy metals, and dissolved oxygen levels.

Completed between 2014-2015, the project included 170,000 native plants across the above reed species as well as tree and shrub planting. The Sanctuary is today a thriving community and environmental asset, home to a wide variety of native fauna, namely birds and frogs.

Explore our online plant library to discover wetland suitable plants.

Revegetation for healthy waterways

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Plant to save the bees

We need bees.

Every year 20th May is World Bee Day which raises the awareness and importance of bees and beekeeping, and this past year has perhaps more than any before it thrown into stark contrast the true value of our tiny pollinators.

Bees, along with butterflies, birds, bats and small marsupials are all considered ‘pollinators’, helping to facilitate the development of seeds and fruit in a wide variety of plants around the world. This is particularly instrumental to the agriculture industry, as pollinators benefit agricultural production of both the crops that we eat and the plants that are consumed by farmed animals. A healthy bee population is one way to ensure ongoing food security.

Furthermore, bees are essential to the overall health and sustainability of the ecosystem. By pollinating, they indirectly help to reduce climate change, purify air and water, build soil and recycle nutrients.

COVID-19 has created significant interruption in our supply chains, with the public panic-buying everything from food to toilet paper. A result of which, saw many people turn to DIY gardening in order to continue their access to basic fruits, herbs and vegetables. This in turn, resulted in seedling sales of unprecedented volumes – so much so, that the greenlife industry initially struggled to keep up with demand.

There are 20,000 species of bees, and attracting native bees to your area is easiest with native plants. Native bees do not travel as far as European honeybees, and so they rely upon more local sources of nectar. This can improve and expand their habitats while providing nesting materials. Doing so also helps to protect the biodiversity of indigenous flora and fauna in your area.

Perhaps the most obvious native plant choice is the humble Gum tree. The prolific blossoms produced by Eucalypts are highly attractive to native bees and can help to guide them towards other flowering shrubs and plants in your area. Mature Eucalyptus trees are also an important source of resin for some bee species. Similarly, native bees will flock towards Leptospermum or Tea Trees, whose dense growth habit and high volume of flowers attract and support a range of pollinators. Acacia (or Wattle) and Banksia also are fantastic plant groups to use as their flowers are packed with pollen.

Callistemon or Bottlebrush, are hardy shrubs producing an abundance of bright nectar and pollen-rich flowers that are attractive to a wide range of native bee and bird species. They are ideal as hedges, screening shrubs or street trees. Westringia or Coastal Rosemary are another hardy hedging shrub which flowers almost year-round and is attractive to long-tongued bee species. Grevillea or Spider Flower are also long-flowering shrubs which make a great focal plant, and their unique blooms produce large amounts of nectar attracting native birds and bees alike.

Viburnums have long been a popular flowering landscape shrub and are available in a wide range of cultivars. Another understory plant that is popular with pollinators is Melaleuca also known as Honey Myrtle. Different varieties range in size, offering shrub to small tree options and their abundant brush-like flowers support numerous native pollinators. Hardenbergia or Native Wisteria vines work well as either a climber or ground cover in most garden designs, providing habitats for ground-nesting bees, and their vibrant purple blooms attract both native birds and bees alike.

For a more varied garden design, consider also attracting bees by planting seedlings which produce both edibles and flowers, such as Borage, Lavender, Strawberries and Creeping Thyme. Interspersing pollinator-attracting plants amongst existing greenlife is tremendously beneficial across the entire landscape design, encouraging more growth.

Help to save the bees by planting more wildlife attracting plants. Explore these in our online plant library.

Plant to save the bees

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Growing Kangaroo Paws

Achieve the Australiana look with Anigozanthos, also known as Kangaroo Paw. Available in a wide variety of colours, shapes and growth habits, these iconic flowering plants originate from south-western Western Australia. They are now found widely throughout the southwest of Western Australia, in the north around Geraldton and on the Swan Coastal Plain near Perth.

Of the 12 species 11 are from the Anigozanthos genus. These are Anigozanthos flavidus and have a taller growth habit than some of the dwarf varieties. The 12th is particularly distinctive, coming from the Macropidia genus and known as the Black Kangaroo Paw because of its black and green flowers. This is the Macropidia fuliginosa.

The native perennial plants are low shrubs and have a strappy, grass-like growth habit, with long, slender stems ending in sprays of unusual finger-like flowers covered in fine velvety hairs and tiny claw-shaped tips. The result is iconic plants that represent the paws of one of Australia’s national fauna symbols.

Perhaps the most popular variety grown in the West is the Anigozanthos manglesii – the floral emblem of WA since November 1960. It’s red and green flowers are instantly recognisable to sandgropers who enjoy planting local species as well as to other gardeners around the world.

Kangaroo Paw flowers typically bloom in Spring and Summer and come in an extensive range of colours from the vivid green of Anigozanthos viridis through yellow, orange, red and pink to purple. Most offer a single, vibrant colour such as the intense pink of Anigozanthos Bush Pearl (PBR), while some are multi-coloured, as in the case of Kings Park Royale (PBR), which was bred by the team at Kings Park Botanical Gardens to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Friends of Kings Park.

 

The unique, nectar-rich flowers will attract wildlife, particularly bees and native birds such as Honeyeaters, and make great cut flowers for bouquets as they retain their colour well.

For those chasing a lot of colour, the Anigozanthos Bush Gems are a spectacular, versatile range of waterwise, easy care hybrid plants that offer profuse flowering in an assortment of growth heights. They add interest to all garden and landscape designs either as a potted feature or planted en-masse.

The colouring of Kangaroo Paw flowers can also be affected by weather and light conditions, with cooler summer temperatures intensifying the flower colour.

 

Anigozanthos are hardy, low maintenance plants that grow quicky and are ideal in native landscape designs, rockery or waterwise gardens, as well as thriving in feature containers. They do best in slightly acidic soils with good drainage and full sun exposure.

Learn more about these and other Anigozanthos varieties in our online plant library.

Growing Kangaroo Paws

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Go green with living walls

Many people ask what are living walls?

Also known as ‘green walls’, ‘eco walls’ or ‘vertical gardens’, they are different to ‘green facades’, whereby the greenlife is trained to cover a wall for aesthetic purposes.

Green facades are primarily achieved either indirectly, by planting groundcovers in planter boxes and letting them trail down a wall, or directly, by affixing a structure such as a trellis to the wall and training plants to grow up it. Green facades can also be created by greenlife attaching itself to the wall (as in the case of a vine).

Instead, living walls see the greenlife planted directly into a structure that has been built either into or onto the wall, where they will receive their required nutrients from the soil and water that fills it. Learn more about green walls with Horticulture Innovation Australia Ltd

No longer just of interest to architectural companies in the race for the latest design awards, living walls are also gaining considerable attention from other businesses seeking to improve their ecological credentials, building aesthetics or employee benefits. This last is in reference to biophilic design, the concept that employees are more productive and happier when they have access to nature.

Both living walls and green facades are considered components of overall green infrastructure and important in reducing our carbon footprint. They are credited with providing benefits to urban environments, including attracting wildlife, improving air quality and establishing a microclimate, reducing energy costs (by reflecting solar heat in summer and providing insulation in winter), and helping to dampen noise. Either living walls or green facades in urban environments can also help to reduce the city’s heat island effect.

Living walls have both indoor and outdoor applications, and with the right plants can be created in a wide variety of conditions, from full to part sun or shade.

Living walls are also scalable, from forming the central focus in a grand landscape design as living art to being relatively easy to establish in a small courtyard or alfresco space; with many retailers now selling affordable, modular kits which homeowners can easily assemble themselves.

Before embarking on the creation of a stunning living wall, it is important to consider more than just the site’s volume of sunlight and orientation. The existing wall or supports and their load capacity will determine the size of your living wall, as well as the options for irrigation and drainage.

Consider the level of maintenance required for your living wall, and how much upkeep the plants will need. Your plants will likely have dormant periods. It is also vital to waterproof the space for longevity of the project.

Living walls are typically only visual additions, however there is a rise in people taking advantage of living walls offering a larger number of plants in a smaller space by establishing them using edible vegetation. Thus, creating a dual purpose and expanding the biodiversity in the space.

Explore our online plant library to select the right plants for your living wall project. You are limited only by your imagination and a plant’s growing conditions!

Go green with living walls

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Understanding plant breeder's rights

Ever seen a plant name followed by (PVR) or (PBR), and wondered what this meant?

Plant Breeder's Rights (or PBR) [formerly known as Plant Variety Rights (or PVR) in Australia] gives plant breeders the ownership of a newly-bred plant variety for a specific period of time. This ensures the breeder has exclusive rights to produce or reproduce that plant’s material. It also prohibits others from dividing or propagating the plant for resale or commercial gain, which is illegal. 

PBRs are typically used to protect new varieties of plants that are distinct, uniform and stable, however PBR legislation also covers essentially derived varieties and farm saved seed. Breeders are encouraged to invest in bringing new plant varieties to the market, as a PBR offers protection for the breeder to recoup a return on that investment. Application, certificate and renewal fees apply to hold a PBR.

Without a PBR, plant names are also sometimes intended for protection. This is represented by either a ™ (meaning Trademark) or an ® (meaning Registered Trademark) following the name.

A trademark can be used by any person or business to indicate that particular plant name is meant to serve as an identifier for the source of that plant. Further, a registered trademark indicates that the trademark has been officially recorded for that plant.

To be registered, a trademark application must meet the legislative requirements. This process begins by submitting the application to – which is then reviewed by – the Australian Government’s agency for Intellectual Property. If approved, it will be visible in the Australian Official Journal of Trade Marks for two months, during which time third parties may oppose the intended registration. If it is unopposed, the trademark is registered. The length of the registration process can depend on the variety being grown. Similarly, the length of protection can also differ for some species.

Different combinations of IP rights can be used to add value to a single plant variety. For example, trademarks are most commonly used in conjunction with PBRs, such as in the case of Westringia 'WES03' Blue Gem™ or Lomandra 'SIR5' Wingarra™.

Explore our online plant library to discover an extensive range of exclusive PBR plants.

Understanding plant breeder's rights

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Understanding Tubestock

Tubestock

As a term used widely by the industry, tubestock refers to plants grown in smaller nursery containers or 'cells' (typically between 40-70mm in size) to encourage a fully established root system prior to being planted out. 

Tubestock is both a cost and time effective way of obtaining native plants en masse that are suitable for planting straight into the field, providing instant value to your project.

Benara Nurseries’ cells are custom-made with internal ribbing to train the root growth in a downward motion, preventing spiraling and encouraging an elongated and deeper root structure. Our tubestock is already sun hardened and air pruned, providing a higher quality stock with a greater survival rate. All of our stock are grown on benches to allow air flow and good hygiene, with the plants also receiving 6 to 8 months slow-release fertilizer, providing excellent nutrition for their establishment in revegetation projects.

Benara Nurseries are accredited by the Nursery Industry Accreditation Scheme Australia (NIASA) in both Greenlife Market and Nusery, as well as EcoHort cerified. These independently-audited schemes, along with our regular integrated pest and disease management, ensure that Benara Nurseries stock maintains the highest industry standards and uses best growing practices. We mass produce reeds and sedges, and hand produce the more delicate species. Our team are also continually trialling new and recalcitrant species.

Revegetation

At Benara Nurseries, our dedicated native revegetation department is passionate about rebuilding the natural habitat. Our team of expert horticulturalists have the experience and knowledge to propagate and produce the highest quality native tubestock for revegetation and landscaping projects.

We have the capabilities to grow exceptionally high volumes of tubestock varieties. We can produce smaller, provenance-specific revegetation stock through to large-scale volume growing for commercial rehabilitation contracts.

The majority of our revegetation stock is grown from seed for greater genetic diversity, and our species list is wide ranging, with plants suitable for a number of local environments covering metro and regional Western Australian conditions.

Orders

Benara Nurseries' tubestock is provided in narrow 50mm W x 50mm x D 100mm H cells. All of our tubestock is then available in either a single rack (of 20 cells) or as 64 and 104 cell trays, with all orders placed in multiples of tray sizes. 

As part of Benara Nurseries' sustainability practices, all trays are salvaged, steam sterilized and reused in our production.

Speak to our Sales staff for more information or to place an order on 08 9561 9000 or benara@benara.com.au

Understanding Tubestock

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Amazing Alocasias

Commonly known as ‘Elephant Ears’ or 'African mask plant', Alocasias are rhizomatous or tuberous plants native to subtropical Asia and eastern Australia, and are increasingly becoming popular as houseplants. Not to be confused with Colocasia, the Alocasia leaf tips point up - whereas Colocasia leaves point down.

Known for their large, beautiful leaves, Alocasias are ideal for creating an exotic vibe either indoors, out on the patio or in the garden. Their oversized, lush foliage makes for a fantastic focal point, coming in an impressive array of colours, patterns and interesting shapes. 

The Alocasia wentii is known for its unique green leaves with contrasting bronze-purple undersides, while the unusual form of Alocasia Stingray has to be seen to be believed. Its leaf shape does in fact look like a Stingray, with fish-like wings and a long tail!

Even though Alocasias can grow to be a sizeable evergreen plant, dependant on species, they can still look airy and elegant thanks to tall, smooth stems that grow out of a tuber. Their stems can also be plain, striped, or display stunning contrasting colours.

The spectacularly wide, heart-shaped leaves of Alocasia macrorrhiza or ‘Giant Taro’ are huge!

By comparison Alocasia zebrina Sarian is typically a taller and more slender looking plant, with familiar arrowhead-shaped leaves. Similarly, the Alocasia lauterbachiana has stiff, tapered leaves with burgundy undersides and purple mottled stems.

Alocasias can grow rapidly, often producing a new leaf almost every week in the warm summer months.

For optimum growing conditions, they need bright, indirect light. Alocasias’ natural habitat is on the rainforest floor underneath a tree canopy, therefore they thrive amongst ferns and other shade-loving plants. Position in a partly-shaded, warm and humid part of the garden, or in a well-lit, protected spot indoors. Misting the leaves in areas of low humidity is also recommended to maintain the lush foliage.

Create an instant jungle feel by planting Alocasia under low windows, as an accent in a mixed bed, grouped in a focal area, alongside a courtyard or patio, or surrounding a palm or tree.

Learn more about these and other Alocasias in our online plant library.

Amazing Alocasias

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Get to know Ornamental Pears

Pyrus, or ornamental pear, is a medium-sized deciduous tree. Available in nine varieties, this attractive tree provides a stunning feature that will grace any space. Different varieties produce contrasting foliage in a range of autumnal colours that include radiant yellow, bright orange, brilliant red and deep purple; with the ‘Nivalis’ variety also transitioning through to striking silver.

Pyrus puts on an exceptional floral display in Spring, with a mass of white flowers, although the ‘Winter Glow’ and ‘Red Spire’ varieties also exhibit touches of pale pink. Perfect for use as either a solitary accent tree, as a double act to frame entranceways, or in multiples to line narrow garden avenues. The ‘Manchurian Pear or ‘ussuriensis’ variety is also wider spreading, making it ideal for use as a shade tree.

Image: Landscape Design by COS.

Pyrus is typically suited to an area of full sun, although the ‘Chanticleer’ variety is tolerant of part shade, with all preferring moist well drained soils. Relatively low maintenance, prune your Pyrus if desired to maintain clearance. Water well initially and it will tolerate dry conditions once established.

 

 

Discover our range of Pyrus below. 

Species Size Shape Foliage
Pyrus Nivalis 8m H x 6m W

Upright/narrow

Green / Grey / Red / Silver

Pyrus calleryana Capital 10m H x 3m W

Oval/narrow

Green / Orange / Purple / Red / Yellow

Pyrus ussuriensis 10m H x 8m W

Round/pyramidal

Green / Orange / Red / Yellow

Pyrus calleryana Cleveland Select 11m H x 4m W

Upright/narrow

Green / Orange / Purple / Red / Yellow

Pyrus calleryana Chanticleer 11m H x 6m W

Conical/narrow

Green / Orange / Red / Yellow

Pyrus calleryana Winter Glow 12m H x 4m W

Vase shaped

Green / Orange / Red

Pyrus calleryana Aristocrat 12m H x 8m W

Pyramidal

Green / Orange / Red / Yellow

Pyrus calleryana Bradford 12m H x 8m W

Pyramidal

Green / Orange / Purple / Red / Yellow

Pyrus calleryana Red Spire 12m H x 8m W

Pyramidal

Green / Purple / Red

 

Get to know Ornamental Pears

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Breathe Deeply in the Greenery

Just like your phone or your laptop, sometimes you need to recharge your batteries. It's good to get away from all the stress, from people demanding things of you, and a head overflowing with information. Sometimes all you need is a short time in your own green refuge.

Our top low maintenance plant picks for recharging you and your space include:

Spathiphyllum - Peace Lily

Spathiphyllum

Spathiphyllum Sensation offers beautiful style and symmetry to any indoor space office or home. These varieties are very forgiving during periods of no water and will recover quickly. 

Zamioculcas Gem - ZZ Plant
ZZ plant

The ZZ Plant is an incredibly hardy perennial that produces glossy green elliptical leaves which are borne on long fleshy stems. They are easy to grow and will tolerate all sorts of neglect including drought conditions dry air and low light. 


Howea forsteriana - Kentia Palms
Kentia Palm
Howea forsteriana has been used as an indoor plant since Victorian times and has proven to be as popular today as it was then. Howea forsteriana can tolerate low sunlight exposure, air conditioning and central indoor heating. Howea forsteriana is relatively low maintenance.

 

Plants do a brilliant job of sheltering you — but that's not all they do. As you sit hidden behind the leaves, you'll discover they bring a sense of peace. This is because plants release oxygen, giving you new energy as you breathe in the clean air. You've surrounded yourself with peaceful, living things that demand nothing of you apart from water. Breathe out, drop your shoulders, and relax in your own green hideaway.

Breathe Deeply in the Greenery

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How Long Does It Take To Grow Our Trees?

As part of our quality control processes and as we grow from one pot size to another to ensure proper root development and plant growth each variety of plant is propagated at a specific time of year. Ordering your stock at the right time will ensure we can then program growing times to have the best possible specimens at the time of sale. Not allowing enough time or having trees growing for too long can impact their health.

Lead Times

Average time it takes to get stock to the right size

• Tubestock, 13cm, 14cm grow pots = 6 months – 1 year
• 17cm, 5lt, 8lt grow pots = 1 - 1.5 years
• 12lt, 30lt, 90lt grow pots = 2 - 3 years
• 200lt grow pots/bags = 4 years+

Image growth timeline is intended as a guide only. Contact us to disscuss your needs.

 

What to consider for ordering?

Plants take time to grow. When it comes to ordering advanced stock we strive to have a range of plant sizes available. In order to ensure we have the right size for your project needs there are some specific times of the year where it is best to place you order to help us meet your requirements.

How Long Does It Take To Grow Our Trees?

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Raven Zamioculcas - It has arrived!

It´s time to meet this remarkable dark variety!

Zamioculcas Raven is a new addition to the zamioculcas family, it stands out with its black leaves and stunning natural colour progression. Zamioculcas has a tried and tested status as a rugged indoor plant. Strong statement in any space! The shiny, black feathered leaves of Raven remind you of the impressive large bird from which the plant derives its name.

Being so strong, Raven feels equally at home in a modern living room, chaotic student flat or packed open plan office. A real feature plant with few demands. Zamioculcas Raven can also cope with an owner who is a slightly forgetful waterer. If it hasn't had any water for a while it will just rely on the reserves that it stores in its roots and rhizomes!

The natural colour development. A beautiful process to see at home!

Phase 1: Ravens new growth begins in a bright green new shoot. The shoot is know as a feather.

Phase 2: Once the new shoot is completely open, Raven will start its beautiful colour transformation. The colour transformation starts out as bright green and as it ages turns dark to almost black. You see the change begin in the tips of the leaves before spreading.

Phase 3: The leaves darken over a period of around 8 weeks depending on the amount of light it gets. The more light the faster it darkens. Once the leaves turn black they will stay dark until the next new leaf appears.

Raven Zamioculcas - It has arrived!

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Introducing The Queen Lavender

Lavender The Queen (PBR) is an exceptional showpiece to have in any garden. The superior volume of darkest-pink gigantic wings at the tips of the flower spikes is definitely a 'crowning' glory! The flower heads are two-toned, deep burgundy heads with lilac bracts, and will repeat flower after the initial spring flush.

The masses of flowers are supported by the compact plant of nicely contrasting grey-green foliage. This beautiful Queen of Lavenders, when planted in stately pots in courtyards, as a border around raised beds or along driveways will add a real elegance to any home. Also great as mass plantings. Perfect for cottage gardens this sure-fire winner is both cold and heat hardy.

Ideal in rockeries for that added long-lasting colour and a great addition in those sometimes difficult coastal areas. Removal of spent flowers will encourage further displays. Lavender The Queen will tolerate dry periods but appreciates a good soaking if those are extended periods.

Introducing The Queen Lavender

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