There are heaps of local plants that are suitable, though not all work in all types of shade, and very few will thrive in full, heavy shade. But here are a few ideas to get your thinking cap on.
Settlers' Flax (Gymnostachys anceps) is a tall strap-leaved plant that grows in deep shade, but can also cope with some light. It has bird-attracting blue fruit and a great vertical structure.
|This established Settlers' Flax shows the|
characteristic long, upright leaves. (Photo
by Kath Gadd.)
|These fruit are only just starting to form and are still|
green. Later they will enlarge and become blue. (Photo
by Kath Gadd.)
|The tough and versatile Prickly Rasp Fern, with its reddish|
new growth. It will take part sun too. (Photo by Kath Gadd.)
|Sometimes Prickly Rasp Fern produces stunning foliage|
colours. (Photo by Keith Horton.)
|Gristle Fern (Blechnum cartilagineum) may have an|
unappealing name, but it's a great tough mid-size
fern and forms large stands in good conditions.
|Jungle Brake (Peters umbrosa) is a larger and quite coarse-|
leaved fern that copes with shade and dry periods. (Photo by Tracee Lea.)
|Last but not least, this is Sickle Fern|
(Pellaea falcata), which looks and
grows similarly to the weedy Fishbone
Fern (Nephrolepis cordifolia). Its
leaves are a bright shiny mid green.
|The Small-leaved Bleeding Heart (Homalanthus stillingifolius)|
is a very hardy shrub to 1.5m with soft, heart-shaped leaves.
(Photo by Kath Gadd.)
|Here are the flowers of Small-|
leaved Bleeding Heart - tiny but
cute. (Photo by Keith Horton.)
|This shaggy shrub is a Bolwarra (Eupomatia laurina), which|
can actually become a tree, but is easy to maintain in
shrub form if preferred. It copes with a range of light
conditions including shade. (Photo by Kath Gadd.)
|Bolwarra has fragrant white flowers and|
interesting round fruit. (Photo by
|And of course the classic Orange Thorn (Pittosporum|
multiflorum, but previously Citriobatus pauciflorus).
It will grow in dappled to heavy shade and can be shaped
or hedged. It also makes excellent shelter for small
birds. (Photo by Kath Gadd.)