Permaculture is a combination of the words permanent and agriculture . It uses ecological design principles
to develop sustainable human settlements. Permaculture gardens often contain useful plants that have many functions,
such as producing food or fodder, medicines and other products, as well as use in pest control and soil improvement,
or as shelter and windbreak.
- Albizia or Cape Wattle - Albizia lopantha (syn. Paraserianthes lopantha)
Leguminous, fast-growing evergreen small tree 4 - 8 m, although occasionally they can grow taller.
Useful as a windbreak, shelter tree, soil conditioner (nitrogen-fixing) and stock feed. Attracts
ladybirds into garden for aphid control. Fire retardant. Understorey plant in the forests of the south-west.
Yellow, cream or green flowers.
- Bamboo - Bambusa multiplex
Generally grows in a slowly spreading clump to about 4m high, which is a small bamboo. Useful for
erosion control as well as stock feed. Stock eat the leaves and plant down during autumn or winter,
and then it will rejuvenate during spring. Good windbreak and screen plant, and culms can be used as
garden stakes. Cold hardy.
- Brisbane Wattle - Acacia fimbriata
Bushy shrub to 4m. Excellent windbreak or orchard legume. Nitrogen-fixing. Yellow flowers in spring.
- Carob -Ceratonia siliqua
Slow growing, large spreading tree. Likes dry Mediterranean climate and tolerates poor sandy soils.
The seeds yield a gum which is used in the cosmetic industry. The sugary pods are used as human food
as well as for stock. Chocolate substitute powder is produced for health food industry.
- Chanar- Geoffroea decorticans
Deciduous, small tree to 7m. Nitrogen-fixing, orange-yellow flowers and edible pod tasting like caramel fudge.
Used to make sweets and drinks.
- Curry-leaf Tree - Murraya keonigii
Small, deciduous tree to 3 m with very pungent aromatic leaves. The leaves are used in curries in Asian cooking.
Tolerates partial shade. Hardy.
- Curry Plant - Helichrysum angustifolium
Suitable for most soils, and is drought and frost tolerant. Small perennial shrub to 0.4 m, silver leaves,
yellow flowers. Strong curry smell, and a small twig can be added to soups, vegetable dishes and stews
to give a mild curry flavour. Remove twig before serving. Flowers used in potpourri.
- Drumstick Tree - Moringa oleifera
As the tree produces leaves during the dry season and during times of drought, it is an excellent
source of green vegetable when little other food is available. The leaves provide many necessary
vitamins and minerals and can be eaten cooked or dried. The foliage has been compared to spinach
in both its appearance and nutritional quality. The juice from the leaves is believed to stabilize
blood pressure, the flowers are used to cure inflammations, the pods are used for joint pain, the roots
are used to treat rheumatism, and the bark can be chewed as a digestive aid.
- Feijoa - Feijoa sellowiana
Also known as pineapple guava. Bushy evergreen shrub to 4m, drought and frost tolerant, good windbreak.
Fruit eaten raw or used in jellies. Prefers cool climates and rich organic soil.
- Five Spice, or Five in One Herb - Coleus aromaticus (syn C. amboinicus)
Succulent, semi-creeping perennial. Needs protected place from winds, heavy rain. Likes a warm, moist area.
Round, fleshy, hairy stems and oppositely forming thick, hairy, ovate shaped leaves 4-10cm long, with
serrated/scalloped margins. Spikes of two-lipped mauve/pink flowers rise above the foliage Leaves can be
chopped up and added to bean dishes, soups and casseroles to give a mixed herb flavour. Chew a leaf for sore
throat and coughs. Make a tea for bronchitis, asthma and coughs, and to induce sleep. A leaf can been rubbed or
laid on the forehead, to relieve headaches
- Golden Wreath Wattle or Western Wattle or S.W. Wattle - Acacia saligna
Large leaved wattle from the south-west of W.A. Good fodder for sheep, goats, horses and cattle.
Fast-growing, fire retardant, nitrogen-fixing shrub to 4 m. It is suitable for soil stabilisation and
does well in sand near coastal areas and is ideal for wind break and erosion control. Aborigines used to make flour from the seeds.
- Honey Locust - Gleditsia triacanthos
There are two varieties of the deciduous Honey Locust; one thorned and the other thornless.
The thornless variety is the most common. Honey Locust grow to 20 m, and they are drought and frost-hardy.
The seed pods are high in sugar (up to 30%) and both the seeds and pods are 10% protein. Produces golden
leaves as the season changes from autumn to winter.
- Ice Cream Bean - Inga edulis
Fast growing, nitrogen-fixing, evergreen tree to height 10 m and spread of 4 m.
Drought and frost sensitive when young, white flowers, pinnate leaves. Seed pods up to 18 cm.
The white pith around each seed can be eaten and tastes like vanilla ice cream. Wood can be used for
furniture and the leaves for feeding stock.
- Leucaena - Leucaena leucocephala
A fast-growing, leguminous tree to 15 m. Suitable for coppicing for firewood, high-quality forage
(both leaves and pods), erosion control and as a source of mulch. Leucaena is a nitrogen-fixing tree.
- Maqui - Aristotelia chilensis
Evergreen shrub or small tree to 4m. Dioecious plants are either male or female. Female plants produce green
flowers followed by small, black, edible berries which can be eaten fresh or used for juices,
wine or dyeing. Good honey plant.
- Olive - Olea europaea
A rich source of fat and oil which is obtained by pressing the fruit. Drought and frost tolerant once established.
Grows to 20 m but can easily be pruned and maintained to enable olives to be harvested. Require very
little fertiliser, but needs full sun and rich, well-drained soil. Common varieties we sell include:
* Manzanillo large green olive for pickling.
* Volos large green or black eating olive.
* New Norcia (WA) Mission for oil production.
- Paulownia or Powton - Paulownia tomentosa
One of the fastest growing trees in the world. Paulownia is a drought-resistant, fast-growing, deciduous
tree to 12 m. The timber is used for fine furniture, the leaves as mulch or fodder. Good shade plant.
- Rosella - Hibiscus sabdariffa
Native to West Africa, Rosella is an annual bush to 2 m. The red fleshy sepals of the fruit seed pod are used in drinks,
jam making and in preserves. Tender leaves can be used in salad and as a savoury herb. The stem yields a fibre which can be used as a string substitute in the garden.
- Salal - Gaultheria shallon
Evergreen shrub to 2m. Edible black berries which can be eaten fresh or made into jam and wine. Foliage used by florists.
- Siberian Pea Tree - Caragana arborescens
Tree to 6m. Deciduous, nitrogen-fixing, and leaves produce a blue dye. Useful windbreak, yellow flowers.
Seeds are edible, usually after cooking and make good chicken forage.
- Sun Hemp - Crotalaria juncea
Annual shrub to 2m. Fast-growing legume. Hardy and drought-resistant.
Fibre used as twine, nets and paper. Green manure crop and useful mulch.
- Vetiver Grass - Vetiveria zizanioides
This species grows fast to form a dense clump about 30 cm in diameter and a height of 50-150 cm.
It is very useful in trapping crop residues and silts eroded by runoff, as a raw material for making
paper and for ropes, mats, hats and baskets. The roots are used in making skin care substances and
volatile oils are extracted for making perfume and aromatic ingredients in soaps.
The leaves provide animal fodder for sheep and cattle.
- Vietnamese Coriander - Polygonum odoratum
Hot spicy leaves are used to flavour meat and vegetables, and for the soupy noodle dish laksa. Grows to 30 cm and leaves are tapered with
brown central markings. Prefers moist conditions and protection from the sun.
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