Coastal plants: the most common types at Joondalup

These five plant genera are the ones most commonly seen along Joondalup's coastline.

The Joondalup coast consists of dune limestone, in patches overlain by low sand dune ridges known as the Quindalup dune system. The main native coastal plants are grass-like Spinifex near the beach, and low shrubs of Olearia and Scaevola on dunes a little further back from the shoreline. Still further inland are Spyridium, and on the limestone at Ocean Reef and Iluka, three species of Melaleuca: Melaleuca systena, Melaleuca cardiophylla, and Melaleuca huegelii.

These plants are usually found in a sequence, from the beach foredune landward, unless the vegetation succession has been truncated by erosion and/or infested by introduced weeds. Salt-tolerant grasses such as Spinifex occur at the back of the beach face. Further back from the beach these are replaced by ground cover plants, other grasses and low shrubs such as Olearia. Behind these, taller shrubs of different genera such as Scaevola, Spyridium and and Melaleuca are able to grow as soil fertility and moisture increases. Still further back, or in more moist swales and depressions, small trees such as Banksias and Eucalypts may appear.

Mouse-click thumbnail images for enlargements.