Following on with the series of Bushfire Safety articles,
Paul Plant takes a look at using both native and
non-native plants for green fire barriers.
All plants will burn when subjected to intense
heat, lack of water and an ignition point (that is the fire or airborne cinders). We can instigate a fire reduction strategy in the garden by using
non-flammable and fire retardant plant species.
As mentioned in the last issue, plants with succulent leaves – those that hold moisture in their leaves or stems – are valuable tools to use in the landscape to reduce the spread of fire and to minimise further damage to the garden and structures.
Some plants hold water in their leaf axils. These include bromeliads, bananas and heliconias.
Many tropical and subtropical plants, native and non-native, with lush succulent leaves are also useful for this purpose. Ornamental gingers (including Australian native gingers), shrubs and even many trees are great at reducing fire damage.