The vegetation on campus provides important habitat for many animal species. The University's policy is to use native plants throughout the campus.
There are four main areas where native vegetation exists: the remnant vegetation patch, the tree plantings behind the lakes, the compensatory habitat, and native gardens in and around the main buildings.
Many of the species present have been important to Indigenous people as food and natural medicine. For a full list of flora refer to the Master Plan planting list.
To aid in the protection of this important and unique habitat, the University has implemented a number of environmental initiatives and has an Environmental Advisory Committee to advise on strategies and initiatives that impact on the campus environment and surrounds.
Rare plant species found on campus include:
- Acacia attenuata
- Acacia baueri (The Little Wattle)
- Blandifordia grandiflora (Christmas Bells)
- Boronia Rivularis (Wide Bay Boronia)
- Schoenus scabripes (Rush)
The acacia attenuata is a tall lean shrub and can be found in south-east Queensland, from Burleigh Heads on the Gold coast to Bundaberg. They grow in coastal lowland areas, never more than 40km from the coast.
Flower clusters, call inflorescences, are cream to pale yellow and are made up of 20-35 round flowers. Seedpods are dark brown and flower in October-November.
The acacia attenuata can grow up to 5m tall, reaching a height of up to 2m in the first year. It is considered a juvenile for 2-3 years and each plant has a lifespan of about 5-10 years.
Boronia rivularis (Wide Bay Boronia)
The boronia rivularis is a small native shrub that produces pink-purple flowers in spring and summer. The leaves are scented but the flowers are not unless they are crushed, giving off a strong aniseed scent.
The boronia rivularis can be found along coastal areas of south-east Queensland in wet, sandy soils.
A 15-hectare site on campus has been revegetated with rare and endangered boronia and acacia species, relocated from a nearby residential development site.
The habitat is one of the largest projects of its kind in Australia and has involved a PhD research project to monitor the germination and revegetation of the species.
Other areas on campus have been restored with more than 50,000 new native trees planted.
An environmentally friendly worm castings fertiliser is used in all gardens on campus.