FORAGE TREES SUITABLE FOR FLYING FOXES

Nimbin Plant Selection Guide

David McMinn


This has been published with the permission of the NSW Agricultural Department and was sourced from their book
Trees For The North Coast. Lines-Kelly, Rebecca & Currey, Anne (Eds). 1992. This is recommended reading for those interested. Unfortunately, it is now out of print, but it should be available in local libraries.

When planting out plots of native species, it is important to include a wide range of species, so that flowers and/or fruit are produced over the whole year. This is to provide fruit bats, and many other animal and bird species, with a reasonably reliable food supply. In particular, fig trees are a great food resource so make sure you plant out numerous local species.

All species listed are native to the Northern Rivers and south east Queensland, unless otherwise indicated. Three sections have been presented. 1) Ficus species. 2) Rainforest species 3) Eucalyptus Group Species.

Native Fig Species Height (m) Growth
Rate
Time of Attraction 
to Flying Foxes. 
Weeping Fig (NEQ)
Ficus benjamina
15-20 Fastest of the
native Ficus
July - December
Creek Sandpaper Fig*
Ficus coronata
3-10 Fast January - September
Sandpaper Fig*
Ficus fraseri
6 Fast May - February
Moreton Bay Fig
Ficus macrophylla

12-20

Fast

February - May
Ficus microcarpa var hillii 15 Fast Spring
Small Leaf Fig*
Ficus obliqua
15-20 Moderate March - July
Cluster Fig (NEQ)
Ficus racemosa 
15 Moderate October - March
Port Jackson Fig*
Ficus rubiginosa
15-20 Moderate February - July
Cedar Fig
Ficus superba var henneana
15 January - August
White Fig
Ficus virens
15 Moderate June - October
Nipple Fig*
Ficus watkinsiana
15-25 Fast

July - September

* Recommended Ficus species for flying fox forage. Source: Trees For The North Coast. Lines-Kelly, Rebecca & Currey, Anne (Eds). 1992. NSW Department of Agriculture. 

Abbreviation: NEQ - Native to north east Queensland only.

Rainforest Species Height (m) Growth
Rate
Time of Attraction to 
Flying Foxes. 
Lillypilly
Acmena smithii
6-8 Moderate March - July
Ash species
Alphitonia species
8 Fast September - November
Bangalow Palm
Archontopheonix cunninghamii
15 Fast in 
wet soils
December - May
Black Bean Tree
Castanospernum australe
15-20 Medium-Fast 
once established
October - November
Native Tamarind
Diploglottis australis
10 Moderate October - November
Koda
Ehretia acuminata
8 Moderate January - April
Hard Quandong
Elaeocarpus obovatus
12 Fast January - April
White Mahogany
Eucalyptus acmenoides 
20-30 Moderate November -December
Red Bloodwood
Eucalyptus
Sliky Oak
Grevillea robusta
20-30 Fast September - October
Walking Stick Palm
Linospadix monstachyus
2 Slow February - April
Cabbage Tree Palm
Livistona australis
20 Moderate once established March - June
Turpentine
Syncarpia glomulifera
20-25 Moderate September - October
Brush Cherry
Syzygium australe
8-10 Moderate December - April
Water Gum
Tristaniopsis laurina 
12 Moderate December - January
Eucalyptus Group Species Height
(m)
Flowering
Frequency
Flowering Season
E acmenoides
1 in 3 years Nov - Dec
E grandis
Flooded Gum
                       
40 1 in 2 years Mar - April
E robusta
Swamp Mahogany
                        
30 1 in 2 years April - July
E paniculata
30 1 in 2 years Sep - Dec
E saligna
Sydney Blue Gum
                          
35 1 in 3 years Feb - Mar
E tereticornis
Forest Red Gum
 
30 1 in 3 years Aug - Oct
E umbra 30 1 in 2 years Nov - Dec
Lophostemon conferta
Brush Box
30 1 in 2 years Nov - Jan
Syncarpia glomulifera
Turpentine
30 1 in 2 years Sep - Oct
Tristania laurina 20 1 in 2 years Dec - Jan

Copyright 2004. David McMinn. All rights reserved.