Gardening Advice

5 Australian Plants That Belong in a Sci-Fi Movie

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Welcome to the fascinating world of unusual plants of Australia, where nature’s creativity knows no bounds. Nestled in this vast continent are some of the most extraordinary and unique plant species found nowhere else on Earth. From carnivorous plants that devour insects for sustenance to others that bloom only once a decade, these botanical wonders will leave you awestruck. With its diverse landscapes, harsh climate, and ancient isolation, Australia has become a hotbed for evolutionary experimentation. So join us as we embark on a journey through this botanical wonderland, uncovering the secrets and marvels of these captivating plants that have adapted to thrive in one of the most inhospitable environments on our planet.

Unusual Plants of Australia

We will never be tired of taking pride in our country, Australia, wildlife’s ridiculous lethality and weirdness. Our flora is often overlooked, however. So we decided to do some research on endemic plants. All from the comfort of our keyboards, of course. The thought of going outside in the sun sends us into a full-on agoraphobic panic. Gary saw me typing “sun” and is currently being taken to the med station. Seeing these alien-looking plants just reinforced the case in our heads. Nature is creepy and should be approached with caution and/or a flamethrower. If at all.

The Fantastic gardeners, however, are fair dinkum brave hearts with degrees in Xeno-botany.

Red Kangaroo Paw

Red Kangaroo Paw is quite a common plant, often even grown as a houseplant. It has one of the weirdest flowers, though. They are somewhat fuzzy, and the name suits their looks perfectly. They’re as much at home on this scorching, inhospitable world as they would be on an alien planet.

Sturt’s Desert Pea

AlecTrusler2015 /

These arid region wildflowers would be right at home on some desert planet. They are pretty looking, but there’s also something unnerving about the aggressive colouration. Like it would grow in freshly diseased animals. Either that, or it’s used by the local nomadic tribes to make a drug that causes your eyeballs to fall out and replaces them with lasers.


demamiel62 /

At first glance, Burrawang looks like a short palm. It’s in fact in the cycad family of plants, which are one of the most ancient plant types on the planet. They typically grow very slowly and age even slower, some species reaching as much as a thousand years of age. What got Burrawang a place on this list is its seed cones. Not only do they look like alien brood hatching, but one of the requirements for the plant to start producing seed pods is fire. Yep. That’s right. Australia is so hardcore, some of our plants need the opposite of water to develop.

Banksia Speciosa

Iv-olga /

This is the so-called showy banksia, a tree with leaves like band-saw blades. It somehow makes us want to steer clear of it for fear of being grabbed and dragged to its centre for digestion over the course of a season.

Okay, so we are exaggerating for dramatic effect, but in our defence – No tree should have leaves like that! Let’s get back to the supposed Strayan-Plants-Need-Fire-To-Develop debate. Look at that vaguely sinister seed pod to the right. Guess what it needs to open. That’s right. Fire.

We rest our case.

Darwinia Meeboldii

Darkydoors /

Cranbrook bell is a beautiful shrub. Hey, not all sci-fi plants have to be menacing and intimidating. What is particularly curious about the plant is the serpentine way it branches, with small leaves covering the entirety of the stalks. Additionally, what you see in the photo are not its real blossoms. Each of these bells holds eight small flowers inside. How did nature do that?

Corybas Fimbriatus

ausnative /

Those immediately remind us of that one scarab scene from The Mummy. We will not link to it here because it’s gross. This plant is actually from the orchid family. There is nothing elegant about it. These tiny buggers look like they’d feast on your sweet brain if you make the mistake to take a nap in their vicinity.

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Where can you find them?

Welcome to the mesmerising world of unusual plants of australia, where nature’s creativity knows no bounds! Australia, known for its diverse flora and fauna, reveals a treasure trove of extraordinary plants that will leave you awe-inspired. Exploring the ecologically diverse landscapes of this magnificent continent, we unearth fascinating botanical wonders that thrive in Australia’s distinct habitats.


Nestled within the heart of Australia’s rugged Outback, we encounter the striking Sturt’s Desert Pea (Swainsona formosa), a true emblem of resilience. With its blood-red petals and jet-black centre, resembling an intricate piece of Indigenous artwork, this unique plant effortlessly survives in arid conditions. Its vibrant appearance beckons curious insects, who act as obedient pollinators, allowing this desert beauty to renew its life cycle in an otherwise harsh environment.


Travel further east to the lush rainforests of Queensland, prepare to be enchanted by the bizarre and carnivorous Pitcher Plant (Cephalotus follicularis). This captivating plant has evolved to lure unsuspecting insects into its ‘pitcher,’ a modified leaf filled with an enticing cocktail of digestive enzymes. As these hapless creatures plunge into the depths of the pitcher, they become a source of vital nutrients for the plant. Its sophisticated adaptations showcase the extraordinary strategies embraced by plants to thrive in nutrient-poor areas.


Venturing south to the island state of Tasmania, we encounter the ancient and peculiar King’s Holly (Lomatia tasmanica). Surviving since the time of the dinosaurs, this plant has witnessed the passage of millennia. Its gnarly and twisted branches exude an otherworldly charm, instantly transporting us back in time. The King’s Holly, locally revered as the “Dinosaur Tree,” stands as a symbol of resilience, having prevailed through countless climatic changes and natural disasters, a testament to the endurance of Australia’s unique flora.

Western Australia

Journeying west to the sun-kissed coastlines of Western Australia, we uncover the exquisitely delicate Livingstone Daisy (Dorotheanthus bellidiformis). This vivacious flower, with its vibrant hues of pink, purple, and orange, paints ‌rugged landscapes with its kaleidoscope of colours. Each morning, as the sun bathes the coastal dunes, this resilient beauty awakens, unfurling its petals to greet the day. It gleams like a vibrant tapestry woven by nature’s own hand, capturing the essence of Australia’s untamed beauty.

From the ochre deserts to the lush rainforests, Australia’s unusual plants beckon those with a penchant for the extraordinary. These captivating botanical marvels, honoured through generations, remind us of the intricate web of life that seamlessly intertwines with our own existence. Unlock the secrets of nature’s ingenuity, where beauty thrives against all odds, and join us on an unparalleled journey as we celebrate the astonishing, unusual plants of Australia.



Australia’s got some pretty wild plants that’d be right at home in a sci-fi movie! Waratahs, Kangaroo Paws, Sundews and Sturt’s Desert Pea all look like they’re from outer space. Plus, lots of them can survive in tough environments, giving filmmakers lots of ideas for creating realistic sci-fi worlds. So next time you’re watching a future flick, watch out for any Aussie plants – you never know what they might be hiding! Our planet’s got so much to offer, and who knows what kinds of imaginative stories it’s got in store? Let your mind wander and see where it takes you – you might just find something truly out of this world!

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6 months ago

The Grass Tree – surely!!

The Fantastic Team
The Fantastic Team
4 months ago
Reply to  Joshy

Yes! We should add it here too.

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