Plant selection key
Share | Print

Plant selection key

Your plant FIREWISE rating




1. How to use it

The Plant Selection Key helps you choose plants for a garden in a high bushfire risk area.

Answer questions to get:

  • an overall flammability rating
  • a firewise rating
  • maintenance advice
  • advice about whether the plant is appropriate for a garden in a high bushfire risk area.

2. Before you start

Make a list of plants you want to plant in your garden. Consider:

  • Local growing conditions
  • Council planning controls
  • What the plant will look like at maturity
  • Diseases, insects or pests common to the plant. This information can be found on plant websites, books or your local nursery
  • Characteristics that increase flammability in Section 5 of Landscaping for Bushfire - large file (PDF 1188k)

3. Work through the key

Answer questions about each plant to see if it's Firewise, Moderately Firewise, At-Risk Firewise or Not Firewise.

The more symbols
The more flammable a plant is.


Low Flammability. Best plants for your garden.


Moderate flammability. Regular maintenance needed.


High flammability. Avoid use.


Extreme Flammability. Don't Plant.

Begin Plant Selection Key >>


  • There are no "fireproof" plants and all plants will burn in extreme fire-weather conditions
  • The moisture content of leaves is a major factor to how easily a plant is going to burn
  • The location and arrangment of plants has a significant effect on reducing bushfire risk within your garden
  • During summer as soil dries out, the moisture content of plants will decrease and thier flammability will increase.


This Plant Selection Key is based on Behm AL, Long AJ, Monroe MC, Randall CK, Zipperer WC, Hermansen_Baez LA (2004) Fire in the Wildland-Urban Interface: Preparing a Firewise Plant List for WUI Residents. Circular 1453, School of Forest Resources and Conservation, Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida.

Address: USDA Forest Service, InterfaceSouth, Centers for Urban and InterfaceForestry, Bldg 164, Mowry Rd, PO Box 110806, Gainesville, FL 32611-0806. Ph: (352) 376-3271, Fax: (352) 376-4536, email:


The Plant Selection Key has been customised to better suit Australian conditions and is intended to provide an indication of plant flammability. The flammability of plants is highly variable and in periods of drought or in the path of an oncoming bushfire, plants will dry out and become highly flammable. If there is uncertainty about the results this key produces, seek professional advice from a plant specialist.

Back to top