Discover The Exotic Flora Of Kakadu National Park

Discover The Exotic Flora Of Kakadu National Park

Written by: Cameron Ward

Published: 07/01/2024

Reading time: 3 mins

Kakadu is renowned for its diverse array of plant specials spread throughout the national park.

Home to over 2000 different plant species, Kakadu National Park is a stunning natural region. Many of these plants in Kakadu have been used for food, craft materials, and medicine by the Bininj and Mungguy people over many years. The range of wildlife in Kakadu relies on some of these plants too.

Red bush apple

The red bush apple is a bright red, ribbed fruit with dark green leaves and white flowers. The fruit grows on trees that begin flowering between July and November, with fruit typically produced from October to February.

The fruit can be eaten raw, and its juice, when cooked, is used medicinally to alleviate chest congestion, sore throats, and coughs.


Found in Kakadu’s lowlands in late summer, the four metre high speargrass thrives and serves as a food source for smaller birds. During bangkerreng time, the speargrass gets flattened by the final storms before the dry season.

Kakadu plum

Throughout Kakadu’s tropical woodlands, you’ll encounter Kakadu plum trees! The egg shaped fruit is the Territory’s own, boasting significantly more vitamin C than a standard orange!

Turkey bush

In Kakadu’s woodlands, you’ll notice bright pink coloured shrubs from May to August called turkey bushes. This plant has been useful for traditional owners, who crush its flowers and leaves to create insect repellent or mix it in hot water to provide pain relief for sore muscles.

Darwin woollybutt

Found across the Northern Territory and in Kakadu’s lowland woodlands, the Darwin woollybutt is a bright orange eucalyptus miniata. It helps the Bininj and Mungguy people know when to start patch burning fires during the dry season.

The tree’s timber is prized for building materials, firewood, and didgeridoos! Additionally, its seeds are used medicinally to treat diarrhea when brewed into an infusion.


Gorgeous waterlilies grace Kakadu’s freshwater billabongs. These large green leaves sit atop the water, adorned with beautiful pink and yellow flowers most of the year.

The waterlilies root rubbers and seeds can be eaten raw or cooked into flour, often used to make delicious bush bread!

Red flowered kurrajong

You’ll find these red flowered kurrajong in the lowland areas throughout the dry season, typically from June and October. The bright red, bell shaped flowers have fruit with edible seeds, though they are covered in sharp hairs, so be careful when handling them.

The best way to find the exotic flora of Kakadu, it’s best to take part in different walking trails through Kakadu. Popular walks include Kungardun walk, Jim Jim Falls walk, and Maguk walk.


Cameron Ward
Cameron Ward
Managing Director at Sightseeing Tours Australia

Cameron Ward turned his travel passion into a thriving Australian tourism business. Before he co-founded his own business, Sightseeing Tours Australia, he was enjoying being a Melbourne tour guide. Even now, Cameron delights in helping visitors from all around the world get the most out of their incredible Australian trip. You’ll see Cameron leading tours or writing about his favourite Australian places where he shares his local insights.