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Plants That Live in the Simpson Desert

The Simpson Desert is in Queensland, Australia, one of the largest conservation areas in the country. The desert is home to a variety of flora and fauna, which attracts visitors from around the world to its sand dunes, plains and ironstone flats. The desert is known for its harsh conditions, though many forms of wildlife and vegetation seem to flourish in the hot, dry environment, among them a variety of plants.


Canegrass is plentiful in the Simpson desert. Known in the plant kingdom as Zygochloa paradoxa and Triodia basedowii, this hardy grass covers the tips of sand dunes throughout the desert. The grass provides shade and shelter and food for many desert animals. The grass has an extensive root system that offers binding capabilities, which holds many of the desert's sand dunes together.


The acacia, also known as Acacia aneura, is a shrub that is often found growing on the slopes of the sand dunes. It has waxy, short and rounded leaves. The shrub is dense and compact, more than capable of withstanding the harsh conditions found in the Simpson desert. Several varieties of the acacia, including the Acacia victoriae have pale yellow blooms.

Parrot Bush

The Parrot bush, also called Crotalaria cunninghamii, is another desert plant that prefers to grow along the eastern facing slopes of sand dunes in the Simpson desert, offering narrow yellowish-green flowers during its blooming season. The stems of the plants have long been used by aboriginal natives in the construction of their footwear.

Spinifex Grass

Spinifex grass is commonly found growing on sand dunes not only in the Simpson desert but on other sand dunes found throughout the coastlines of Australia and New Zealand. The species found in southeast Queensland is a hardy plant that serves as a stabilizer for the sand dunes, much like its cousin, the canegrass species.

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