Kunzea ambigua – Tick Bush

An attractive medium sized shrub, it has fine leaves and abundant flowering in spring. Each flower is relatively small, consisting of bundles of stamens, giving a delicate look. They are white to cream, borne in profusion, and are attractive to bees and small nectar loving birds and marsupials. It occurs in the wild from northern NSW down to Tasmania, near the coast. It grows from 1 to 5 metres tall, and 1 to 3 metres wide, and is good for screening, informal hedging and for low maintenance areas. It responds well to pruning, which can be done after flowering and in autumn. It is rarely troubled by pests or disease, apart from webbing caterpillars, which can be controlled by picking them off and binning.

Scientific Name:Kunzea ambigua
Common Name:Tick Bush
Other Common Names:Poverty Bush
Plant Type:Small shrub, Large shrub
Height:1 ~ 5 metre
Width:1 ~ 3 metre
Flower Colour:White, Cream
Flowering Time:Spring
Ph Level:Acid, Neutral
Soil Type:Sandy, Loamy, Sandy loam, Clay loam, Poor soil
Plant Environment:Low maintenance garden, Flower garden, Coastal garden, Drought resistant
Climate Zone:Warm temperate, Cool temperate, Mediterranean, Cool
Light:Sunny, Light shade, Half shade
Growth Habit:Evergreen, Spreading
Soil Moisture:Dry, Well-drained, Moist moderate drainage
Propagation Method:Seed, Softwood cutting, Semihardwood cutting
Frost Tolerance:Tolerates heavy frost, Tolerates light frost
Plant Usage:Screen, Windbreak, Fragrant
Special Uses:Fragrant oils, Bonsai, Erosion control, Honey producing plant, Bird nesting plant, Fast growing, Playground friendly
Attracts Wildlife:Bees, Nectar eating birds, Butterflies, Other insects


Once you have found the plant that you want, the next step is to find where to get it. Nurseries stock a good range of plants, but due to space and supplies, they may or may not have the wanted plant in stock. If they don’t, they may be able to order it in for you.  Specialist nurseries are also able to give great advice, and if they don’t have the plant you want, they can often suggest alternative plants that will be just as good for you. Below is a list of our favourite specialist nurseries. Click on the links for their details-


The Wildflower Place Erina – NSW 


Sydney Wildflower Nursery – NSW


Newcastle Wildflower Nursery – NSW


Cool Country Natives – ACT


Geelong Native Plants – Victoria


Wimmera Native Nursery – Victoria


Zanthorrea Nursery – Perth WA


Manuka Native Nursery – South Australia




Sydney Wildflower Nursery – mail order


The Native Shop – mail order




Angus recommends Bush Tucker fertiliser for native plants.