A common species of the Cumberland Plain Woodland, sweet bursaria is a valuable forest understorey shrub which grows throughout the Sydney region. An important component of the woodland habitat, it attracts many insects such as butterflies, moths, bees and beetles which in turn attract insectivorous birds. It is a useful honey-producing plant and a rich source of nectar for animals. Small birds such as the blue wren nest among the prickly branches, which protect them from predators.
Another of this plant’s qualities is the oil, aesculin, contained in the leaves, which is known to absorb ultraviolet light. The leaves were used by early settlers to prevent sunburn.