Botanic Gardens Trust, Sydney, Australia

Science




Plant families on the Newnes Plateau

Ferns

There are nearly 50 species of ferns representing 20 families, mostly restricted to wet places in swamps or gullies.

 

Gleichenia dicarpa plant

Cupressaceae

The Cupressaceae is the only conifer family on the Newnes plateau, and Callitris species are common around some of the Pagoda rock formations on the drier western side.The Wollemi pine Wollemia nobilis in the Araucariaceae is found in adjacent Wollemi National Park.

  Callitris rhomboidea fruit

Apiaceae

The apiaceae or carrot family includes the flannel flower, Actinotus helianthi and the rarer Actinotus forsythii which is only seen shortly after fire.

  Platysace linearifolia flower

Asteraceae

The Asteraceae or daisy family has 34 species on the Plateau, which is quite high for a sandstone landscape. It includes a number of species restricted to high elevation sites that are widely disjunct from each other e.g. Olearia quercifolia, Celmisia longifolia.

  Celmisia longifolia flower

Dilleniaceae

There are 7 species represented in this family all in the Hibbertia genus. 

   Hibbertia obtusifolia flower

Ericaceae

The Ericaceae or heath family (previously know as Epacridaceae) is represented by 17 species most of which are confined to permanently wet or moist sites including shrub swamp (Epacris paludosa) and moist clifflines (Dracophyllum secundum).

  Epacris microphylla flowers

Fabaceae - Acacia

Acacia species or Wattles belong to the Minosoideae subfamily of the legume family Fabaceae. Some of the Newnes Plateau species are very restricted (Acacia asparagoides) while others are very widespread on the Plateau (Acacia dorothea) and beyond (Acacia obtusifolia). There are 22 species recorded on the Newnes Plateau.

  Acacia meiantha flower

Fabaceae - others

The Fabaceae family includes a range of bacon and egg peas in the genera Pultenaea, Dillwynia and Almaleea. Many of the peas have restricted habitat requirements (e.g. Dillwynia stipulifera in swamps, Sphaerolobium minus in soaks), and short regular flowering periods in spring. Phyllota squarrosa flowers in autumn. over 40 species of peas occur here.

  Gompholobium sp

Goodeniaceae

This family is represented by 9 species all with colourful, asymetric flowers. The most commonly seen species are the goodenias, a group of yellow flowered, herbaceous plants.

   Coopernookia barbata flower

Haloragaceae

The Haloragaceae family contains 7 species in the Newnes Plateau. The most common speceis is Gonocarpus micranthus found in the swamps.

   Gonocarpus micranthus plant

Myrtaceae - Eucalyptus

There are 23 Eucalyptus species on the Plateau many of which are closely related and have hybridised in the disturbed open sites resulting from logging and other disturbance. Some species are very widespread (e.g. Eucalyptus sieberi, Eucalyptus oreades and Eucalyptus piperita) while others are very restricted  (Eucalyptus gregsoniana, Eucalyptus moorei and Eucalyptus  laophila).

  Eucalyptus gregsoniana flowers

Myrtaceae - others

Apart from Eucalyptus there are other species of Myrtaceae on the plateau. Most are shrubs and include 14 species of Leptospermum or tea trees.

  Kunzea parvifolia flowers

Plantaginaceae

There are seven species represented in this family including the listed Veronica blakelyi.

   Veronica blakelyi

Proteaceae

The Plateau is rich in Proteaceae species including 10 species of Persoonia and Banksia penicillata which is restricted to the upper Blue Mountains. Isopogon prostratus occurs in a few disjunct locations on the South Coast.

  Telopea speciocissima flower

Rhamnaceae

 There are 5 species of Pomaderris on the Newnes Plateau.

   Pomaderris andromedifolia flower

Rubiaceae

Several genera are found on the Plateau including Asperula, Galium, Nertera, Opercularia and Pomax.

   Nertera granadensis flower

Rutaceae

The Rutaceae family includes the threatened Boronia deanei which is restricted to shrub swamps as well as 13 other species.

  Boronia deanei

Santalaceae

The Santalaceae are a family of semi parasitic shrubs. There are 5 species in this family on the Newnes Plateau and some produce edible fruits.

  Choretrum pauciflorum flowers

Violaceae

This family contains Viola and Hybanthus genera both low growing herbaceous with beautiful purple flowers

   Viola betonicifolia flower

Other Dicot families

Many other plant families are found on the Newnes Plateau and they are illustrated here. These families include Araliaceae, Bignoniaceae, Campanulaceae, Caryophyllaceae, Casuarinaceae, Clusiaceae, Cunoniaceae, Droseraceae, Elaeocarpaceae, Euphorbiaceae, Geraniaceae, Lamiaceae, Lauraceae, Lentibulariaceae, Lobeliaceae, Loganiaceae, Loranthaceae, Lythraceae, Monimiaceae, Moraceae, Myrsinaceae, Olacaceae, Oleaceae, Onagraceae, Oxalidaceae, Phyllanthaceae, Picrodendraceae, Pittosporaceae,  Polygalaceae, Quintiniaceae, Ranunculaceae, Rosaceae, Sapindaceae, Scrophulariaceae, Solanaceae, Stackhousiaceae, Sterculiaceae, Stylidiaceae, Thymelaeaceae,  Urticaceae and Winteraceae.

  Allocasuarina nana fruit 

Anthericaceae

This family includes the fringe lilies (Thysanotus species) and other small but beautiful monocots.

   Thysanotus tuberosus flower

Cyperaceae

The Cyperaceae or sedge family includes over 40 species with species generally restricted to particular habitats including swamp, woodland and heath.

  Gahnia subaequiglumis plant

Iridaceae

The only native Iridaceae species on the Plateau are Patersonia which are conspicuous when they are flowering in November. All four NSW species are found on the Plateau.

  Patersonia longifolia

Juncaceae

This family contains only two genera in Australia and both of these are found on the Plateau. There are at least 11 species of Juncus  and 4 speceis of Luzula but they are difficult to identify.

  Juncus sp

Lomandraceae

Eight speceis of Lomandra have been recorded on the Newnes Plateau.

   Lomandra filiformis plant

Orchidaceae

There are over 40 species of Orchid on the plateau, all terrestrial.

  Caladenia dimorpha

Phormiaceae

The repesentatives in this family found on the Plateau all have blue flowers. There are 5 Dianella and 1 Theilionema species to be seen.

   Thelionema caespitosa flower

Poaceae

There are  grass species on the plateau including the threatened species Notochloe microdon which is confined to shrubswamps

  Poa sp

Restionaceae

This is a group of sedges generally found in damp habitats. One of the most common being Empodisma minus that occurs in most of the swamps on the Plateau.

   Empodisma minus plant

Other monocot families

The remaining graminoid species in less represented families can be found here. They include Colchicaceae, Haemodoraceae, Hypoxidaceae, Luzuriagaceae, Xanthorrhoeaceae and Xyridaceae.

  Xyris gracilis flower