How is the flora of Australia? Where do you live? Both on the Australian mainland and on the surrounding islands, there are many types of microclimates that allow the growth of a certain group of plants. Thus, one can see both humid tropical forests and very dry regions in which only very resistant species can survive.
For him, there is such a diversity of plant species that I’m sure you’ve had one in your home or garden, or that you even have right now. You do not believe me? Well, look what I’m about to tell you.
What is the Australian flora?
The flora of Australia, or Australian flora, are the plants that live both on this continent and on the islands that surround it. It is estimated that there are more or less 20,000 species of vascular plants and 14,000 non-vascular plants, not including fungi and lichens.
It is therefore a country where we find different types of vegetation, grouped into different types of natural landscapes: jungles, savannahs, steppes and deserts, open and eucalyptus forests, and maquis.
What are the characteristics of these different types of landscapes?
Just by their name we can already get an idea of what they look like, but let’s see what types of plants we find in each of them:
It is a type of forest that has a temperate climate. Depending on the region, it may take more or less, but if there is a plant that can be found, it is always eucalyptus, such as eucalyptus regnans. Other plants are ferns, acacias, Tasmanian cedar (Cupressoid athrotaxy) or boxwood brush (Lophostemon confertus).
When talking about the eucalyptus forest in Australia, it is inevitable to mention the blue mountainsdeclared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2000.
In this place, live about 90 different types of eucalyptusthat share a habitat with plants considered living fossils, such as Wollemia or Acrophyllum.
deserts and steppes
Australia is, in general, a very dry continent. Arid and semi-arid regions occupy much of the western and southern parts. The largest is the Great Victoria Desert, which occupies an area of 650,000 square kilometers.
For a plant to grow, there must be water, and in deserts this almost never happens. But in the steppes yes, since about 500 mm of precipitation can fall per year. For him, It is here that shrubs and low grasses will grow, which are very resistant to drought.
The maquis is an ecosystem where a Mediterranean climate predominates, with very hot and dry summers and fairly mild winters. The plants that live there are mostly evergreen, low-growing trees and shrubs.
The savannah is a biome in which there are two types of seasons: a very dry one, and another in which it rains a little more. Therefore, very few plants can survive hereexcept for a few acacias, eucalyptus, low shrubs and grasses.
They are humid tropical forests, watered by the summer monsoon rains. here About 12,000 mm of precipitation can fall annually.which added to the fact that the temperatures are very mild (hot) allow a wide variety of plants to develop.
Palms like Kentia or Archontophoenix, ferns, trees like Giant Agathis microstachya up to 50 meters high, and of course conifers like the Araucaria bidwillii.
Types of Australian plants
And finally, let’s see some typical Australian plants:
Kentia (Howea forsteriana)
The kentia palm is endemic to Lord Howe Island, which belongs to New South Wales (Australia). It reaches a maximum height of 15 meters, and develops a trunk about 15 centimeters thick.. The leaves are pinnate, about 3 meters long and dark green.
It is widely grown as a houseplant, as it adapts very well to life inside buildings and houses. However, it is worth adding that it resists cold, even light frosts, and can be grown outdoors in regions with a mild Mediterranean climate.
giant rubber tree (eucalyptus regnans)
The giant eraser It is considered one of the tallest trees in the world, reaching up to 110 meters in height.. Its trunk grows straight and branches several meters above the ground. Its growth rate is very fast as long as it has moisture and the weather is temperate or warm.
It is endemic to both mainland Australia, where I live in the southeast, and neighboring Tasmania.
The Grevillea flexuosa It is an evergreen shrub endemic to Western Australia. Grows up to 2 meters talland produces white inflorescences which grow at the end of certain branches.
Known as the Emu bush or cushion hakea, it is a bush native mostly to southwestern Australia, but is also found in the southeast, and isolated further north on the mainland and in Tasmania .
Reaches a height between 3 and 6 metersand develops lanceolate green leaves, and flowers grouped in pink inflorescences which certainly resemble a pincushion or even a sea urchin.
The Pteris tremula it is one of the ferns that grows in Australia, as well as in Tasmania and some other neighboring islands, such as Lord Howe or Norfolk. The leaves are green and very long, up to 2 meters long.
In Australia and the neighboring islands, there is a great diversity of plants. I hope you liked the article.