The Gymnosperm Database


Araucaria bidwillii

line drawing

Macrozamia diplomera


Macrozamia miquelii


Wollemia nobilis.


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Gymnosperms of Australia


At the continental scale, endemism in gymnosperms is the rule rather than the exception. Not surprisingly, this concept applies especially to the island continent of Australia. The only species on this list that are not endemic to Australia are Araucaria cunninghamii, with var. papuana native to New Guinea; and Prumnopitys amara, found in Australia, India, Malaysia, New Britain, and the Philippines.

Herbarium data, including map generation, are now available for almost all Australian native plants at the Australia Virtual Herbarium.

Australian conifer diversity is basically arrayed upon a mountainous stage that reaches from the Antarctic shoreline of Tasmania, northward along the Great Dividing Range to the utter tip of Cape York, a span of 33 degrees of latitude, from cool temperate into hot tropical. The moisture regime is hugely variable, ranging from semiarid regions occupied by drought-tolerant species of Callitris and Macrozamia to soggy mountaintops, receiving as much as 9 meters of rain per year, and home to species such as Agathis atropurpurea (in the north) or Lagarostrobos franklinii (in the south). To a conifer lover, Tasmania is the summit of Australian conifer diversity:

"Long as the Island of Tasmania has been colonized by Europeans, its noblest trees, and those too belonging to that most readily recognized and important Natural Order (the 'Pines'), have, until quite lately, been little understood by Botanists. Whilst the continent of Australia was known to possess numerous species of Callitris and Podocarpus, and New Zealand has been celebrated as yielding a remarkable proportion of Coniferae, Tasmania was generally supposed to produce much fewer of these most useful trees. Such, however, is not in reality the case; for the island in question is now proved to contain a greater number of species in proportion to its area, and these of more peculiar forms, than any other country" (Hooker 1845). Hooker, of course, was not aware of New Caledonia's conifer diversity, which was largely undescribed in 1845 (that little island has 17 times as many endemic conifer species per unit area, compared to Tasmania), but Tasmania remains one of the world's hotspots of conifer diversity and endemism.

Species List

Species Common name States
Actinostrobus acuminatus Moore cypress-pine WA
Actinostrobus arenarius Bruce cypress-pine WA
Actinostrobus pyramidalis King George's cypress-pine WA
Agathis atropurpurea Blue pine QLD
Agathis microstachya Atherton kauri QLD
Agathis robusta Queensland kauri QLD
Araucaria bidwillii Bunya pine QLD
Araucaria cunninghamii Hoop pine QLD, NSW (and New Guinea)
Araucaria heterophylla Norfolk Island pine Norfolk Island (external territory)
Athrotaxis cupressoides Pencil pine TAS
Athrotaxis × laxifolia Summit Athrotaxis TAS
Athrotaxis selaginoides King Billy pine TAS
Bowenia serrulata Byfield fern QLD
Bowenia spectabilis Bungkay QLD
Callitris baileyi Cypress pine NSW, QLD
Callitris canescens Scrubby cypress pine SA, WA
Callitris columellaris Coast cypress pine ACT, NSW, NT, QLD, SA, VIC, WA
Callitris drummondii Small cypress pine WA
Callitris endlicheri Black cypress pine NSW, QLD, VIC
Callitris macleayana Stringybark pine NSW, QLD
Callitris monticola Steelhead NSW, QLD
Callitris muelleri Cypress-pine NSW
Callitris oblonga Pigmy cypress-pine NSW, TAS
Callitris preissii Rottnest Island pine NSW, QLD, SA, VIC, WA
Callitris rhomboidea Port Jackson pine NSW, QLD, SA, TAS, VIC
Callitris roei Cypress-pine WA
Cycas angulata Ngathu NT, QLD
Cycas calcicola Walangkirrik WA
Cycas furfuracea [none] WA
Cycas media Mara QLD
Diselma archeri Cheshunt pine TAS
Lagarostrobos franklinii Huon pine TAS
Lepidozamia hopei Wunu QLD
Lepidozamia peroffskyana Burrawang QLD
Macrozamia denisoni [none] QLD
Macrozamia diplomera [none] NSW
Macrozamia fawcettii [none] NSW
Macrozamia lucida [none] QLD
Macrozamia miquelii Banga NSW, QLD
Macrozamia moorei [none] NSW, QLD
Macrozamia pauli-guilielmi [none] NSW, QLD
Macrozamia secunda [none] NSW
Microcachrys tetragona Strawberry pine TAS
Pherosphaera fitzgeraldi Dwarf mountain pine NSW
Pherosphaera hookeriana Drooping pine TAS
Phyllocladus asplenifolius Celery top pine TAS
Podocarpus dispermus Broad-leaved brown pine QLD
Podocarpus drouynianus Emu berry WA
Podocarpus elatus Illawarra plum NSW, QLD
Podocarpus grayae Brown pine QLD
Podocarpus lawrencei Alpine plum pine NSW, TAS, VIC
Podocarpus smithii [none] QLD
Podocarpus spinulosus [none] NSW, QLD
Prumnopitys amara Black pine QLD (and much of Oceania)
Prumnopitys ladei Mt. Spurgeon black pine QLD
Wollemia nobilis Wollemi pine NSW


Hooker, Joseph D. 1845. On the Huon Pine, and on Microcachrys, a New Genus of Conifers from Tasmania; together with Remarks upon the Geographical Distribution of that Order in the Southern Hemisphere. London Journal of Botany 4:137-157. Available at the Biodiversity Heritage Library (accessed 2015.02.04).

Last Modified 2017-12-29