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Araucaria bidwillii

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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

Actinostrobus acuminatus Moore cypress-pine
Actinostrobus arenarius Bruce cypress-pine
Actinostrobus pyramidalis King George's cypress-pine
Agathis atropurpurea Blue pine
Agathis microstachya Atherton kauri
Agathis robusta Queensland kauri
Araucaria bidwillii Bunya pine
Araucaria cunninghamii Hoop pine
Araucaria heterophylla Norfolk Island pine
Athrotaxis cupressoides Pencil pine
Athrotaxis laxifolia Summit Athrotaxis
Athrotaxis selaginoides King Billy pine
Bowenia serrulata Byfield fern
Bowenia spectabilis [common name?]
Callitris baileyi cypress pine
Callitris canescens cypress pine
Callitris columellaris cypress pine
Callitris drummondii cypress pine
Callitris endlicheri Black cypress pine
Callitris macleayana Stringybark pine
Callitris monticola Steelhead
Callitris muelleri cypress-pine
Callitris oblonga Pigmy cypress-pine
Callitris preissii Rottnest Island pine
Callitris rhomboidea Port Jackson pine
Callitris roei cypress pine
Callitris sulcata cypress pine
Cycas angulata [common name?]
Cycas calcicola [common name?]
Cycas furfuracea [common name?]
Cycas media [common name?]
Diselma archeri [common name?]
Lagarostrobos franklinii Huon pine
Lepidozamia hopei Wunu
Lepidozamia peroffskyana [common name?]
Macrozamia secunda [common name?]
Macrozamia denisoni [common name?]
Macrozamia diplomera [common name?][G]
Macrozamia fawcettii [common name?]
Macrozamia lucida [common name?]
Macrozamia miquelii [common name?][G]
Macrozamia moorei [common name?]
Macrozamia pauli_guilielmi [common name?]
Microcachrys tetragona [common name?]
Pherosphaera fitzgeraldi Dwarf mountain pine
Pherosphaera hookeriana [common name?]
Phyllocladus asplenifolius Celery top pine
Podocarpus dispermus [common name?]
Podocarpus drouynianus [common name?]
Podocarpus elatus Brown pine
Podocarpus grayae [common name?]
Podocarpus lawrencei Alpine plum pine
Podocarpus smithii [common name?]
Podocarpus spinulosus [common name?]
Prumnopitys amara Black pine
Prumnopitys ladei [common name?]
Wollemia nobilis Wollemi pine


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 2016-02-21