AUSTRALASIAN Heathland 
plants

The beautiful and incredibly diverse plants of the Australian Kwongan and other heathlands...

Order Laurales

Family Lauraceae

Cassytha spp. 'Dodder Laurel'

In a different family from the true dodders, but look almost exactly the same if no flowers or fruits to be seen. Most species are found in Australia, but a few species have been widespread across tropics of the world. 

(Leeuwin, Western Australia)

Cassytha sp. 'Dodder Laurel' have leafless twining stems that...

(Leeuwin, Western Australia)

...cover over plants like a blanket. Some species do very well in exposed coastal situations.

Order Proteales

Family Proteaceae

Like other Proteaceae, the structure and colours of a Grevillea flowers are dominated by the female parts.

Banksia ericifolia (Kings Park, Australia). Found in cliff and/or coastal heathlands in eastern NSW.  

Scarlet Banksia (image by Damon Ramsey)

Banksia coccinea, 'Scarlet Banksia' (Cheynes Beach). Bright red flowers. Reported to flower in spring, although this one was in winter. Attracts honeyeaters for pollination. Found along southern coast of south-west Australia, inland to Stirling Range. One of the more popular Banksias in the cut flower industry.

Order Myrtales

Family Myrtaceae

Eucalyptus spp.

Not quite the biggest genus of plants in Australia (that record belongs to Acacia), but arguably the most important.  There are some beautiful Eucalypts in the south-west region of Australia, and they are of course the dominant tree that makes up the ecosystem and name of 'Mallee'. 

Eucalyptus macrocarpa, 'Mottlecah', (Kings Park, Australia). Mallee form. Silver leaves, round, arranged tightly opposite along branches. The largest flower of any Eucalyptus, bright red in colour. Large following 'gumnut'. Endemic to the northern heathlands of south-western Australia.

Beaufortia spp.

Some species are called 'Bottlebrush' and they are related and look similar to the genus Callistemon. There are some 22 species in this genus. They are all endemic to the south west of Australia.

Beaufortia (Kings Park, Australia).

Verticordia spp. 'Featherflowers'

Most of the 100 species are found in the sandy soils of the heathlands of south-west Australia. 

Verticordia ethteliana, (Kings Park, Australia).

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Thinking of travelling again after everything settles down? The first expedition I am booked to work on after the virus is New Guinea & Indonesia in 2021 with Silversea.