plants
AUSTRALASIAN Temperate Forest

The diverse plants and beautiful flowers of the Australian temperate forests...

Fungi

(Mt Franklin National Park, Western Australia)

Astroboletus occidentalis, 'Ridge-stemmed Bolete''. Often found growing with 'Jarrah' Eucalyptus marginata in south-west Australia.

(Mt Franklin National Park, Western Australia)

Boletellus obscurecoccineus, 'Rhubarb Bolete'. One of the more colourful mushrooms of temperate areas. In some areas, the bright red colour may transform into blue when bruised. Widely found on the forest floor in Australia, through New Guinea, and into Asia north to Japan.

Order Pinales

Family Cupressaceae

The Cypress family includes over 130 species of conifers, with many monotypic genera.

(Lashmar, Kangaroo Island)

Callitris columellaris, 'White Cypress Pine', 'Murray River Cypress Pine'. Widespread in open habitats across Australia, (if the species includes Callitris intratropica). Round cones with dark lines separating segments. 

Order Laurales
Order Piperales

Order Arecales

Family Dasypogonaceae

Kingia spp.

There is only species in this genus. They strongly resemble 'Grass Trees' Xanthorrhoea and often grow in the same habitat, however, they are not closely related. Instead of flowers on a single long stalk, they are produced on many shorter 'drumsticks', thus the common name.

Kingia australis. Endemic to south-west Australia.

Order Asparagales

Family Orchidaceae

Order Commelinales

Family Haemodoraceae

(Kings Park, Western Australia)

Anigozanthos flavidus, 'Yellow Kangaroo Paw'. Endemic to forests of south-west Australia. 

Order Poales

Family Poaceae

The fifth largest plant family in the world with over 12,000 species. For humans, the most important in terms of providing food staples directly (rice, wheat) and indirectly (feeding cattle).

(near Lashmar Conservation area, Kangaroo Island)

Lagurus ovatus, 'Bunny/Hare's Tail Grass'. The only member of it's genus. Named 'bunny' due to the fluffy looking mature flower heads. Found in temperate grasslands and woodlands, especially on sand near the coast. Native to northern Africa and southern Europe, but now a weed pest in many temperate parts of the world, including the southern states of Australia.

Order Proteales

Family Proteaceae

(image by Damon Ramsey)Avon Valley, Western Australia

Adenanthos barbiger, 'Hairy Jug Flower' Usually found in understory of jarrah forests only in south-west Australia. 

Banksia spp.

Damon Ramsey with large fruiting cone of Banksia grandisThe author Damon Ramsey with a large fruiting cone of Banksia grandis (Avon, W.A.)

The biggest banksia cone (Banksia grandis) is as tall as a human head!

(Avon Valley, Western Australia)
(Avon Valley, Western Australia)

Banksia grandis, 'Bull Banksia'. It often grows as just a shrub, but sometimes becomes a large tree. It produces a huge banksia cone. They can be found in heath and woodland, only in south-west Australia. 

(Yanchep, Western Australia)_

Banksia menziesii, 'Firewood Banksia'. Grows as a tree or shrub. Flowering occurs in winter and the inflorescence is striking and varied; they often appear fluffy and yellow on the bottom half and with fine red stripes in the trop. Endemic to the scrub and woodlands of south-western Australia.

(garden specimen, Kings Park)

Banksia pilostylis. Grows as a shrub with long thin serrated leaves. Flowers are yellow. Endemic to the scrub and woodlands of the southern coast of south-western Australia.

(Dryandra, Western Australia)

Banksia sphaerocarpa, 'Round-fruit banksia', 'Fox Banksia'. There are several varieties. Round yellow inflorescence, followed by an untidy round ball of fruits. It is commonly and widely found in various habitats with sandy soil across it's range in the south-west of Australia, where it is endemic.

Banksia spp. previously Dryandra spp.

These species previously in the genus Dryandra were included in the genus Banksia from 2007. 

(Dryandra, Western Australia)

Banksia (Dryanadra) sessilis. 'Parrot Bush'. A common and widespread plant in various habitats within it's south-western Australian range.

Hakea spp.

Pincushion Hakea (image by Damon Ramsey)(Perth, WA)

Hakea laurina, 'Pincushion Hakea'. Endemic to south west of Australia.

Order Dilleniales

Family Dilleniaceae

Many species in this family have yellow flowers. In temperate Australia, most species are vines or shrubs.

Dillenia spp.

A genus of some 175 species. It includes trees, but is mostly shrubs and climbers. They usually have bright yellow flowers, with five petals. They are mostly found in Australia, with another two dozen species in New Caledonia, a couple in New Guinea and Fiji, and one endemic species in Madagascar.  

Dillenia flower (image by Damon Ramsey)(Yanchep, Western Australia)

Order Fabales

Family Fabaceae

(Cape to Cape, W.A.)

Bossiaea linophylla. Shrub. Endemic to south-west Australia.

Acacia spp.

Acacia willdenowiana, 'Grass Wattle'. Yellow or snow white flowers. Long leaves with obvious central vein. Endemic to south-western Western Australia.

Order Fagales

Family Casuarinaceae

Allocasuarina fruit. The Allocasuarina genus is closely related to Casuarina. The species are endemic to Australia.

Order Rosales
Order Malpighiales
Order Brassicales
Order Malvales

Order Mrytales

Family Myrtaceae

Agonis spp.

A small group of trees and shrubs endemic to south-west Australia.

(Leeuwin, Western Australia)

Agonic flexuosa, '(Western Australian) Peppermint' trees are short trees with have fibrous bark. They are mostly found near the coast and are endemic to south-west Australia. They are grown as an ornamental plant in other parts of temperate Australia and in places such as California.

(Cashmar, Kangaroo Island)

Agonic flexuosa, '(Western Australian) Peppermint', have a large amount of small flowers in rows along the stems. The flower petals are white, slim and slightly spoon-shaped. 

(Leeuwin, Western Australia)

Agonic flexuosa, '(Western Australian) Peppermint', have slim leaves giving them a 'weeping willow' appearance. The fruits are circular and woody.

Angophora spp.


Angophora hispida, 'Dwarf Apple'. Flakey bark. usually grows as a mallee. Distinctive stiff red hairs along stems. Sessile (no stem) leaves. Endemic to heath and open woodland in Sydney sandstone region.

Various genera: 'Eucalypts', 'Gum Trees'

Corymbia spp. 'Bloodwoods'

(John Forrest National Park, Western Australia)

Corymbia calophylla, 'Marri'. This often tall tree has tessellated bark, which bleeds red sap when cut. An important tree that dominates the temperate forests that it lives in, and thus defines that vegetation type. Often grows with Eucalyptus marginata 'Jarrah'. Endemic to south-west Australia.

(John Forrest National Park, Western Australia)

Corymbia calophylla, 'Marri' leaves.

"Names are for tombstones, baby. Take this honky out and waste him!" Some 'Honky nuts'. (John Forrest National Park, Western Australia)

Corymbia calophylla, 'Marri' gum nuts are large for a bloodwood. They are known as 'Honky Nuts' and were thought to be the main inspiration for 'Snugglepot and Cuddlepie'.

(Mt.Frankland, Western Australia)

Corymbia calophylla, 'Marri' copious red sap from tree trunk when damaged.

Eucalyptus spp.

Eucalyptus - subgenus Eucalyptus

(Lane Poole, Western Australia)

Eucalyptus marginata, 'Jarrah'. An important tree that dominates the temperate forests that it lives in, and thus defines that vegetation type. Often grows next to Corymbia calophyllum 'Marri'. Endemic to south-west Australia.

(Leeuwin, Western Australia)

Eucalyptus marginata, 'Jarrah'. The trunk has fibrous thick stringy bark.

Eucalyptus - subgenus Symphyomyrtus

Karri forest (image by Damon Ramsey)(Karri, Western Australia)

Eucalyptus diversicolor 'Karri'. Not to be confused with the similar sounding but unrelated 'Kauri Pines' of wet tropical Australsia. One of the tallest trees in the world. Trunk is tall and straight, pale, with peeling bark. Dominates certain areas to become it's own beautiful forest type. Endemic to south-west of Australia.

(Leeuwin, Western Australia)

'Karri' leaves and fruits.

The bizarre spiky gum nuts of Eucalyptus lehmannii, 'Bushy Yate' (image by Damon Ramsey)(Cheyne, Western Australia)

Eucalyptus lehmannii, 'Bushy Yate'. A group of several closely related species that have distinctive 'spiky ball' gum nut fruits. Relatively short tree, often mallee form. The flowers are initially held in a very long pointed cap (operculum) before it drops off and reveals a spray of yellow stamens. This is followed by a bizarre collection of 'gum nuts'; the fruits are ball shaped with persistent 'exserted valves' that appear like spikes. These fruits give it another common name of 'spider gum'. 

Eucalyptus sideroxylon, 'Red Ironbark'. Flowers can be white or beautiful pink or red. Found in patches in inland woodland in south-eastern Australia. Planted elsewhere for it's striking pink flowers.

Melaleuca spp.

(Lashmar Conservation area, Kangaroo Island)
(Lashmar Conservation area, Kangaroo Island)

Melaleuca halmaturorum, 'South Australia Swamp Paperbark', 'Salt Paperbark'. Often lives around saline water near coast. Small tree that often gropws stunted and twisted. Flakey bark. Small white flowers at end of stems. Found across Western Australia, South Australia and Victoria.

Leptospermum spp.

(Cape Hauy, Tasmania)

Leptospermum grandiflorum. Endemic to the wetter parts of Tasmania, mostly seen around Freycinet.

Order Sapindales

Family Rutaceae

Chorilaena sp.

There is only species in this genus.

Chorilaena quercifolia (image by Damon Ramsey)(Mammoth Cave, Western Australia)

Chorilaena quercifolia, 'Oak-leaf Chorilaena''. Shrub. Endemic to the understory of the Karri forests of the south-west of Australia.

Order Caryophyllales
Order Santalales
Family Loranthaceae

Order Ericales

Family Ericaceae

Astroloma spp.

A small genus of small bushes endemic to temperate Australia.

(Dryandra, WA)

Astroloma epicradis. Small herb of the understory. Endemic to south-west Australia.

(Bruny Island, Tasmania)
(Wineglass, Tasmania)

Epacris impressa, 'Common Heath'. Flowers can be white, pink or red. Found in temperate forests of south-east Australia, including Tasmania.

Order Gentinales
Family Rubiaceae, Apocynaceae
Order Solanales
Family Solanaceae
Order Lamiales
Family Bignonicaeae
Family Lamiaceae
Family Verbenaceae 

Order Asterales

Family Asteraceae

Along with the Orchidaceae, this is one of the two largest families of flowering plants, with over 32,000 species.

Senico spp., 'Ragworts' and Groundsels'

One of the largest genera of plants. Even with reclassification of many species to other genera, it still contains over 1250 species.


(Lashmar, Kangaroo Island)

Senecio odoratus, 'Scented Groundsel'. Leaves have toothed edges. Found in Victoria and South Australia.

Family Goodeniaceae

Scaevola spp. 'Half flowers', 'Fan flowers'

One of the most distinctive and recognizable of all flowers, the Scaevola has the petals on one side but not the other.

(Kings Park, Australia)

Scaevola spp.

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