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Botany Bay National Park
Rainforest Species Walk
(including Ferns and Cycads)
*Acmena smithii – Lillypilly (Myrtaceae)
Adiantum aethiopicum-Common Maidenhair (Adiantaceae) the genus and family name from the Greek meaning “not to wet”. Pliny wrote that when you place Adiantum in water it remains dry. Named by Linnaeus
Asplenium difforme (Aspleniaceae) A rare species in Sydney only recorded from La Perouse.
Blechnum cartilagineum – Gristle Fern (Blechnaceae)
Blechnum indicum – Swamp Water Fern (Blechnaceae) Once plentiful around Botany Bay and an important food for Aborigines but now uncommon. The starchy rhizome was roasted.
Calochlaena dubia – False Bracken (Dicksoniaceae)
Ceratopetalum apetalum - Coachwood (Cunoniaceae)
10-25m high with smooth mottled bark with multicoloured lichen patches. Flowers small and white lacking petals(hence the species name). Flowers November. Important timber for coahes and buggies hence the common name. In WWWII provided the butts for all rifles made in Australia.
*Cissus Antarctica – Kangaroo Grape
Commelina cyanea (Commelinaceae)
A creeping leafy herb – similar to weed wandering jew – but with blue flowers.
Cyathea australis – Rough Treefern (Cyatheaceae)
*Endiandra sieberi (Lauraceae) Flowers small whitish and fruit shiny deep blue/purple. The genus name is Greek for ‘inner anthers’.
*Ficus rubiginosa (Moraceae) distinguished from other fig species by rusty leaf undersides(hence the species name) and absence of buttresses on the trunk. Begins life as an epiphyte in crevicies on shandstone cliffs. Figs 12-20mm in dia. and edibile.
*Geitonoplesium cymosum – Scrambling Lily
Gleichenia dicarpa – Pouched Coral Fern (Gleicheniaceae)
Gleichenia microphylla – Coral Fern (Gleicheniaceae)
Gleichenia rupestris – Coral Fern (Gleicheniaceae)
*Glochidion ferdinandi (Euphorbiaceae)
Histiopteris incisa – Batswing Fern (Dennstaedtiaceae) A fern with soft pale green fonds 1-2m long.
Hypolepis Muelleri – Harsh Ground Fern (Dennstaedtiaceae)
Lindsaea linearis – Screw Fern (Lindsaeceae)
Macrozamia communis – Burrawang (Zamiaceae) Red fleshy seeds rich in starch were a staple food for Aborigines. Crew from the Laperouse expedition were recorded as eating without noting the appropriate protocols and were violently ill as a result.
Melia azedarach – all parts of tree poisonous Melia = Gk for Manna Ash
*Notelaea longifolia – Mock Olive (Oleaceae) 2-3m, survives fires because of stout deep lignotuber.
*Pittosporum undulatum – Sweet Pittosporum/Native Daphne/Mock Orange (Pittosporaceae) Collected by Banks/Solander. Seeds ground as food by Aborigines in Sydney region. Flowers white with very sweet fragrance. Species name refers to the leaf margins which are wavy. Genus name refers to the sticky coating on the seeds.
Pteridium esculentum – Bracken (Dennstaedtiaceae)
*Rapanea variabilis – Mutton Wood (Myrsinaceae) 2-3m, flowers Spring.
Rapanea howittiana – Mutton Wood (Myrsinaceae)
*Smilax glyciphylla – Native Sarsaparilla (Smilacaceae) This was the most famous bush tea of early colonial times. William Woolls wrote”Excellent sarsaparilla may be obtained from it, and a few years since it was an article of export from this colony.” Fruits bunces of black glossy berries in winter. The species name means sweet-leaved in Greek.
Solanum aviculare (Solanaceae)
Syzygium australe (Myrtaceae)
*Synoum glandulosum – Scentless Rosewood (Meliaceae) The genus first decribed by Antoine Jussieu French botanist who was the first to classify plants on a number of characteristics(an improvement on Linnaeus). It was Condorcet, Buffon and Jussieu who decided which scientists would go along on the Laperouse expedition. Napoleon applied to be a junior astronomer and was knocked back. Flowers creamy white, petals tinged with pink; fruits red capsules 3 lobed. The species name refers to the domatia – having glands.
*Species identified in the Littoral rainforest in the NSW North Coast, Sydney Basin and South East Corner bioregions – endangered ecological community listing
**identified as Emergent species in Littoral rainforest
Several species have compound leaves, and vines may be a major component of the canopy. These features differentiate littoral rainforest from sclerophyll forest or scrub, but while the canopy is dominated by rainforest species, scattered emergent individuals of sclerophyll species, such as Angophora costata, Banksia integrifolia, Eucalyptus botryoides and E. tereticornis occur in many stands…..Littoral rainforest occurs on both sand dunes and on soils derived from underlying rocks (McKinley et al. 1999). Stands on headlands exposed to strong wind action may take the form of dense windpruned thickets (for example the Bunga Head Rainforest illustrated by Keith & Bedward 1999, or MU5 Littoral Windshear Thicket in NPWS 2002). In more sheltered sites, and in hind dunes, the community is generally taller, although still with wind pruning on the windward side of stands. Floristically there is a high degree of similarity between stands on different substrates. Most stands of Littoral Rainforest occur within 2 km of the sea, but may occasionally be found further inland, but within reach of maritime influence.
Adam, P. Littoral rainforest in the NSW North Coast, Sydney Basin and South East Corner bioregions – endangered ecological community listing, NSW Scientific Committee – final determination. DECC website.
Robinson, L.(1994) Field Guide to the Native Plants of Sydney, Kangaroo Press, Kenthurst.
In view of the above the Scientific Committee is of the opinion that Littoral Rainforest in the NSW North Coast, Sydney Basin and South East Corner Bioregions is likely to become extinct in nature in New South Wales unless the circumstances and factors threatening its survival or evolutionary development cease to operate.
Associate Professor Paul Adam