Guide to Trees and



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Field Guide to Trees and 
Shrubs of Eastern Queensland 
Oil and Gas Fields
Second Edition

Second Edition 2012
Text © Santos  Ltd
Santos Centre
60 Flinders Street
Adelaide South Australia 5000
Photographs © Craig Eddie unless otherwise acknowledged
Text by: Craig Eddie (BOOBOOK Ecological Consulting Roma QLD)
Coordination by: Tony Rutter and Steve Tunstill, Santos Ltd
Photographs by: Craig Eddie (BOOBOOK Ecological Consulting) unless otherwise 
acknowledged
Designed by: Kristen Roberts, Santos Graphic Design
Mapping by: Wayne Aspinall, Santos Spatial Informations Systems
Printed by: Finsbury Green Printing
Front Cover: Narrow-leaved Bottle TreeBrachychiton rupestris 
Other Field Guides by Santos Ltd: Santos (2003) Field Guide to the Common Plants 
of the Cooper Basin. South Australia and Queensland. Fourth Edition. Santos Ltd, 
Adelaide

Field Guide to Trees 
and Shrubs of  
Eastern Queensland 
Oil and Gas Fields
Second Edition

Contents
1. INTRODUCTION 
1
2.  USER GUIDE 
3
 
Size and form 
3
 
Scientific names 
3
 Habitat 
3
 
Common habitats of the Eastern Queensland oil and gas fields 
4
 
How to identify a plant 
6
 
Eastern Queensland oil and gas fields 
7
3.   THREATENED HABITATS 
12
 
Natural Grasslands of the Queensland Central Highlands  
 
and the northern Fitzroy Basin 
14
 
Brigalow woodland 
16
 
Semi-evergreen vine thicket 
18
 
Artesian springs 
20
 
Coolibah-black box woodland 
22
 
Weeping myall woodland 
24
4.  RARE AND THREATENED PLANTS 
26
 
Cracow Wattle; Acacia calantha 
30
 
Thomby Range Wattle; Acacia wardellii 32
 
Sandstone Prickle-Bush; Apatophyllum teretifolium 34
 Ooline; 
Cadellia pentastylis 36
 
Shiny-leaved ironbark; Eucalyptus virens 38
 Raspwort; 
Gonocarpus urceolatus 40
 
Large-flowered Beard-heath; Leucopogon grandiflorus 42
 
Carnarvon Fan Palm; Livistona nitida 44
 
Curly Zamia; Macrozamia fearnsidei 46
 
Grove’s Paperbark; Melaleuca groveana 48
 
Swamp Tea-tree; Melaleuca irbyana 50
 
Cliff Bluebell; Wahlenbergia islensis 
52

5.  COMMON TREES 
54
 Mulga; 
Acacia aneura 54
 
Miles Mulga; Acacia aprepta 56
 Bendee; 
Acacia catenulata 58
 Ironwood; 
Acacia excelsa 60
 Brigalow; 
Acacia harpophylla 62
 
Slender-flowered Wattle; Acacia longispicata 64
 Womal; 
Acacia maranoensis 66
 Bowyakka; 
Acacia microsperma 68
 Yarran; 
Acacia omalophylla 70
 Nelia; 
Acacia oswaldii 72
 Myall; 
Acacia pendula 74
 Doolan; 
Acacia salicina 
76
 Lancewood; 
Acacia shirleyi 78
 Currawong; 
Acacia sparsiflora 80
 
River Cooba; Acacia stenophylla 82
 Boonaree; 
Alectryon oleifolius 84
 
Thready-bark She-oak; Allocasuarina inophloia 86
 
Bull Oak; Allocasuarina luehmannii 88
 
Forest She-oak; Allocasuarina torulosa 90
 
Red Ash; Alphitonia excelsa 92
 
Bitter Bark; Alstonia constricta 94
 
Rough-barked Apple; Angophora floribunda 96
 
Smooth-barked Apple; Angophora leiocarpa 98
 
Eastern Dead Finish; Archidendropsis basaltica 100
 Whitewood; 
Atalaya hemiglauca 102
 
Broad-leaved Bottle Tree; Brachychiton australis 104
 Kurrajong; 
Brachychiton populneus 106
 
Narrow-leaved Bottle Tree; Brachychiton rupestris 108
 
Prickly Pine; Bursaria incana 110
 
Black Cypress Pine; Callitris endlicheri 112
 
White Cypress Pine; Callitris glaucophylla 114
 
Wild Orange; Capparis canescens  
116
 
Narrow-leaf Bumble Tree; Capparis loranthifolia 118
 
Bumble Tree; Capparis mitchellii  120

 
Leichhardt Bean; Cassia brewsteri  122
 Belah; 
Casuarina cristata 124
 
River She-oak; Casuarina cunninghamiana 126
 Limebush; 
Citrus glauca 128
 
Spotted and Lemon-scented Gum; Corymbia citriodora  
130
 
Clarkson’s Bloodwood; Corymbia clarksoniana  
132
 
Dallachy’s Gum; Corymbia dallachyana 134
 
Red Bloodwood; Corymbia erythrophloia 136
 Carbeen; 
Corymbia tessellaris 138
 
Brown Bloodwood; Corymbia trachyphloia  
140
 
Large-fruited Yellow Jacket; Corymbia watsoniana 142
 
Bat’s Wing Coral Tree; Erythrina vespertilio 144
 
Baker’s Mallee; Eucalyptus bakeri 146
 
River Red Gum; Eucalyptus camaldulensis 148
 
Dawson Gum; Eucalyptus cambageana 150
 
Baradine Red Gum; Eucalyptus chloroclada 152
 Coolibah; 
Eucalyptus coolabah 154
 
Narrow-leaved Ironbark; Eucalyptus crebra 156
 
Gum-topped Ironbark; Eucalyptus decorticans 158
 
Queensland Peppermint; Eucalyptus exserta 160
 
Dusky-leaved Ironbark; Eucalyptus fibrosa nubila 162
 
Grey Gum; Eucalyptus major 164
 
Silver-leaved Ironbark; Eucalyptus melanophloia 166
 
Gum-topped Box; Eucalyptus microcarpa 168
 
Mountain Coolibah; Eucalyptus orgadophila 170
 
Poplar Box; Eucalyptus populnea 172
 
Narrow-leaved White Mahogany; Eucalyptus tenuipes  
174
 
Queensland Blue Gum; Eucalyptus tereticornis 176
 
Mountain Yapunyah; Eucalyptus thozetiana 178
 
Native Cherry; Exocarpos cupressiformis 180
 
Sandpaper Fig; Ficus opposita 182
 
Crows Ash; Flindersia australis 184
 
Scrub Leopardwood; Flindersia dissosperma 186
 Leopardwood; 
Flindersia maculosa  
188
 Wilga; 
Geijera parviflora 190

 Beefwood; 
Grevillea striata 192
 
Corkwood Oak; Hakea lorea 194
 
Weeping Tea-tree; Leptospermum lamellatum 196
 Budgeroo; 
Lysicarpus angustifolius 198
 
Red Bauhinia; Lysiphyllum carronii 200
 
Black Tea-tree; Melaleuca bracteata 202
 
Bush House Paperbark; Melaleuca tamariscina 204
 
Western Tea-tree;
 Melaleuca trichostachya 206
 
Weeping Bottlebrush; Melaleuca viminalis 
    
208 
 
White Cedar; 
Melia azedarach 210
 
Emu Apple; 
Owenia acidula  212
 
Quinine Tree; 
Petalostigma pubescens 214
 
Cattle Bush; 
Pittosporum angustifolium 216
 
Myrtle Tree; Psydrax oleifolius 218
 Sandalwood; 
Santalum lanceolatum 220
 
Yellow Wood;
 Terminalia oblongata  
222
 
Vine Tree; 
Ventilago viminalis 224
 
Woody Pear; 
Xylomelum cunninghamianum 226
6.  COMMON SHRUBS 
228
 
Bancroft’s Wattle; Acacia bancroftiorum 228
 
Flat-stemmed Wattle; Acacia complanata 230
 
Crowded-leaf Wattle; Acacia conferta  232
 
Deane’s Wattle; Acacia deanei 234
 
Pretty Wattle; Acacia decora 236
 
Mimosa Bush; Acacia farnesiana 238
 
Rush-leaf Wattle; Acacia juncifolia 240
 
Early Flowering Black Wattle; Acacia leiocalyx 242
 
Zig Zag Wattle; Acacia macradenia 244
 
Queensland Silver Wattle; Acacia podalyriifolia 246
 
Glory Wattle; Acacia spectabilis 248
 Gundabluey; 
Acacia victoriae 250
 
Broom Bush; Apophyllum anomalum 252
 
Hair Plant; Astrotricha cordata 254
 
Coffee Bush; Breynia oblongifolia 256

 
White Fringe Myrtle; Calytrix tetragona 258 
 Wait-A-While; 
Capparis lasiantha 260
 
Currant Bush; Carissa ovata 262
 
Cough Bush; Cassinia laevis 264
 
Lolly Bush; Clerodendrum floribundum 266
 
Silver Croton; Croton insularis 268
 
Sticky Hopbush; Dodonaea viscosa  270
 
Ellangowan Poison Bush; Eremophila deserti 272
 
Emu Bush; Eremophila longifolia 274
 
Spotted Fuchsia Bush; Eremophila maculata 276
 
False Sandalwood; Eremophila mitchellii 278
 
Sturt’s Desert Rose; Gossypium sturtianum 
280
 
Red Spider Flower; Grevillea longistyla 282
 
Dysentery Bush; Grewia latifolia 284
 
Flame Hakea; Hakea purpurea 286
 
Purple Bush-pea; Hovea longipes 288
 Dogwood; 
Jacksonia scoparia 290
 Zamia; 
Macrozamia moorei 292
 
Yellow-berry Bush; Maytenus cunninghamii 294
 
Prickly-leaf Paperbark; Melaleuca nodosa 296
 Boobialla; 
Myoporum montanum 298
 
Heath Everlasting; Ozothamnus diotophyllus 300
 
Butterfly Bush; Petalostylis labicheoides 302
 
Wallaby Apple; Pittosporum spinescens 304
 
Butter Bush; Senna artemisioides 306
 
Spring-pod Cassia; Senna circinnata 308
 
Bean Bush; Senna pleurocarpa 310
 
Forest Grass Tree; Xanthorrhoea johnsonii 312
7.  FURTHER READING 
314
8. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS 
316
9.  INDEX OF PLANTS BY COMMON NAME 
317
10. INDEX OF PLANTS BY SCIENTIFIC NAME 
321
¡¡

Santos is committed to conducting all of its exploration and production activities 
in an environmentally responsible manner. Our environmental vision is that “We will 
lighten the footprint of our activities”.
This field guide has been produced for Santos employees and contractors to promote 
more informed environmental management, and to foster an appreciation of the plants 
and environment in which the Eastern Queensland oil and gas fields are situated  
(refer to Eastern Queensland oil and gas fields map on page 2).
The first steps in realising these aims are becoming familiar with the names and 
appearance of the most common plants in the region, and understanding why it is 
important to avoid clearance of certain species.
As oil and gas exploration and production activities increase, so does the likelihood 
that significant species or sensitive habitats will be encountered. This guide has 
been prepared to aid the identification of 142 of the most common trees and shrubs 
found in the oil and gas fields of Eastern Queensland. In addition, profiles have been 
included for threatened habitats (section 3) and a selection of rare and threatened 
plants (section 4). By doing so, the profile of significant species and ecosystems will 
be raised, helping to minimise potential negative impacts. 
This is a companion guide to another Santos publication “Field guide to the common 
plants of the Cooper Basin,” which covers a selection of plants in the southwest 
corner of Queensland and the northeast corner of South Australia.
1.0 INTR
ODUCTION
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2.0 
USER
 GUIDE
The common plants described in this Field Guide (sections 5 and 6) have been 
classified according to: (a) size and form, (b) scientific name, and (c) habitat.
Size and form
Based on size and form, the plants are divided into two groups: trees and shrubs. 
Trees are greater than 5 metres tall and generally have a single trunk, whereas 
shrubs are less than 5 metres tall and are often multi-stemmed from the base. Both 
are perennial (long-lived) plants, although trees often live considerably longer than 
shrubs. Note that the growth form of plants is highly dependant on landform and 
substrate, hence some species can grow as either trees or shrubs. 
Scientific names
Within each of the above groups, plants are listed alphabetically according to their 
scientific name. Scientific names are composed of two parts; first their generic name 
(genus), followed by the specific name (species). Plants from the same genus are 
closely related and therefore usually of similar appearance. Knowing the general 
appearance of plants from a particular genus enables one to identify a great number 
of plants to at least the level of genus. The precise identity of a plant within a genus 
is provided by the species name. For example, poplar box and silver-leaved ironbark 
are both from the genus Eucalyptus, but are differentiated by their species name; 
ie. Eucalyptus populnea (poplar box) and Eucalyptus melanophloia (silver-leaved 
ironbark). 
The botanical names used in this publication are up to date at the time of printing. 
Some species have recently undergone name changes, and where this is the case, the 
old name is listed under ‘Notes’. Common names selected for use in this publication 
are those most frequently used in the region. However, many plants are known by 
several common names (even within the same district) and where this is the case, a 
range of common names has been included. Note that one common name is frequently 
applied to more than one species. Common examples include ‘dogwood’, ‘rosewood’ 
and ‘black wattle’.
Habitat
Descriptions of habitat relate to the environment (including soil and topography) 
in which a particular plant grows. Due to the great variation in climate, elevation, 
topography, geology and soils found within the coverage area, there is a 
corresponding high diversity of habitats present. Twelve broad habitat types are 
recognisable in the coverage area. Colour codes have been used to designate these 
habitats and they are included within the habitat descriptions. Many plants occupy 
more than one habitat type, and in these instances, more than one colour has been 
used.
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HABITAT
DESCRIPTION
HABITAT KEY
Eucalypt woodland 
on basalt hills and 
ranges 
Common species include mountain 
coolibah, narrow-leaved ironbark 
and red bloodwood
Eucalypt woodland on 
sandstone hills/ranges
 Often dominated by ironbarks, 
bloodwoods, stringybarks, grey gum
spotted/lemon-scented gum, budgeroo, 
woody pear and thready-bark she-oak. 
Understorey is often very species rich and 
dominated by wattles.
Eucalypt woodland on 
lowlands
Usually dominated by poplar box and/ or 
silver-leaved ironbark.
Cypress pine 
woodland/ open forest
 White cypress pine forms thickets on  
the vast sand plains occurring throughout 
much of the coverage area
Riparian woodland
Riparian vegetation means the plants 
occurring on the banks and channels of 
watercourses, which typically include river 
red gum, Queensland blue gum, rough-
barked apple, river she-oak, black tea-tree
western tea-tree, weeping bottlebrush, 
doolan and river cooba.
Floodplain woodland/ 
open woodland
Coolibah, poplar box, river red gum and 
Queensland blue gum form open woodlands 
on the alluvial plains associated with 
watercourses. A variety of wetland types 
may be associated with floodplains, 
including swamps, lagoons and gilgais or 
melonholes.

5
Mitchell grass/blue 
grass grassland
Rolling clay plains are sometimes 
vegetated by grasslands dominated by 
Queensland bluegrass (Dichanthium 
sericeum) and/or curly Mitchell grass
(Astrebla lappacea). Grasslands are 
locally referred to as ‘downs’ country.
Heathland/spinifex
Shrubby heathlands and spinifex (Triodia 
spp.) communities occur patchily in the 
coverage area on sand plains, sand ridges 
and areas of rock pavement. They usually 
have many plant species and often contain 
rare, threatened and localised plant 
species.
Brigalow 
woodland/open forest
Stands of brigalow occur on clay plains 
and hill slopes and were extensive prior 
to broad-scale clearing. Brigalow may 
occur on its own or with other trees, for 
example, belah, poplar box, Dawson gum 
and mountain yapunyah
Mulga woodland/open 
forest
Stands of mulga occur on loamy red earths 
and hard ridges in the southern parts of 
the coverage area. Associated trees include 
poplar box and silver-leaved ironbark.
Woodland/open forest 
of Acacia on residual 
ridges
Hard rocky ridges are often dominated 
by bendee, lancewood or bowyakka.
Semi-evergreen vine 
thicket  
Semi-evergreen vine thicket is also
known as bottle tree scrub, dry rainforest 
or softwood scrub. It occurs on hill slopes, 
sheltered gorges and clay plains in central 
and northern parts of the coverage area.

How to identify a plant
When attempting to identify a plant the following steps are recommended:
1.  Decide whether the plant is a tree or shrub; go to the relevant section of the 
handbook (section 5 or 6).
2.  Note the type of country (habitat) in which the plant is growing; narrow down the 
choice of plants to those from the relevant habitat by using the colour code.
3.  Compare the photographs of the most likely plants with the plant in question, 
taking particular note of the shape of the plant, the form, colour and texture of 
the trunk or stem, and the colour and shape of leaves, fruit, buds and flowers.
4.  Finally, if uncertain, compare the descriptions of bark, leaves, flowers and fruit 
with those of the plant in question.
Botanical terminology can be difficult, confronting and hard to remember for those 
who just want to know the name of a particular plant. Technical botanical terms 
have been deliberately avoided in this publication and they are covered in detail by 
numerous plant books (see section 7 Further Reading).
Descriptions are based on locally occurring forms of plants, hence they may vary 
slightly or significantly from descriptions in other publications. Some plants vary 
greatly across their range, and even within the coverage area some species may 
exhibit considerable variation in growth form and the size, shape and colour of leaves, 
flowers, buds and fruit.
Flowering times listed for each species represent the period in which that species 
has been observed flowering most frequently. Note that flowering times can vary 
significantly. For widespread species, flowering times may vary in different parts 
of that species range (for example, north vs south). Prevailing seasonal conditions 
greatly influence the timing and intensity of flowering in some species, including 
mulga, bendee, false sandalwood and wilga.  Flowering intensity also varies annually. 
Budgeroo, ooline and woody pear are examples of species that produce little flower in 
some years and masses of flower in others.
Fruiting times have not been included as they are even more variable and 
unpredictable than flowering times and many plants do not necessarily produce fruit 
each time that they flower.
Further advice should be sought before making management decisions based on 
identifications using this guide. Positive plant identifications can be obtained by 
sending samples to the Queensland Herbarium (phone 07-38969326 for guidelines or 
refer to Santos EHS Management System Environmental Hazard Standard EHS09).
6

Eastern Queensland Oil and Gas Fields 
The gas and oil fields of relevance to this publication occur in the Surat and Bowen 
Basins of Eastern Queensland. They are aligned in a series of fields between Emerald 
in the north and Moonie in the south. For the purposes of this publication, key 
geographic regions containing significant petroleum resources have been grouped as 
follows (refer to maps on page 2 and 8).
Denison
This area lies primarily between Emerald and Rolleston and has parts within both the 
Brigalow Belt North and Brigalow Belt South biogeographic regions. The landscape is 
predominantly undulating or rolling clay plains with bluegrass downs or eucalypt and/
or brigalow woodland. The major watercourse is the Comet River. Several plants occur 
only or predominantly in this part of the coverage area; for example, Dallachy’s gum, 
Leichhardt bean, Dawson gum and eastern dead finish.
7
Denison landscape

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