Finke Gorge National Park
The Finke Gorge National Park is also home to the MacDonnell Ranges Cycad (Macrozamia macdonnellii), that are found growing through the MacDonnell Ranges region.
Once the dominant flora on the planet, these cycads are ancient plants, whose ancestors date back some 200 million years ago. The Jurassic Era of the dinosaurs is also known as “The Age of the Cycad”.
This ancient relict is from a cooler and wetter climate of Gondwanaland, 50 million years ago in the Tertiary period, when temperate rainforests and large inland seas and lakes prevailed.
In this arid desert landscape, cycads now rely on sheltered refuges along rocky slopes, gullies and river edges near permanent water. Bushfires, invasive weeds, decline of pollinators and seed poaching are threats to the survival of this endemic species.
- Scientific classification
- Kingdom: Plantae
- Clade: Tracheophytes
- Division: Cycadophyta
- Class: Cycadopsida
- Order: Cycadales
- Family: Zamiaceae
- Genus: Macrozamia
- Species: M. macdonnellii
- Binomial name: Macrozamia macdonnellii