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Flora of Standley ChasmGeorges Indigo MacDonnell Ranges Cycad

Known traditionally as Angkerle Atwatye (“the Gap of Water”), Standley Chasm is an important cultural place of indigenous Australia that is sacred to the women’s dreaming of the Arrernte people.

This dramatic and picturesque region that is Angkerle Atwatye (Standley Chasm) is a breathing living country, filled with fauna and flora. Different plants species can be found here, some flowering at certain times through the year, with others appearing after rain.

Check out the images and information of flora found in this area.

For those walking the track in Standley Chasm, that links the carpark to the chasm, you will be following a creek where spring-fed pools attract a great variety of wildlife, especially birds. It is thanks to the water that the gully floor is lush with plants that range from delicate ferns to tall gums; including many other species such as the cycad palm that have survived here from a long-gone era that was much wetter. An easy 20 minute walk (one-way), along a well maintained track, although there are rocky sections, so it is recommended that you wear sensible shoes and take care where you place your feet.

An important cultural site for Western Arrernte women, Angkerle Atwatye offers authentic cross-cultural presentations, bush tucker tours, art workshops and language classes.

Some of the flora found growing in Standley Chasm include Georges Indigo (Indigofera georgei) also known as Bovine Indigo is a low bushy shrub, covered with short hairs. It also has been seen as an erect spindly shrub.

Georges Indigo (Indigofera georgei)
Georges Indigo (Indigofera georgei)

Standley Chasm is home to amazing examples of the MacDonnell Ranges Cycad (Macrozamia macdonnellii).

Cycads are very ancient plants, their ancestors 200 million years ago were the dominant flora on the planet. The Jurassic Era of the dinosaurs is also known as “The Age of the Cycad”.

Round-leaf Wattle

The Round-leaf Wattle (Acacia strongylophylla) is found growing in rocky gorges and waterways. A straggly prickly shrub that grows to a up to 3 metres in height, it is one of the wattles that can be found at Standley Chasm.

Round-leaf Wattle (Acacia strongylophylla)
Round-leaf Wattle (Acacia strongylophylla)

The flower-heads are globular with a deep golden yellow. Seen flowering between June-October. The name strongylophylla means rounded leaves. The green leaves (sometimes blue-green) are roundish in shape with a a central vein and pointed tip. There are spines at the base of the leaf.

It is also known as Round-leaf Wattle, Wait-a-while Wattle, Skeleton Wattle.

Click here for more information on the Round-leaf Wattle (Acacia strongylophylla).

  • Scientific classification
  • Kingdom: Plantae
  • Clade: Tracheophytes
  • Clade: Angiosperms
  • Clade: Eudicots
  • Clade: Rosids
  • Order: Fabales
  • Family: Fabaceae
  • Clade: Mimosoideae
  • Genus: Acacia
  • Species: A. strongylophylla
  • Binomial name: Acacia strongylophylla


Cattle Bush (Trichodesma zeylanicum) is also sometimes called Camel Bush or Water Bush.

It is found growing anywhere. This perennial has a cluster of pale blue flowers, about 2 cm wide, and usually with the flower drooping downwards. The flower has a protruding stamen surrounding the style, with the anthers end in long bristles, twisted together. Grows to a height between 40 cm up to 1 metre.

  • Scientific classification
  • Kingdom: Plantae
  • Clade: Tracheophytes
  • Clade: Angiosperms
  • Clade: Eudicots
  • Clade: Asterids
  • Order: Boraginales
  • Family: Boraginaceae
  • Genus: Trichodesma
  • Species: T. zeylanicum
  • Binomial name: Trichodesma zeylanicum

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