Kangaroo IslandKangaroo Island Attractions Fauna Flora Remarkable Rocks

Kangaroo Island is home to a profusion of flora, with its unspoilt, natural environment and some remarkable geology, it is a magnet for visitors keen to experience the natural surrounds of a pristine environment.

Among the flora, Kangaroo Island has catalogued 891 native plant varieties, that include the Tates Grass Trees, native orchids, melaleuca and a variety of grevilleas (some of which are endemic to the island and quite rare). It also has its share of introduced species.


Cushion Bush (Leucopyhta brownii)

Cushion Bush (Leucopyhta brownii) is a compact, rounded shrub. Silver-grey foliage, pale yellow ball-shaped flowers in summer.


Knobby Club-rush (Ficinia nodosa)

Knobby Club-rush (Ficinia nodosa) is an evergreen plant with dense clusters of long green stems to 1m high. Leaves dark-green, cylindrical and up-right. Flower heads brown ball-shaped, occur all year. Grows in a wide variety of environments from coastal sand dunes to alpine regions.

Knobby Club-rush (Ficinia nodosa), Kangaroo Island
Knobby Club-rush (Ficinia nodosa), Kangaroo Island, SA

Muntries (Kunzea pomifera)

Kunzea pomifera are a ground-hugging shrub with branches extending over several metres. It has thick bright green leaves, showy white fluffy flowers in spring and early summer. Purple berries.


Narrow-leaved Mallee (Eucalyptus cneorifolia)

The Kangaroo Island Narrow-Leaf Mallee is a shrub to small tree that is native to Kangaroo Island. It has cream flowers and is farmed on the island primarily for the extraction of essential oil.

The tree may be single stemmed or multi-stemmed and the trunk is hard, grey-brown with long fissures. The upper branches are usually smooth. The crown is dense with narrow, stiff and shiny green leaves. It is easily identified for the long, narrow leaves that are bright lime green when new, darkening to dark olive green foliage. A quick growing shrub/tree that are good for windbreaks and suitable for salt effected areas and erosion control.

Some good information and photos on the Emu Ridge website listed in the footnotes.

One of the scenic drives on Kangaroo Island.
Narrow-leaved Mallee (Eucalyptus cneorifolia) along the scenic drives, Kangaroo Island, SA

Lichen

General features of the lichen flora
A total of 366 taxa are here recorded for the island. Most are shared with southern Australia and eastern Tasmania, where a similar Mediterranean-maritime climate occurs.

An annotated catalogue of the lichens of Kangaroo Island, South Australia by Gintaras Kantvilas, Swainsona 32: 1–97 (2019), © 2019 Board of the Botanic Gardens & State Herbarium (Adelaide, SA)
Lichen on Remarkable Rocks, Flinders Chase National Park, Kangaroo Island © Marc Newman
Lichen on Remarkable Rocks, Flinders Chase National Park, Kangaroo Island © Marc Newman

Footnote & References

  1. Kangaroo Island Narrow-leaved Mallee (Eucalyptus cneorifolia) Woodland: a nationally-protected ecological community, Australian Government, https://www.awe.gov.au/sites/default/files/documents/kangaroo-island-mallee-woodlands.pdf
  2. Kangaroo Island Narrow Leaf Mallee – Eucalyptus cneorifolia, Emu Ridge, Emu Ridge Eucalyptus and Craft Gallery, https://www.emuridge.com.au/kangaroo-island-narrow-leaf-mallee-eucalyptus-cneorifolia/
  3. Native plants and animals, Landscape South Australia, https://www.landscape.sa.gov.au/ki/native-plants-and-animals
  4. An annotated catalogue of the lichens of Kangaroo Island, South Australia by Gintaras Kantvilas, Swainsona 32: 1–97 (2019), © 2019 Board of the Botanic Gardens & State Herbarium (Adelaide, South Australia), https://data.environment.sa.gov.au/Content/Publications/JABG32P001_Kantvilas.pdf

Kangaroo IslandKangaroo Island Attractions Fauna Flora Remarkable Rocks

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