|Rainforest in Tasmania
is defined as forest dominated by tree species which are able to
regenerate without large-scale disturbance. The minimum height limit
is often taken to be 8 metres but sometimes lowered to include dwarf
rainforests in sub-alpine areas. One thing which is clear about the
definition of rainforest is that it excludes any eucalypts because these
usually need a fire to regenerate.
Rainforest requires at least 1000mm of rainfall per
year and at least 50mm per month in summer. This rainfall is usually received
over more than 50% of Tasmania, particularly in the west. Soil fertility,
altitude and past fires mean that only 20% of Tasmania supports
rainforest today and is now concentrated in the west, north-west
and north-east, with only remnant patches in the east.
A fair-sized tree of the rainforest, and a source of nectar for the famous Leatherwood Honey, flowers in December to January. It has been used successfully in gardens and as a container plant in a cool, dapple-shaded environment.
EUCRYPHIA X INTERMEDIA
A hybrid between E. lucida and E. glutinosa which occurred, by chance in a garden in Rostrevor in N. Ireland
A crimson-flowered climbing shrub in the west and south-west rainforests, growing on the ground or epiphytic on the trunks of trees, sometimes to a height of 10 metres.
Tree Fern: Man Fern
One of four other species of tree fern, Dicksonia is popular as a garden feature for a shaded, sheltered spot with adequate moisture. It has large fronds (leaves) arising from a stout trunk up to 4 m or more in height and the base of each frond is covered with dense red-brown hairs.
The spores are protected by flaps around the edges of the fronds. Each spring new fronds emerge from the traditional 'fiddle-head' form.
Tall tree to 50 metres. Triangular leaves to 1.8
cm long with bluntly toothed margins.
A tall shrub of the high rainfall forests, often under a canopy
of Myrtle, Nothofagus
|Cultivation: can be grown in a container
using compost mix with native formula slow-release fertiliser and water
crystals. Needs semi shady site, giving protection from hot afternoon
sun and drying winds.
Slender spikes of small white flowers which persist. as dead blackened spikes. This species
is often seen as a shrub but does form a small tree in rainforests on poor soils, and is
particularly common near rocky outcrops on quartzite hillsides in the south-west . The
habit of the plant is upright with most branches tending to grow vertically. The shiny thick
leaves are usually about 5 cm long and the flowers are strongly scented. Flowering is in
summer at low altitudes, autumn on higher peaks. Few records of it being successfully
cultivated, even in Tasmania where it is an endemic. The common name, white waratah,
indicates a close relationship with the true waratah (Telopea sp.) but this is not so. The
leaves resemble those of Telopea which may be the origin of the common name, but the
flowers are very different.
Native Solomon's Seal
Stem simple, sometimes branched in the leafy portion, arising as bare stems from a
tuberous root stock then arching over and bearing alternative leaves and auxillary flowers.
Leaves lanceolate, thin, in 2 opposite rows, 8 cm long, held horizontally. Flowers 1.5 cm
in diameter, white, shortly stalked in the axils of the leaves, facing downwards. Perianth
of 6 white segments, spreading; 6 stamens with oblong anthers. Fruit a stalked globular or
heart-shaped berry, turquoise-blue or paler, to 16 mm across; seeds 8-10, shining, brown.
Flowering November-January. Widely distributed in damp shady places in forests.
Cultivation - may be grown from seed but the plants are difficult to grow on to flowering
TAS. VIC. NSW
Information courtesy of the Launceston Field Naturalists Club
|PART ONE PART TWO PART THREE PART FOUR PART FIVE||MORE RAINFOREST PLANTS - RICHEAS|