Tasmania's Native Plant Species

​​​​Tasmania is a relatively small, mountainous, island with a long history of geographic isolation from mainland Australia. Its large variety of habitats has resulted in a diverse and unique array of plant species that includes flowering plants, conifers, mosses, liverworts, lichens, fungi and algae.

Currently there are approximately 1,897 known native vascular taxa (seed plant species and subspecies or varieties) recorded in Tasmania, excluding Macquarie Island, in 2016; 527 of which are endemic to Tasmania. The treeless subantarctic Macquarie Island has 42 vascular plant taxa of which 4 are endemic to the island. The Tasmanian Herbarium produces a census of Tasmanian vascular plants which is updated annually.

Many of the vascular plant species in Tasmania are relicts from ancient times when the island was part of a larger landmass known as Gondwana. This included New Zealand, South America, Africa, Madagascar, India, Antarctica and mainland Australia. Tasmania has many species of ancient origin that are closely related to species in some of these countries, particularly South America and New Zealand.

To date there is no published census for non-vascular plants, fungi and algae in Tasmania, although there are some national databases and checklists e.g. Checklist of the Lichens of Australia and its Island Territories.

The Natural Values Atlas provides records of taxa other than vascular plants where they have been submitted to the Atlas. However the absence of a Tasmanian  census and maintenance of the taxonomy of these taxa prevents an assessment of how many currently recognised species are recorded in the Atlas.  The Natural Values Atlas records about 2000 fungal "entities", 750 algal "entities" and over a thousand non vascular plants (mosses, Liverworts and hornworts).  Around 9% of mosses and 5% of lichens in Tasmania are thought to be endemic.

Information on some species of fungi in Australia and their distribution can be found at: FungiMap and Fungi of Australia ( on the Australian Government Department of Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts website).

The table provides links to further information about Tasmania's most iconic plant species.

Scientific NameCommon Name
Acradenia frankliniae
Whitey wood
Anopterus glandulosus
Native laurel
Anodopetalum biglandulosumHorizontal
Atherosperma moschatumsassafras
Athrotaxis cupressoidesPencil pine
Athrotaxis selaginoidesKingbilly Pine
Blechnum nudumFishbone fern
Blechnum wattsiiHard water fern
Callitris rhomboideaOyster bay pine
Cenarrhenes nitidaNative plum
Dicksonia antarcticaTree fern
Eucalyptus ovataSwamp gum
Eucryphia lucidaLeatherwood
Histiopteris incisaBatswing fern
Hymenophyllum sp.Filmy fern
Lagarostrobos frankliniiHuon Pine
Microsorum pustulatumKangaroo fern
Nothofagus cunninghamiiMyrtle beech
Nothofagus gunniiDeciduous beech
Polystichum proliferumMother shield fern
Phyllocladus asplenifoliusCelery top Pine
Richea pandanifoliaPandani
Prionotes cerinthoidesClimbing Heath

 

See also: Scientific Collection and Commercial Use of Native Plant Species

Marine algae and seagrasses

Contact

Natural Values Conservation Branch
134 Macquarie Street
HOBART TAS 7000
Phone: 03 6165 4319
Email: NaturalValuesConservation.Enquiries@dpipwe.tas.gov.au