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 almost 1,890 known native vascular species (seed plants) in Tasmania; 527 of which are endemic to Tasmania. 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.
The number and diversity of non-vascular species (liverworts, mosses and lichens) in Tasmania is less well known. From work to date, it has been determined there are around 1300 non-vascular species; more species are being added as work continues. Of these, around 9% of mosses and 5% of lichens are thought to be endemic. More work is required to determine the number of endemic liverworts. To date there is no published census for non-vascular plants in Tasmania, although there is a checklist of Tasmanian Lichens compiled by Kantvilas (1989).
Even less work has been undertaken on the fungi and algae and there is currently no published Tasmanian census for these groups of species. 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.