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.

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