Endemic flora H-L

Looking at the photographs To view the photographs, click on the species image to enlarge it, then use the side arrows to page through images of the flowers, buds, fruit, leaves, foliage and plant(s) in the wild etc.
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Based on Debenham C’s, The Language of Botany, A Publication of The Society for Growing Australian Plants, Chipping Norton NSW, c.1962.

Hakea epiglottis subsp. epiglottis

Botanical Name: Hakea epiglottis subsp. epiglottis (E)
Commonly Called: Beaked needlebush
Botanical Family: Proteaceae
Grows: 1-3m H x 0.5-2m W
Foliage: Leaves 3 to 5cm long, thin, cylindrical and sharp pointed, bright, light green, alternate and curved upward.
Flora: Cream to bright yellow, few to many, small to large in leaf axils and often strongly perfumed.
Flowering Season: Spring
Fruiting bodying body: Woody folicle, to 2cm long and 1cm wide, shaped like a flattened S, similar to an epiglottis, hence the species name. The common name, ‘Beaked hakea’ may be attributed to two small conical protusions on the tip of the fruiting body.
How and where it grows: Widespread from low to high altitudes. Generally in wet heaths, or damp shrubbery, but may be found on drained sites.
Where found: Wellington Park, Hartz Mt, Mt Field, Franklin and Gordon Wild Rivers, Cradle Mountain Lake St Clair National Parks.
Other notes: This small upright shrub or small tree is easily grown from seed and is suitable for most soils in full sun. There are forms with bright yellow flowers and some highly aromatic and these must be propagated from cuttings which is more difficult to achieve successfully. Hakea epiglottis subsp. epiglottis is wide spread in Tasmania with fruit about 2cm long and 1cm wide. However, Hakea epiglottis subsp. milliganii, Western beaked needlebush, is restricted to the west coast and has longer and broader fruit.

Hovea tasmanica

Botanical Name: Hovea tasmanica (E)
Commonly Called: Rockfield purplepea
Botanical Family: Fabaceae
Grows: This species grows 1 to 3m high by 1 to 2m wide.
Foliage: The new growth of twigs and branches of this compact shrub are hairy. The leaves, 10 to 70mm long, are shiny dark green with intricate vein patterning on their upper surfaces. Their lower surfaces are pale green and densely hairy, and their edges are rolled under.
Flora: The short stalked, white or pale to deep blue, pea flowers grow in the leaf axils. The 6 sepals taper to a sharp point.
Flowering Season: The flowers appear from late winter through spring.
Fruiting body: The 10mm long pod is round and covered with rusty coloured hairs.
How and where it grows: Widespread on dry rocky hills to 1,000m.
Where found: Sorell Creek, Collinsvale; Cradle Mountain Lake St Clair NP; Barren Rock Falls, Bagdad; Molesworth Road near Kundes Creek, Molesworth;
Other notes: This medium sized, erect shrub tolerates dry periods and frost. It requires well-drained soil with part shade.

Isophysis tasmanica

Botanical Name: Isophysis tasmanica (E) syn. Hewardia tasmanica
Commonly Called: Tasmanian purplestar
Botanical Family: Iridaceae
Grows: Clumps of plants grow 10 to 30cm high by 10 to 30cm wide.
Foliage: The 5 to 30cm long by 3 to 5mm wide leaves are bluish-green, tapering to a point, smooth and tough, with rough edges.
Flora: Single terminal flowers, on long erect stems, grow 5 to 10 cm above the leaves and are usually dark purple to magenta and sometimes yellow.
Flowering Season: Flowers appear in summer.
Fruiting body: The fruiting body is a capsule containing numerous seeds.
How and where it grows: These beautiful plants are found from sea level on peaty swamps of the south-west and west coast to exposed rock outcrops up to 1,300m high in the south western and Central Highlands.
Where found: They may be seen on the Track up to the summit of Frenchmans Cap; along the Precipitous Bluff Track; on the Tyndalls Range; and, in similar growing conditions, around Lakes Pedder and Gordon and Bathurst and Macquarie Harbours and many other places in the south west.
Other notes: This is a difficult plant to maintain in home or other gardens and needs moist, free draining, quartz sand like soils, rich in humus and a sunny position. The seeds require stratification i.e. kept in a refrigerator for some weeks prior to sowing, then raising in a bog propagator.

Lagarostrobos franklinii

Botanical Name: Lagarostrobos franklinii (E)
Commonly Called: Huon pine
Botanical Family: Podocarpaceae
Grows: This iconic Tasmanian endemic tree grows up to 20 to 30m high and 2 to 5m wide.
Foliage: The tiny, 1 to 2mm long, light green leaves overlap and clasp the stem tightly.
Flora: As with most other Podocarpaceae family species, Lagarostrobos franklinii plants are dioecious, so there are female amd male trees. The female immature cones grow at right angle to the stemlets and are quite obvious as they are a light brown/green colour.
The male cones are a continuation of the stemlets and are a light reddish colour which, when wet, become bright red, making them very obvious, especially when they mature and have become larger diameter than the stemlets. Knocking a branch of mature male cones may cause a cloud of pollen to be released.
Flowering Season: The cones appear through spring to early summer.
Fruiting body: The mature female cones with 8 to 10 scales are only slightly larger than the tips of the stemlets.
How and where it grows: The species is slow growing, about 1m/10years, so the timber that has been gathered for beautiful furniture and boats may have come from trees many hundreds of years old. It mainly grows in rainforest on moist/wet river banks and around lakes of the west and south-west from sea level to 1,000m. Also grows along the upper reaches of the Huon River.
Where found: Huon pines may be seen along the Heritage Railway, Queenstown to Strahan; Gordon Franklin Wild Rivers NP; Franklin River Reserve, Lyell Highway.
Other notes: There is a rhizomatous group of Lagarostrobos franklinii trees in a highly protected reserve in western Tasmania that are believed to be over 4,000 years old. It may be easily propagated from tip cuttings or fresh seed. The female plant requires a nearby male plant for fertilisation to produce viable seed. This may be harvested by laying out a white sheet beneath the female tree when seed is seen to begin falling. Seed can be sold to specialist nurseries for many dollars per gram.
The timber contains aromatic oils which may be cancerous, so a face mask must be worn when cutting, sanding or turning. It makes beautiful furniture, especially according to some people, when there are ‘birds eye’ markings. Due to the aromatic oil, the fine grained timber makes very durable and long lasting boats.

Lasiopetalum micranthum

Botanical Name: Lasiopetalum micranthum (E)
Commonly Called: Tasmanian velvetbush
Botanical Family: Sterculiaceae
Grows: This lovely prostrate species grows only 20 to 50cm high and spreads 100 to 150cm.
Foliage: A woody hairy shrub, it has long narrow leaves, 2 to 6cm long, with sunken veins in the dark green top surface and rusty hairs on the paler under surface. The leaf edges are slightly rolled under.
Flora: The very small red, downward facing flowers grow in clusters on slim stems. The hairy green ~4mm long sepals surround the stems, and within, 5 tiny petals are hidden between them and the slightly hairy, oblong, narrow pointed, pendulous red stamens.
Flowering Season: The flowers appear in spring.
Fruiting body: The fruit are capsules (fruit which, when mature, dries and splits open to release its seed)
How and where it grows: Dry rocky areas of the east coast from Swanport to St Pauls river. It has limited distribution which is threatened by clearance of habitat. It is not yet listed as a Threatened Species.
Where found: This species is mainly distributed along the Brushy, Cygnet and Swan Rivers. It is also located in the Bluemans Creek State Reserve and on surrounding private properties1. Lake Leake Rd, east of Wye River State Reserve ~0.5km w of the lookout; Big Bedding Hill, Eastern Tiers; Dip River Reserve Lake Leake Road; and Grange Road north of Swansea.
1 From Threatened Flora of Tasmania Lasiopetalum micranthum notes.
Other notes: This is a good ground cover plant for dry locations in full sun. Tip pruning when young will thicken the cover. While the flowers are usually inconspicuous, growing plants on a bank or in a rockery may help to make them more visible.

Leptecophylla parvifolia

Botanical Name: Leptecophylla parvifolia (E)
Commonly Called: Mountain pinkberry
Botanical Family: Epacridaceae
Grows: This woody neat shrub grows 30 to 100cm high by 40 to 90cm wide, and often appears to have been pruned to a roundish shape.
Foliage: The leaves of this species are usually less than 7mm long with a sharp point and flat or slightly rolled under edges. The upper surfaces are shiny green and the lower surfaces are paler green. The leaves are openly spaced and tend to spiral around up the rough barked stems.
Flora: The white tubular flowers with five outwardly flared petal tips, grow on short stems from the leaf axils.
Flowering Season: The flowers appear from mid spring through to early summer.
Fruiting body: The fruit are most attractive and eye catching globular, bright pink to red berries. They grow to 9mm diameter, sometimes slightly flattened, and may rarely be white.
How and where it grows: It occurs high on dolerite mountains of central, eastern and northern parts of Tasmania, including kunyanyi/Mt Wellington, throughout Wellington Park.
Where found: Along most tracks in Wellington Park from about 500m up; tracks around Lakes Dobson and Fenton areas in Mount Field National Park; Cradle Mountain Lake St Clair, Ben Lomond and Hartz Mountain National Parks.
Other notes: A prickly small shrub which is not easy to propagate, so is not widely grown in home gardens. Currawong birds feed on the fruit.

Leptospermum grandiflorum

Botanical Name: Leptospermum grandiflorum (E)
Commonly Called: Autumn teatree
Botanical Family: Myrtaceae
Grows: This large shrub grows 2 to 5m high by 1 to 4m wide.
Foliage: The grey-green leaves, 8 to 20mm long by 5 to 8mm wide, are silky and egg shaped, fatter toward the tip or tending to be elliptical. The bark on the trunk and large branches is rough, dark grey, brittle and flaking. The younger branchlets are silky hairy and reddish.
Flora: The terminal, solitary, white/light pink flowers on the short twigs are up to 3cm in diameter.
Flowering Season: On good forms, flowers may be prolific in autumn.
Fruiting body: The fruit is a five celled capsule that remains closed for many months to years.
How and where it grows: East coast on granite soils in dense colonies in exposed positions, or in rocky ground as an understorey in association with eucalypts.
Where found: Freycinet Peninsula, Apsley Gorge, O Road, Lake Leake Road and many other locations on the east coast.
Other notes: This hardy, spreading rough barked shrub is useful for hedges or screens and responds well to pruning after the large flowers finish and before the seed pods set. The grey foliage, pink flowering form is very attractive.

Leptospermum nitidum

Botanical Name: Leptospermum nitidum (E)
Commonly Called: Shiny teatree
Botanical Family: Myrtaceae
Grows: An upright, many branched shrub or sometimes a small tree, with fibrous or flaky grey bark, grows normally 2 to 4m high but may be found 1m to 8m high by 2 to 3m wide.
Foliage: Young reddish branchlets are sparsely hairy. The older branches have grey, fibrous to flaky bark. The bright green leaves are short stemmed, narrow oblanceolate (stretched diamond shaped), 5 to 10+mm long by 2 to 5mm wide and flat. They have visible oil glands on both surfaces and often have fine hairs along their edges. They are often crowded along stems and tend to form whorls.
Flora: The single flowers are terminal, or grow in the leaf axils, on small side branchlets. The flower cups are 3 to 5mm deep, 15 to 25mm diameter and silky hairy. The triangular sepals are also 3 to 5mm long and usually remain in the cups. The 5 to 10mm long petals are white to pinkish and often convex or concave and wavey with indented edges. Central in each cup is the 5 to 7 cell, hairy ovary.
Flowering Season: Clusters of flowers are seen from late spring through early summer and occasionally during the rest of the year.
Fruiting body: The fruit are 5 to 10mm diameter cylinders with 5 to 7 slightly domed cells and very slightly rounded bottoms. As they age and remain on the stems they develop scaly flaking outer coatings. When mature they may open to release many fine seeds.
How and where it grows: They are found in wet heaths from sea level in the west and south-west to subalpine heaths of the south-west and Central Highlands.
Where found: Leptospermum nitidum may be seen along wettish areas of walking tracks in Cradle Mountain Lake St Clair, Gordon Franklin Wild Rivers and Hartz National Parks and other south west coastal and lowland areas.
Other notes: This is a floriferous shrub for wet areas and, with regular tip pruning, can become a good screen. It likes full sun and may be propagated from seed or cuttings.

Leptospermum rupestre

Botanical Name: Leptospermum rupestre (E)
Commonly Called: Mountain teatree
Botanical Family: Myrtaceae
Grows: More often prostrate or a low dense shrub, it is known to grow from 0.1 to 2m high by 1 to 2.5m wide.
Foliage: The young branchlets are brownish and covered with fine soft hairs while the older branchlets are scaly and flaking. The oval to eliptical, crowded, thickish, flat, shiny bright green leaves grow from 5 to 20mm long by 3 to 5mm wide. Some juvenile leaves have minute hairs which cause the leaves to appear greyish.
Flora: Flowers are terminal and single, growing 1.5 to 3cm in diameter on short side branchlets. The 2 to 3mm deep flower cup is hairy. The sepals form within the cup and grow to about 1.5cm long then wither away soon after. The 5 white, 3 to 6mm diameter petals grow, nearly evenly spaced, around the cup. The central ovary has 5 segments and its convex tip is reddish.
Flowering Season: Flowers may be seen from mid summer through to early autumn and sporadically throughout the year.
Fruiting body: The semiwoody 4 to 5mm diameter fruit is half sphere to inverted bell shaped. Its outer suface becomes more or less scaly. The fruit remains on plants for a long time.
How and where it grows: Wind pruned or prostrate amongst rocks in subalpine areas above 750m and alpine areas up to 1,400m. It grows as a small shrub in more sheltered positions of central, western and southern mountains.
Where found: At the summit of and along sub-alpine and alpine tracks on kunanyi/Mount Wellington; sub-alpine and alpine tracks around Hartz Mountain and Mount Field, in the Franklin and Gordon Wild Rivers and Cradle Mountain Lake St Clair National Parks.
Other notes: This is a beautiful low or prostrate teatree and grows well as a rockery plant in moist well-drained soil in full sun. Propagation is easy from seed.

Lomatia polymorpha

Botanical Name: Lomatia polymorpha (E)
Commonly Called: Mountain guitarplant
Botanical Family: Proteaceae
Grows: An attractive shrub which grows 1 to 4m high and spreads from 0.5 to 1m wide.
Foliage: The leaves have light green top surfaces and brown hairy undersides. They are very variable, narrow elliptical, grow from 2 to 8cm long and occasionally feature 3 to 5 teeth near their tips.
Flora: The typically proteacea form, white to cream flowers feature a green central style and grow in terminal clusters.
Flowering Season: Flowers usually appear through summer.
Fruiting body: The leathery, brown, curved follicles open when fully mature and dry to expose many winged seeds which the wind may disperse far from the parent plant.
How and where it grows: It is common in wet areas from sea level to 1,200m, mainly in the west and south.
Where found: Lomatia polymorpha may be seen near Mount Montague, around the Chalet on kunanyi/Mount Wellington, Collins Cap and many other places in Wellington Park. Also in the Cradle Mountain Lake St Clair, Gordon Franklin Wild Rivers, Hartz and Mount Field National Parks.
Other notes: Requiring moist well drained soil this lovely, bushy shrub may be pruned to maintain height and/or shape. Tip cutting propagation is the only way to replicate the toothed leaf or very floriferous forms and they strike readily. However, for seed propagation, which is also easy, care must be taken to ensure good ventilation and not too much moisture to prevent fungal disease to which this species can be prone.
It differs from the more widely grown Lomatia tinctoria which has long flower spikes and usually features divided leaves. The two species can hybridise.

Lomatia tasmanica

Botanical Name: Lomatia tasmanica (E)
Commonly Called: Kings lomatia
Botanical Family: Proteaceae
Grows: This rare and endangered small tree grows typically 2 to 4m high, but in deep forest may grow as high as 6 to 8m. It usually grows with a single trunk with foliage atop, or a slanting trunk with a few vertical branches. Some plants have been found to have spread by rhizomatous growth.
Foliage: The young stems and buds are densely pilose. The short stalked, shiny, green leaves are alternate and more dense at the end of the branches. They grow from 10 to 18cm long by 2.5 to 4cm wide with 7 to 10 pairs of lobed or sharply-toothed leaflets.
Flora: The flowers grow in pairs in loose terminal racemes which are usually shorter or a litle longer than the upper leaves. The dull crimson perianth segments are thick, fleshy and glabrous. When closed the flowers are ~8mm long and when the 4 petal like tepals are fully open they are ~10mm in diameter. The underside of 3 of the recurved tepals have ‘V’ shaped pollen sacs, bright yellow when coated with pollen. The flowers feature a green, central, recurved gynophore which matures to pale pink.
Flowering Season: Flowers usually appear in mid to late summer, but not every year for some plants.
Fruiting body: This species is a triploid and therefore infertile, because it has been found to have 33 chromosomes, whereas 4 other Lomatia species all produce fruit and have been found to each have 22 chromosomes. Hence no fruit has ever been seen.
How and where it grows: It was originally found by tin miner, Denny King (hence the common name), near Coxs Bight in the South West in 1934. In 1965 he found it in another location and his sample of the flowers and foliage enabled Winifred Curtis to describe the species in 1967. The current location is kept secret and access is strictly controlled due to nearby Phytophthora cinnamomi, foot rot, infestation which is likely be deadly to Lomatia tasmanica. It grows as a small tree or tall shrub 5 to 8m high along creek lines in mixed forest over a distance of 1.2km in several clusters, in all totalling fewer than 500 stems, and all plants are genetically identical, i.e. they are clones. This suggests that all these clusters were once one plant spreading by rhizomatous root growth. Then, later its roots were possibly severed by the roots of falling trees, thus causing the clusters. Another possibility is that layering has occured when branches come in contact with the ground and become rooted, later the parent branch breaks away from the new plant. Fossil leaves of Lomatia tasmanica found in the south west have been dated at 43,600 years old and with the plant being a clone, together with the rhizomatous growth, there is a suggestion that it may be the oldest living plant in the world.
The noted Hobart horticulturalist Ken Gillanders, during an official visit in ~1985 to the South West plants in the wild, obtained propagation material. He remembers that he succeeded in grafting Lomatia tasmanica onto Lomatia tinctoria, another Tasmanian endemic species, and a number of plants have successfully been grown by this technique. Cutting material from these grafted plants has successfully been grown into beautiful plants.
The Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens (RTBG), having succeeded in propagating plants from material collected during a visit to the South West in the 1995, have been working mainly with cuttings material from those cuttings grown plants (clones of the plant in the wild) to produce a conservation collection of nearly 50 plants of various ages. They are now, 2024, also working with cuttings from grafted plants.
Where found: On request, Lomatia tasmanica may be seen in the RTBG in their conservation section. At least one known property has a mature plant propagated by Ken Gillanders. This 3-4m high plant grows on the top of a bank of a small river and is still very healthy and flowers each year. It may be more than 25 years old.
Other notes: Requiring moist well drained soil, and probably fairly constant humidity, this lovely, rare, open shrub may be carefully pruned to maintain height and/or shape. Propagation by semi-hardwood tip and stem cuttings taken in autumn after flowers have dropped, dipped in purple Clonex gel, with each piece in its own pot of sterile cutting mix, low bottom heat in a mist propagator has proven to be the best way to replicate the species.

Lomatia tinctoria

Botanical Name: Lomatia tinctoria (E)
Commonly Called: Guitarplant
Botanical Family: Proteaceae
Grows: This beautiful small to medium shrub grows 0.5 to 2m high and 1 to 2m wide. Some plants are often multi-stemmed due to rhizome development.
Foliage: The young branches are reddish, sparcely tomentose to pubescent or glabrescent with rusty to greyish hairs. The 3 to 10cm long leaves are very variable with 1 to 2cm long stems. The rarely simple, pale to mid-green leaves are more often evenly or unevenly pinnate to pinnatisect or sometimes bipinnate to bipinnatisect. The glabrous, linear to oblong lobes are 1 to 4cm long with smooth edges and blunt or pointed tips.
Flowers: The flowers form axillary or terminal open racemes usually much longer than the leaves. The spine is glabrous or occasionally sparcely hairy. The glabrous flower stems are 1 to 1.5cm long. The cream-white, rarely pink-tinged, tepals are also glabrous with pollen sacs under the recurved tips of three of the four tepals The 0.5 to 1cm long pale green-tipped gynophore are slender and recurved.
Flowering Season: Flowers appear in summer and may continue through to the end of autumn.
Fruit: The bright green, 1.5 to 2cm long follicles develop quickly along the racemes even when some of the flower buds near the tip have yet to open. These green follicles (seed pods) vaguely resemble 16th century guitars. They mature more slowly to glaucous greyish-black outers with persistent shrivelled gynophores. Then, they split open on one side in autumn to release many 3 to 4mm long winged seeds leaving the follicle halves moulded internally to their shape. The open empty follicle hinged halves now truly resemble 16th century guitars, hence the common name.
Habitat/distribution: Widespread, in a variety of habitats from dry coastal to dry sclerophyll and elevated grasslands.
Where found: Heritage Forest Tasmanian Native Garden; Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens; Tasmanian Bushland Garden, Buckland; The Tasmanian Arboretum, Eugenana; low altitude areas along Ben Lomond Road, Ben Lomond National Park (NP); Cradle Mountain/Lake St Claire NP; Freycinet NP including Schouten Island; Narawntapu NP; Mount Barrow NP; Rocky Cape NP; High Yellow Bluff and MacGregor Peak roadsides and tracks, Forestier Peninsula NP; Cape Pillar, Cape Raul and Waterfall Bay Tracks Tasman NP; Bluff River Gorge, Orford Thumbs, Peter Murrell and Woodvine Reserves; kunanyi/Wellington Park; also many home gardens.
Other notes: A small reliable shrub with large spikes of summer flowers, variable divided leaves and early guitar shaped seed pods. Propagates easily from seed and special forms may be propagated easily from tip cuttings. It prefers part/full sun and moist soil with good drainage.

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A Guide to Tasmanian Flora
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