Nature conservation

Threatened species

Cumberland Dry Sclerophyll Forests

Vegetation class map

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Estimated percentage landcover for vegetation class


Open, dry, eucalypt woodland, typically with an abundance of ironbark eucalypts and an open subcanopy of paperbarks. The trees may grow to 30 m tall, although on poorly drained clay soils they may scarcely reach 10 m tall. The understorey has a prominent stratum of sclerophyll shrubs and a semi-continuous grassy groundcover.


Eucalyptus fibrosa (red ironbark) is common throughout with Melaleuca decora in the subcanopy, while E. crebra (narrow-leaved ironbark), E. eugenioides (narrow-leaved stringybark) and E. longifolia (woollybutt) may be common within localised areas, and Eucalyptus moluccana (grey box) and E. tereticornis (forest red gum) may occur on shale-gravel transitions.


Acacia falcata, A. pubescens (downy wattle), Bursaria spinosa (blackthorn), Daviesia ulicifolia (gorse bitter pea), Dillwynia tenuifolia (egg and bacon pea), Dodonaea falcata (thread-leaf hopbush), Grevillea juniperina subsp. juniperina (prickly spider-flower), Lissanthe strigosa (peach heath), Melaleuca nodosa, Olearia microphylla, Ozothamnus diosmifolius (white dogwood), Pultenaea parviflora and P. villosa.


Calotis cuneifolia (purple burr-daisy), Dianella revoluta var. revoluta (blue flax lily), Dichondra repens (kidney weed), Goodenia hederacea var. hederacea (forest goodenia), Lagenifera stipitata (blue bottle-daisy), Laxmannia gracilis, Opercularia diphylla, Pomax umbellata, Pratia purpurascens (white root), Thysanotus tuberosus subsp. tuberosus (common fringe-lily), Vernonia cinerea, Cheilanthes sieberi subsp. sieberi (poison rock fern), plumegrass), Echinopogon ovatus (forest hedgehog grass), Entolasia stricta (wiry panic), Lepidosperma laterale, Lomandra multiflora subsp. multiflora (many-flowered matrush), Microlaena stipoides var. stipoides (weeping grass), Panicum simile (two coloured panic), Paspalidium distans, Schoenus apogon (common bog-rush), Themeda australis (kangaroo grass).


Islands of gravelly clay soils of moderate to low fertility on flat to undulating terrain within extensive shale plains, forming a rain shadow zone that receives 800-960 mm per annum.


Restricted to the Cumberland plain in western Sydney, but with related vegetation in the lower Hunter valley and Illawarra plain. Unique to New South Wales.


Grades into Hinterland Sandflats Dry Sclerophyll Forests on sandier soils and Coastal Rainshadow Grassy Woodlands on more fertile shale substrates. Fragmented by rural-residential and urban development.


Benson & Howell (1990); Benson (1992); Tozer (2003)

See all threatened species associated with this vegetation class

See a list of species, populations and ecological communities associated with the Cumberland Dry Sclerophyll Forests vegetation class.