Nature conservation

Threatened species

Dry Rainforests

Vegetation class map

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Estimated percentage landcover for vegetation class


Low closed forest. Irregular canopy 5-20 m tall comprised of numerous tree species and occasional emergent eucalypts. The trees support occasional epiphytes and a diversity of vines. There are no palms, and the understorey is sparse, comprising scattered shrubs and a few species of ferns and herbs.


The canopy is commonly made up of Alectryon subcinereus (wild quince), Backhousia sciadophora (shatterwood), Baloghia inophylla ( brush bloodwood), Brachychiton discolor (lacebark tree), Dendrocnide excelsa ( stinging tree), Gossia bidwillii (python tree), Guioa semiglauca (wild quince) and Streblus brunonianus (whalebone tree). Emergent trees may comprise Araucaria cunninghamii (hoop pine), Ficus rubiginosa (Port Jackson fig), Ficus superba < /em>var. henneana (deciduous fig), Flindersia australis (crows ash) and Podocarpus elatus (plum pine), and in the gallery Dry Rainforests Grevillea robusta (silky oak). In steep dry gorges of the Macleay and upper Clarence catchments Backhousia sciadophora (shatterwood) dominates, while in similar habitats south from the Kowmung Backhousia myrtifolia (grey myrtle) fills a similar role. In the gallery form of dry rainforests Castanospermum australe (black bean), Grevillea robusta (silky oak), Tristaniopsis laurina (water gum) and Waterhousea floribunda (weeping lilly pilly) dominate.


Acalypha capillipes, Cassine australe, Citriobatus pauciflorus (orange thorn), Claoxylon australe (brittlewood), Croton insularis (silver croton), Mallotus philippensis (red kamala).


Aphanopetalum resinosum (gum vine), Austrosteenisia blackii var. blackii (blood vine), Celastrus australis, Cissus antarctica (water vine), Jasminum volubile (scrambling jasmine), Marsdenia pleiadenia, Morinda jasminoides, Tetrastigma nitens.


Epiphytic herbs include Dendrobium cucumerinum (cucumber orchid) and D. linguiforme (tongue orchid), whilst on the ground Pseuderanthemum variabile (pastel flower) and Typhonium brownii may be common. Ground ferns include Adiantum aethiopicum (common maidenhair), A. formosum ( giant maidenhair), Asplenium attenuatum var. attenuatum(simple spleenwort), Doodia aspera (prickly rasp fern), Lastreopsis munita (naked shield fern), Pellaea falcata (sickle fern) and Pteris tremula (tender brake), while epiphytic ferns include Dictymia brownii, Platycerium superbum (staghorn), Pyrrosia confluens var. confluens (horseshoe felt vine) and P. rupestris (rock felt fern). Common grasses include Austrostipa ramosissima (stout bamboo grass) Oplismenus imbecillus.


Typically in rough terrain, where average annual rainfall is 600 -1100 mm,  on rocky substrates, such as basalt, trachyte, and some granites or metasediments, or sometimes on riverine alluvium as gallery forests.


Scattered in gorges of the Brogo, Tuross, Deua, Shoalhaven, Kowmung, Manning, Oxley, Guy Fawkes and Timbarra Rivers on foothills of Barrington Tops, the western McPherson, Richmond, Liverpool and Nandewar Ranges, and along the lower riparian corridors of the Clarence, Macleay and Manning rivers.


A highly variable amalgam of assemblages including complex forests of the north-east coastal valleys and foothills, gallery forests of coastal floodplains, and depauperateBackhousia- or Ficus- dominated forests of dissected gorge terrain. Largely confined toNew South Wales, although floristically related assemblages occur in south-central Queensland.


Floyd (1990); J. B. Williams (pers. comm. 2003)

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