Nature conservation

Threatened species

Sydney Montane Dry Sclerophyll Forests

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Estimated percentage landcover for vegetation class


Open eucalypt forests and woodlands 10-25 m tall with a diverse and distinctive sclerophyll shrub understorey. The open groundcover is characterised by prostrate shrubs and sclerophyll sedges.


In sheltered sites Eucalyptus oreades (Blue Mountain ash) and E. piperita (Sydney peppermint) or E. radiata (narrow-leaved peppermint) are prominent. Ridges are dominated by E. sclerophylla (hard-leaved scribbly gum), E. sieberi (silvertop ash) and E. sparsifolia (narrow-leaved stringybark). Eucalyptus blaxlandii (brown stringybark), E. dives (broad-leaved peppermint), E. pauciflora (white sally) and E. radiata (narrow-leaved peppermint) may be locally abundant, particularly at higher elevations.


Acacia dorothea (Dorothys wattle), A. terminalis (sunshine wattle), Amperea xiphoclada var. xiphoclada (broome spurge), Banksia cunninghamii subsp. cunninghamii, Boronia microphylla, Daviesia latifolia (broad-leaved bitter pea), Hakea dactyloides (broad-leaved hakea), Lomatia silaifolia (crinkle bush), Persoonia myrtilloides (myrtle geebung), Petrophile canescens (conesticks), Phyllota squarrosa (dense phyllota), Telopea speciosissima (waratah). The prostrate growth forms of Grevillea laurifolia, Mirbelia platylobioides and Persoonia chamaepitys (prostrate geebung) contribute to the ground cover.


Dianella revoluta var. revoluta (blue flax lily), Patersonia glabrata (leafy purple-flag), Austrostipa pubescens, Joycea pallida (silvertop wallaby grass), Lomandra glauca, L. multiflora (many-flowered mat-rush).


Ridges, slopes and gullies on elevated quartz-rich sandstone plateaux rising from about 750 to 1200 m above sea level, but extending to lower elevations in the south. These plateaux have infertile sandy loams and receive more than 1000 mm of precipitation in an average year, including occasional snow falls.


Higher parts of Greater Blue Mountains sandstone plateau, the southern Illawarra Escarpment between Avon River, Macquarie Pass and Belmore Falls, and on the elevated sandstone plateau of the northern Budawang Mountains. Unique to New South Wales.


Varies with topographic shelter and includes a distinctive sclerophyll shrub stratum containing a number of locally endemic plants species. Shares a number of species with other Sydney Sandstone Dry Sclerophyll Forests, as well as South-east Dry Sclerophyll Forests. Much of its distribution is protected within the large Blue Mountains World Heritage Area and in Morton National Park. Substantial land clearing has occurred along the Great Western Highway corridor between Wentworth Falls and Mount Victoria for rural and residential subdivision, and for pine plantations on the Shipley and Newnes plateaux.


Keith & Benson (1988); Benson & Keith (1990)

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