Tropical Plants in Queensland

Queensland is the northernmost state of Australia, lying in a tropical zone. Called the Sunshine State, Queensland boasts the largest number of Australia's native plants, including 8,000 species of flowering tropical plants, tall rainforest trees, orchids, dryland plants that exist in Queensland's outback area, gymnosperms and ferns. Approximately 13 percent of these plants are classified as vulnerable or endangered.

Acacia Trees

More than two dozen types of acacia trees are native to Queensland. They range from shrubs to trees that grow from 18 to nearly 50 feet in height. Many of Queensland's acacia trees are called wattles, and most grow in arid regions. One of the acacias, the Acacia concurrens, grows to 45 or 50 feet tall and is a fast-growing, hardy dryland tree. It has yellow flowers on a long stalk that bloom in winter and spring, and then develop into twisted seedpods. It attracts birds and butterflies and gives them food and shelter. This tree is resistant to the fires that sometimes destroy thousands of acres in Queensland.

Ferns

Several species of ferns grow in wet environments and are called water ferns. Included are the Blechnum camfieldii, Blechnum nudum, or fishbone water fern, and Blechnum patersonii, the strap water fern. All water ferns must have a moist, riparian environment with full shade. The camfieldii water fern is evergreen, and its young fronds are bronze, tinged with pink. Although it requires a moist environment, it also can withstand droughts. Older plants can sometimes have a short trunk, making the water ferns look similar to tree ferns. The fishbone water fern has fronds that grow as large as 3 feet long. The strap water fern also needs a shady, wet location. It is sometimes used as a potted plant.

Eucalyptus Trees

Australia is well known for its native gum trees, and Queensland is the home to numerous species of this tall tree, which often tops 50 feet in height. The eucalyptus thrives in dry areas and full sun. They are not particular about the soil in which they grow. Eucalyptus tereticornis, also called forest red gum or Queensland blue gum, has a smooth bark that ranges in color from white to grey. It has white flowers that attract bees, and when seeds form, they provide food for birds. It is also a food source for the koala bear. The eucalyptus trees are suitable for properties that have large amounts of land.

Crane's Bill Geranium

The Geranium neglectum, also called Crane's bill or swamp cranesbill, is a flowering groundcover plant that lives in damp areas of Queensland. It favors locales with full or filtered sun. This geranium has deeply lobed leaves that are a medium green color. Its light pink flowers bloom from summer through fall. In Queensland, home gardeners sometimes choose the Crane's bill geranium for areas such as frog ponds or bog gardens.

Keywords: Australia Queensland, native plants, eucalyptus acacia

About this Author

Barbara Fahs lives on Hawaii island, where she has created Hi‘iaka's Healing Herb Garden. Barbara wrote "Super Simple Guide to Creating Hawaiian Gardens," and has been a professional writer since 1984. She contributes to Big Island Weekly, Ke Ola magazine, GardenGuides.com and eHow.com. She earned her B.A. at UCSB and her M.A. from San Jose State University.