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Flora of Central Cape York Peninsula


Grasstrees with Ipomoea flower in open woodland.

Select one of the following links:
Woodland tree and shrub species list
Wetland flora and fauna survey
Panoramic photo gallery of central Cape York
The uses of plants in traditional industry and subsistence

From this page you can begin your search on the flora native to the traditional lands of the Oykangand, Olkola and Pakanh peoples in central Cape York Peninsula. This includes the trees, plants, vines, reeds, grasses, lilies, etc.

There is wealth of plants and trees found in the central Cape York Peninsula region. This country is primarily sub-humid tropical woodland, dominated by Eucalyptus and Melaleuca spp.

The region receives over 1000 mm of rain anually but it is almost entirely concentrated in the "wet season" which runs for roughly three months between December and April. There is deficient rainfall in the winter, called the "dry season". The soil is sandy and nutrient-poor, primarily because of the leeching effect of the high rainfall. The flora in the region is primarily sclerophyll ("hard, stiff foliage"), meaning that it is adapted to retain moisture. Leathery leaves, short spaces between leaves and sparse foliage are examples of this adaptation. Dry sclerophyll woodland typically has a very open canopy and has a diverse understory.

Gallery rainforest, called scrub locally (ank in Oykangand and an.gu in Olkola), grows along the permanent rivers and creeks.

e-mail: Philip Hamilton.
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