This BioProvince (as defined by Armen Takhtajan) consists of Norfolk Island and its small neighbouring islands (Philip Island and Nepean Island). Norfolk and Philip are volcanic islands that formed some three million years ago, while Nepean is composed of limestone. The climate is sub-tropical, but with most of the rainfall occurring during the cooler season and summer droughts are not infrequent. The native flora consists of about 174 vascular plants, 60 of which are endemic. These include an endemic psilopsid (Tmesipteris forsteri), 14 endemic ferns and 44 endemic flowering plants, but no endemic genera have been described. Most of the forest plants have high and roughly equal affinities with Australian and New Zealand floras despite the fact that New Caledonia is the nearest landmass. On the other hand, the New Caledonian Araucaria columnaris is the closest relative to Norfolk Island’s Araucaria heterophyllum. Like other islands in this part of the World, Norfolk Island is considered to be a remnant of Gondwana, and its flora is regarded a relict of a more extensive flora of the distant past. The primary vegetation formations include Araucaria forest and various coastal communities.
The following accounts for this BioProvince have been written or will be written with particular reference to endemic and locally important species. Accounts available are displayed in green or yellow. Those displayed in red are either in the pipeline or awaiting expert contributions.
|Endemic Vascular Plant Flora|