Dipteris conjugata, a Queensland endemic fern currently considered to be Near Threatened. Photo: Ashley Field.
More than 8,400 species of native flowering plants, gymnosperms, ferns and fern allies (vascular plants) are known to occur in Queensland, representing approximately 45 percent of the known Australian species. More than 30 percent of these are endemic to Queensland, that is they are found nowhere else in the world.
More than half of Australia's cycad species, and 80 percent of Australia's fern species occur in Queensland, with many endemics in these groups.
The most common and recognisable species across the Queensland landscape are the wattles (Acacia species) and eucalypts (Angophora, Eucalyptus, Corymbia species). These genera include hundreds of species and dominate and define many regional ecosystems throughout Queensland. The grasses (family Poaceae) comprise the largest vascular plant family in Queensland and dominate the understorey over much of the landscape. The myrtles (family Myrtaceae), the pea flowers (family Fabaceae) and the sedges (family Cyperaceae) are also well represented in Queensland’s ecosystems.
In addition to the flowering plants, there are more than 400 non-flowering vascular plants (gymnosperms and ferns) and 900 species of non-vascular plants (mosses, liverworts, hornworts). Other related groups included in the flora are the algae with more than 1,500 known species including cyanobacteria, red, green and brown algae; lichens with more than 1,900 known species; and macrofungi with more than 1,100 known species. There are still many yet-to-be-discovered species, especially of fungi, algae and lichens, and their importance in ecosystem function and health is still poorly understood.
Queensland Herbarium botanists are involved in discovering and describing new native species, published in the Queensland Herbarium's journal Austrobaileya. Queensland native species are listed in the Census of the Queensland Flora, along with their status and distribution.