Territory Stories

Plant species and sites of botanical significance in the southern bioregions of the Northern Territory



Plant species and sites of botanical significance in the southern bioregions of the Northern Territory

Other title

Matthew White ... [et al.]


White, Matthew; Albrecht, David; Duguid, Angus W.; Latz, Peter; Hamilton, Mary


E-Publications; PublicationNT; E-Books




Made available via the Publications (Legal Deposit) Act 2004 (NT).; This report provides a benchmark for the conservation status of botanical values in the southern, predominantly arid part of the Northern Territory. It will have many and varied uses, providing information about conservation values to land holders and managers as well as government departments and conservation groups.

Table of contents

Volume 1 : Significant vascular plants -- Volume 2 : Significant sites




Plants -- Northern Territory -- Alice Springs Region; Northern Territory -- Alice Springs Region

Publisher name

Arid Lands Environment Centre

Place of publication

Alice Springs (N.T.)


2 v. : maps ; 30 cm.

File type



0724527842 (v. 1); 0724527850 (v. 2)

Copyright owner

Check within Publication or with content Publisher.

Parent handle


Citation address


Related items

https://hdl.handle.net/10070/601264; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/601266; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/601268

Page content

Volume 2 , Part 2, page 176 MacDonnell Ranges Site: 23-3-5 Chewings Range Level of significance: national Location: 23 42' S 133 4' E; Central and Western Macdonnell Ranges (west of Alice Springs) Area: 1299 km2 Map sheets: Hermannsburg SF 53-13 & Alice Springs SF 53-14 Bioregion: MacDonnell Ranges (MAC) Tenure: West Macdonnell Ranges National Park (51% of site); Freehold - Roulmaulpma (5% of site), Iwupatatka (5% of site) and Rodna (<1% of site) Aboriginal Land Trusts; Pastoral Lease - Owen Springs (35% of site), Glen Helen & Hamilton Downs (both <1%). Description: This site is broadly delineated by the outcropping of the meta-sandstone geologies in the western Macdonnell Ranges. The site trends east-west and is bounded in the north by the northern fall of the Chewings range - a prominent ridge of quartzite which rises steeply above the surrounding landscape. The range rises to a high point of 1,389 m ASL at Mount Giles and continues from Ormiston Pound in the west to Simpsons Gap in the east. The site is bounded in the south by the southern fall of the Heavitree Range another steep ridge of quartzite (composed of Heavitree quartzite). The site also includes the entire exposure of Heavitree quartzite which extends to the west of Ormiston Pound and includes several high peaks including Mount Sonder (1,380 m ASL) and terminates at Mount Razorback (1,274 m ASL). Between these ranges lies Ormiston Pound and the Alice Valley, which are broad undulating valleys with low rocky hills and alluvial fans and plains. Here the geology is predominantly crystalline metamorphic with minor occurrences of granite. Notes: This site is undoubtedly of great botanical significance. The site supports numerous rare and significant plants and rare plant communities. Pitts (1994) identifies several plant communities of highly limited distribution. Of particular importance are:sparse shrublands dominated by Acacia macdonnellensis, Eucalyptus eremaea and E. gillenii; and open woodlands dominated by Callitris glaucophylla and Acacia macdonnellensis which occur on the highest and steepest parts (invariably on quartzite) of the west Macdonnell Ranges. These communities are of limited extent and support numerous rare, threatened and otherwise significant plant taxa. Four plant species of national significance are endemic to this site; Acacia dolichophylla, Actinotus schwartzii, Hakea standleyensis and Wrixonia schultzii, while other species of national conservation significance are either largely confined to this area; Leucopogon sonderensis and Hibbertia A86497 Chewings Range or have their main stronghold in this site; Neurachne tenuifolia. The site is also of particular biogeographic interest, having many disjunct populations of plant taxa. Many of these records occur in the Chewings and Heavitree Ranges where the tributaries of the Hugh and Finke Rivers have carved out deep shaded gorges often with pools and waterholes. In addition, the Chewings Range has several important permanent springs which support many highly disjunct species and rare plant communities. Of particular note is the occurrence of a restricted stand of Callistemon pauciflora shrubland with a Dicranopteris linearis understorey, which occurs near Giles Spring. Many of these predominantly mesic plant taxa may be relictual, persisting at these locations from wetter periods in the climatic history of central Australia (Maconochie 1981). Among the more interesting of these disjunct species are Adiantum capillus-veneris, Carex fascicularis and Christella dentata (all known from small populations near permanent springs in the Chewings Range), which occur at no other location in the study area. Criteria satisfied: A1 a i), A1 b i), A1 c i), A1 d i), A2 e i), A3 c i), B1 b1 i), B1 b2 i), C1 B i). Taxa of Australian significance: Acacia dolichophylla {2RC- [NSEW] endemic to/only known from this site}, Actinotus schwarzii {3VCa [NSEW]}, Austrostipa feresetacea {3RC- [S]}, Callistemon pauciflorus {3RC-}, Comesperma viscidulum {3KC- [E]}, Eucalyptus lucens {3RC- [N]}, Euphorbia sarcostemmoides {3KCa}, Gossypium nelsonii {3RC-}, Hakea grammatophylla {3RC-}, Hakea standleyensis {3RC- [NSE]}, Harnieria kempeana subsp. kempeana {3RC- [N]}, Hibbertia A86497 Chewings Range {3RC- [NE]}, Kohautia australiensis {3KC-}, Leucopogon sonderensis {3RC- [NE] only known in MAC from this site}, Lomandra patens {3RCa}, Macrozamia macdonnellii {3VCa}, Neurachne tenuifolia {3RCa [S]}, Olearia macdonnellensis {3VCi [S]}, Pluchea A87409 Ormiston {3K [S]}, Samolus eremaeus {3KC-}, Sauropus ramosissimus {3KC-}, Sedopsis filsonii {3RC-}, Wrixonia schultzii {3VC- [SE]} Taxa of NT significance: Adiantum capillus-veneris {3vCi only known in study area from this site}, Agrostis avenacea {3rC-}, Arthropodium strictum {3rC- [N]}, Carex fascicularis {3rC- only known in NT from this site}, Clematis microphylla var. microphylla {3rC-}, Cymbopogon dependens {3kC-}, Doodia caudata var. caudata {3rC-}, Einadia nutans subsp. nutans {3rC-}, Enneapogon intermedius {3k}, Eremophila elderi {3k}, Glycine clandestina s.lat. {3rC-}, Hibbertia glaberrima {3rCa}, Histiopteris incisa {3rC-}, Juncus continuus {3rC-}, Oxalis radicosa {3kC-}, Sclerolaena parviflora {3r}, Senecio cunninghamii var. serratus {3r}, Sida everistiana {3r only known in MAC from this site}, Spartothamnella puberula {3rC-}, Tricoryne elatior s.lat. {3rC-} Taxa of Southern NT (study area) significance: Adiantum hispidulum var. hispidulum {(disjunct)}, Bothriochloa bladhii subsp. bladhii {(disjunct)}, Christella dentata {(threatened) only known in study area from this site}, Cymbopogon refractus {(disjunct & apparently rare) only known in study area from this site}, Dicranopteris linearis var. linearis {(threatened) only known in study area from this site}, Lindsaea ensifolia subsp. ensifolia {(rare)}, Psilotum nudum {(rare)}, Zornia muriculata subsp. angustata {(disjunct) only known in MAC from this site}