I had the very great fortune of visiting Chillagoe in Jan 2012 and compiled a very provisional checklist of the plants I could identify. The most characteristic feature of that area must have been the presence of Currajongs (Brachychiton spp.), particularly near and on the limestone outcrops where the caves are. These short but majestic trees were often associated with an interesting monsoon vine thicket which consisted of quite a variety of grape vines (Vitaceae) and a number of interesting shrub species such as Croton arnhemicus, Graptophyllum excelsum and Dendrolobium arbuscula. Among the limetone rocks I was fortunate to espy a magnificent display of Cardwell Lilies (Proiphys amboinensis) and also some interesting fern species including Adiantum and possibly a poikilohydric species I haven’t determined. The woodlands around the area was characterized by ironbarks (possibly Eucalyptus crebra) and ghost gums (Corymbia dallachiana and Corymbia confertiflora) and also had a number of very characteristic savanna trees and shrubs such as Erythrina vespertilo, Terminalia platyptera and Atalaya. More on Chillagoe Plants when I update my Flickr with my macro pics.
Provisional Checklist of Plants around the Chillagoe Caves
Boerhavia sp. 1 – trailing herb with hairy leaves
Boerhavia sp. 2 – trailing herb leaves not hairy
Cayratia cardiophylla (?)
Croton arnhemicus – very abundant among the limestone.
Eucalyptus crebra (assuming)
Ficus opposita – individuals here in Chillagoe have furry leaves rather than sandpapery.
Ficus virens (?) – This fig was probably responsible for the thick prop root growing down into the Fig Root Chamber in the Royal Arch Cave.
Grevillea mimosoides (?)
Godwin M (1991) Land units of the Chillagoe Area – Queensland. Queensland National Parks and Wildlife Service, Queensland.