Cooper Creek botanizing

People who study fossils have a term, Lagerstätte (pronounced something like “lar-gus-tan”) for a place or site where they find extraordinary fossils with exceptional preservation, often in large numbers.

Plant biogeographers and botanists who study the living flora should have a similar term too, for special sites where there is a confluence of interesting species, particularly narrow endemics or rare species. In fact such sites are sometimes called refugia – sites that have provided a refuge for plants in harsh conditions during earth’s history.

Cooper Creek in the Daintree is one such site, and though I have visited it a grand total of three times, my visit today left me almost salivating with delight at the number of species I had never seen before until today, and undoubtedly my next few visits will bring yet more personal discoveries.

A very very provisional checklist (some species may be mis-identified but depending as their identities become clearer to me I will update this)

Exceptional, iconic, endemic, rare or primitive species

Abrodictyum elongatum (Hymenophyllaceae)
Ardisia pachyrrhachis (Primulaceae)
Austromuelleria trinervia (Proteaceae)
Bowenia spectabilis (Zamiaceae)
Chionanthus sleumeri (Oleaceae)
Cleistanthus myrianthus (Phyllanthaceae)
Crispiloba disperma (Alseuosmiaceae)
Endiandra microneura (Lauraceae)
Haplostichanthus ramiflorus (Annonaceae)
Hedraianthera porphyropetala (Celastraceae)
Idiospermum australiense (Calycanthaceae)
Lepidozamia hopei (Zamiaceae)
Licuala ramsayi (Arecaceae)
Mesua larnachiana (Clusiaceae)
Muellerochloa moreheadiana (Poaceae)
Neorites kevedianus (Proteaceae)
Normanbya normanbyi (Arecaceae)
Pittosporum aff. triloba (Pittosporaceae)
Pothos brassii (Araceae)
Ryparosa kurangii (Achariaceae)
Schistocarpaea johnsonii (Rhamnaceae)
Symplocos cyanocarpa (Symplocaceae)
Syzygium monospermum (Myrtaceae)
Syzygium glenum (Myrtaceae)
Xanthostemon formosus (Myrtaceae)

Other more common widespread species

Archontophoenix alexandrae (Araceae)
Beilschmiedia tooram (Lauraceae)
Blechnum cartilagineum (Blechnaceae)
Brackenridgea australiana (Ochnaceae)
Cardwellia sublimis (Proteaceae)
Cerbera floribunda (Apocynaceae)
Cyathea rebeccae (Cyatheaceae)
Dienia montana (Orchidaceae)
Elaeodendron australe (Celastraceae)
Fagraea cambagei (Gentianaceae)
Grevillea baileyana (Proteaceae)
Hibbertia scandens (Dilleniaceae)
Hyophila dielsiana (Celastraceae)
Humata repens (Davalliaceae)
Hypserpa decumbens (Menispermaceae)
Ixora biflora (Rubiaceae)
Macaranga subdentata (Euphorbiaceae)
Medinilla balls-headleyi (Melastomataceae)
Molineria capitulata (Hypoxidaceae)
Musgravea heterophylla (Proteaceae)
Pittosporum rubiginosum (Pittosporaceae)
Polyscias australiana (Araliaceae)
Pothos longipes (Araceae)
Pullea strutzeri (Cunoniaceae)
Rhodomyrtus effusa (Myrtaceae)
Schefflera actinophylla (Araliaceae)
Smilax glyciphylla (Smilacaceae)
Symplocos paucistaminea (Symplocaceae)
Ternstroemia cherryi (Pentaphylacaceae)

About David Tng

I am David Tng, a hedonistic botanizer who pursues plants with a fervour. I chase the opportunity to delve into various aspects of the study of plants. I have spent untold hours staring at mosses and allied plants, taking picture of pollen, culturing orchids in clean cabinets, counting tree rings, monitoring plant flowering times, etc. I am currently engrossed in the study of plant ecology (a grand excuse to see 'anything I can). Sometimes I think of myself as a shadow taxonomist, a sentimental ecologist, and a spiritual environmentalist - but at the very root of it all, a "plant whisperer"!
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