The Pretty Plant Life of Cape Tribulation and Beyond

The Pretty Plant Life of Cape Tribulation and Beyond

Written by: Cameron Ward

Published: 09/04/2017

Reading time: 3 mins

The Daintree Rainforest meets the Great Barrier Reef in a part of the coastline known as Cape Tribulation. This spot is unique, in that it boasts all the characteristics of a beach side resort, with pristine sands and sparkling shallows, as well as a tropical rainforest packed full of native wildlife.

  • Primitive Plant Species

    The majority of the world’s nineteen primitive plant families can be found in the Daintree Rainforest and its surrounding regions, making it one of the oldest rainforests in the entire world. Today, you can still find a primitive she-oak called Gymnostoma australianum, which is a pine-like tree and one of the only remaining types of plants in its group. You can find these just to the north of the Daintree River.

    Another primitive species, the Noahdendron nicholasii can be found on a specific area of the river’s banks and in surrounding narrow creeks. So far, it hasn’t been found anywhere else in the world. It is most noticeable by its eye-catching pink flower spike that is made up of multiple scented blossoms.

    Near Cape Tribulation itself, you can find the ancient Idiospermum australiense, which has been found in several other regions of the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area.

  • Idiot Fruit

    Perhaps the most famous species of plant in Cape Tribulation and its surroundings is the Idiot Fruit, which is one of the rarest primitive plants in the entire world, dating back more than 110 million years. The finding of this plant back in the 70s showed just how old the Daintree Rainforest is.

  • Epiphytes

    These plants can survive without rooting into the ground, so they can often be found being supported by host plants. One of the most important and common versions of this plant is the Basket Fern. This unique fern can actually create its own ecosystem.

  • King Ferns

    This is one of the largest and oldest ferns on the entire planet. Their fronds measure up to five metres in length when fully grown, making them incredibly impressive to see.

  • Noah’s Satinash

    The most eye-catching things about Noah’s Satinash plants are the vibrant pear-shaped fruit that it grows. They appear between October and November after a bloom of white flowers during autumn. The fruits are a firm favourite for the native Musky Rat-kangaroos who come out at night to feast on them.

  • Native Gingers

    The dozens of Ginger species found in this part of Australia are all endemic to the region. They are often used as ornamental plants and can be found in many flower arrangements throughout the region.

Cameron Ward
Cameron Ward
Managing Director at Sightseeing Tours Australia

Cameron Ward turned his travel passion into a thriving Australian tourism business. Before he co-founded his own business, Sightseeing Tours Australia, he was enjoying being a Melbourne tour guide. Even now, Cameron delights in helping visitors from all around the world get the most out of their incredible Australian trip. You’ll see Cameron leading tours or writing about his favourite Australian places where he shares his local insights.