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Saturday, August 14, 2010

Antarctic beech trees of Springbrook ~ Nothofagus moorei

There is something quite spooky about the spot on top Springbrook where these relics of Gondwana live...especially if your visit coincides with the mists drifting in....

However even in the crisp clear light of a cool spring day these trees still manage to mesmerise me, the age of the root crown and lower stems could span out to 2000 years.

Nothofagus moorei ~ Antarctic beech only grow in a few spots in Australia they need the unique environment of a cool temperate rainforest between altitudes of 500m - 1500m, they will even tolerate snowfall....not much of that at Springbrook mind you!

There has been prolonged debate about just how the populations in such isolated spots like Springbrook are managing to reproduce...was it just through suckering (vegetative reproduction) or could they be producing viable seed through sexual reproduction, apparently viable seed production is possible.

Clearly the limtations of their distribution to these very climate specific locations supports the theory that they are remnants from a time when cooler conditions were far more widespread.

Its a bit funny to think of these trees really liking it even cooler when you are up on the top of Springbrook on a windy rainy cold grey day.......

but thats trees for you....even the ancient ones are fickle things!


  1. Great post and beautiful trees, there are so many faces in the nooks and crannies of the stems and the buttress.

  2. They are fantastic aren't they...very special veterans in a very beautiful (if at times cool)part of the National Park.

  3. I love these trees - I grew up at Springbrook and when I went there as a child, it was like being in Lord Of The Rings or something! Springbrook does get the odd bit of snow, though not often.