Survey of Daintree's Lot 26 uncovers five threatened plant species

Five plant species marked for conservation have been found among 188 native plants identified on the block at Lot 26 Ronald Road. 

Kelvin Davies with leaves of Alligatorbark (Calophyllum sil) 

Before we purchase a Daintree Rainforest property, our ecologist and botanist conducts a survey of flora and fauna. The written report then guides our decision to buy it for conservation. 

On April 23 and 24, a vegetation survey was undertaken at Lot 26 Ronald Road, Forest Creek. During that time, ecologist and botanist Kristopher Kupsch identified 188 native plant species.

Three are listed as vulnerable:

  • The 'tree with no name' (Cyclophyllum costatum) 
  • Gray’s Walnut (Endiandra grayi)
  • Climbing Pandan (Freycinetia percostata)

and two are near-threatened

  • The China Camp Laurel (Beilschmiedia castrisinensis) 
  • Noah's Walnut (Endiandra microneura)

The ecosystem type, mesophyll vine forest (tropical rainforest), found on the 2.093 hectare property is also classed as essential habitat for the endangered southern cassowary (Casuarius casuarius johnsonii).

You can find a summary of the survey report below.

Please, donate now and help purchase and protect Lot 26 Ronald Road in the Daintree Rainforest.

Southern Cassowary (Casuarius casuarius johnsonii)

Survey report summary for Lot 26 Ronald Road:

Area: 2.093 hectares

Location: Forest Creek, Queensland

Vegetation type: Lowland Tropical Rainforest - Mesophyll vine forest (remnant and regrowth). 

Endangered Ecological Community: Lowland tropical rainforest of the Wet Tropics ecological community is listed in the Endangered Category under the Australian Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999

Threatened Species: Southern Cassowary (Casuarius casuarius johnsonii), Climbing Pandan (Freycinetia percostata)

Please, donate now and help purchase and protect Lot 26 Ronald Road in the Daintree Rainforest.


Lot 26 Ronald Road has two tropical rainforest ecosystems. The first is Regional Ecosystem 7.3.10a: Mesophyll vine forest. Moderately to poorly-drained alluvial plains, of moderate fertility.
Lowlands of the very wet and wet zone is listed as “Of Concern” under the Vegetation Management Act 1999.
The second vegetation type is Regional Ecosystem 7.11.1a: Mesophyll vine forest. Lowlands and foothills on metamorphics. Very wet and wet rainfall zones are listed as “Least Concern” under the Vegetation Management Act 1999.

Aside from cassowaries, one likely inhabitant of these ecosystems is the Bennett's tree-kangaroo. This very elusive marsupial is found in both mountain and lowland tropical rainforests south of Cooktown, Queensland to just north of the Daintree River; an area of only about 70 km by 50 km (44 miles by 31 miles). It lives almost completely on the leaves of a wide range of rainforest trees, notably Schefflera actinophylla (the Umbrella Tree), vines, ferns and various fruits.

Please, donate now and help purchase and protect Lot 26 Ronald Road in the Daintree Rainforest.

Five species found on Lot 26 are listed on the Queensland Nature Conservation Act 1992 or the Australian Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC).

Significant native species found during the survey:

1.     Beilschmiedia castrisinensis NCA: Near Threatened

The China Camp Laurel was identified on Lot 26 as three saplings 30cm - 1-metre tall disjunct from one another across the site.

This species is common however never abundant throughout its home range between the Bloomfield and Daintree rivers.

China Camp Laurel (Beilschmiedia castrisinensis)

2.     Cyclophyllum costatum NCA/EPBC: Vulnerable

Cyclophyllum costatum (no common name) is a shrub or small tree growing from 4 to 10 m high, the bark is brown or whitish coloured and is slightly fissured. The branchlets are reddish brown, but usually with a white bloom, the older ones with small, whitish lenticels. This species had not been recorded in our previous surveys in the Daintree lowlands. 

Cyclophyllum costatum - Image: Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants 

3.     Endiandra grayi NCA: Vulnerable

Gray’s Walnut is restricted between the Daintree River and Cape Tribulation. A single seedling was identified on Lot 26 Ronald Road suggesting the Southern Cassowary aided its occurrence.

Gray’s Walnut (Endiandra grayi)Photo K. Kupsch 
4.     Endiandra microneura NCA: Near Threatened

Noah's Walnut was identified as a handful of seedlings and no mature specimens were noted, suggesting recent arrival to the site perhaps by Cassowary dispersal.  

Fruit of Noah's Walnut (Endiandra microneura)

5.     Freycinetia percostata NCA: Vulnerable

Climbing Pandanus climbs high into the canopy using adventitious roots attached to the trunks of trees. It is restricted mainly to the Daintree and again on Cape York at Iron Range and overseas in Papua New Guinea. This climbing grass-like plant possesses unique leaves that trap water and thus provide habitat for invertebrates and frogs. These microhabitats are termed Phytotelms and add to the habitat diversity within a rainforest. This species was identified as roadside specimens at the entrance to Lot 26. 

Other significant plants occurring on Lot 26:

1, Jagera madida

Daintree Foambark (Jagera madida)is present on Lot 26 as a handful of saplings growing within the forested slopes. It is a slender tree with large furry leaves and red new growth. It has close relatives in Asia and was once believed to be a subspecies of a southeast Asian Foambark however in 2006 was described as a separate species endemic to the Daintree rainforests. This species only occurs in the lowland rainforests between Julatten – Bloomfield. It is relatively common within the region and often encountered on surveys undertaken previously.

2, Polyalthia xanthocarpa

Cooper Creek Haplostichanthus (Polyalthia xanthocarpa) occurs on Lot 26. It is an understorey tree less than 3m tall with small yellow fruit in clusters from the trunk and branches. It is restricted to the lowland rainforests of the Daintree but is often abundant. On Lot 26 whilst several specimens occur on the southern protected slopes it wasn’t as commonly encountered as within forests north of the Alexandra Range where it is often dominant. This species is reaching the southern limit of its range in this region of the Daintree.

Kelvin Davies with Cooper Creek Haplostichanthus

3, Rhodomyrtus effusa

Daintree Myrtle (Rhodomyrtus effusa)is an understorey shrub restricted between Julatten and the Bloomfield. It is relatively common within this range. In recent years the exotic airborne Pathogen Myrtle Rust has impacted this species and many others. A single individual was noted growing within Dicranopteris ferns on a steep slope. This species favours forest clearings, creek edges and often grows in the understorey of Acacia celsa as the dominant canopy tree.

4, Syzygium monospermum

Daintree Satinash (Syzygium monospermum)is restricted to lowland rainforest between Julatten and the Bloomfield. It is an important food resource for the Southern Cassowary and sugar gliders and bird that feed on the nectar-laden flowers borne straight from the main trunk.

The species has a unique relationship with native Ants which live inside the trunk entering via chambers the tree creates for them. This is presumably a mutualistic beneficial relationship created over Millenia and the only example of its kind in Australia for a tree to house insects in this manner, possibly the world. 

Daintree Satinash (Syzygium monospermum)

Lot 26 Ronald Road at Forest Creek is a freehold property that deserves the same level of protection as the nearby Daintree National Park. This is an urgent request for funds to purchase this at-risk property. If we can't achieve that the block will be lost to development. There is no plan B. Please see more information and donate now.


18 exotic species were found on Lot 26 Ronald Road. These plants will be removed once the property is acquired and managed for conservaiton. 
Please, donate now and help purchase and protect Lot 26 Ronald Road in the Daintree Rainforest.

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  • Kelvin Davies
    published this page in Latest News 2023-05-02 16:30:00 +1000