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The prostrate form of Adenanthos cuneatus, a plant characteristic of kwongan heathlands

Kwongan is a type of heathland found on the coastal plains of Western Australia. The name is derived from the language of the Noongar people. Kwongan comprises floristically rich heath with dense thickets of sclerophyllous shrubs and isolated small trees. It is characterised by nutrient-poor sandy soils, frequent wildfire, a very high level of endemism, spectacular displays of wildflowers in spring, and a Mediterranean climate with winter rainfall and hot, dry summers.

Kwongan is found throughout Southwest Western Australia, originally occupying about a quarter of the region,[1] though large areas have been destroyed. It is in the Mediterranean forests, woodlands, and scrub biome, and has similarities to the Mediterranean maquis, the Californian chaparral, the Chilean matorral, the fynbos of South Africa, and the rupestrian grasslands in Brazil.[2]


  1. ^ Beard, J.S.; Pate, J.S. (1984). "Foreword: Kwongan – Plant Life of the Sandplains". In Pate, J.S.; Beard, J.S. Kwongan: Plant Life of the Sandplain. Perth: University of Western Australia Press. ISBN 0-85564-228-9. 
  2. ^ World Wildlife Fund (2001). "Kwongan heathlands". WildWorld Ecoregion Profile. National Geographic Society. Archived from the original on 2010-03-08. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Pate, J.S.; & Beard, J.S. (eds). (1984). Kwongan: Plant Life of the Sandplain. Biology of a south-west Australian shrubland ecosystem. University of Western Australia Press: Perth. ISBN 0-85564-228-9

  • Lambers, H. (ed.) (2014) "Plant Life on the Sandplains in Southwest Australia, a Global Biodiversity Hotspot". UWA Publishing, Crawley.