Flora of Ashmore and Cartier Islands

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The Flora of Ashmore and Cartier Islands consists of 16 families, 23 genera and 27 species. Four of these species are introduced and naturalised. In addition, two species have been introduced but not naturalised. The vegetation is dominated by shrubs, grasses and creepers. The vast majority of species have seeds that are very easily transported by the wind, birds or the sea.

Flora of Ashmore Reef[edit]

The following plant taxa occur on the islands of Ashmore Reef:

Taxon Common name Remarks
Amaranthus interruptus
Heliotropium foertherianum
Boerhavia albiflora
Boerhavia burbidgeana
Boerhavia glabrata
Boerhavia repens
Cassytha filiformis
Cenchrus brownii Naturalised
Cenchrus ciliaris Naturalised
Cleome gynandra
Cordia subcordata Tou
Digitaria mariannensis
Eragrostis elongata
Guettarda speciosa
Ipomoea macrantha
Ipomoea pes-caprae subsp. brasiliensis
Lepturus repens
Portulaca oleracea Common Purslane Naturalised
Portulaca tuberosa
Scaevola taccada
Sesbania cannabina var. cannabina Naturalised
Sida pusilla
Spinifex littoreus
Sporobulus virginicus
Suriana maritima
Thalassia hemprichii
Tribulus cistoides

In addition to these, Zea mays (Maize) and Cocos nucifera (Coconut) have been introduced by visiting Indonesian fishermen as food sources, but these are not naturalised.

Flora of Cartier Island[edit]

Cartier Island is unvegetated. The only recorded plant is the seagrass Thallassia hemprichii, which forms meadows in pockets of sand among the reef.


  • Kenneally, Kevin F. (1993). "Ashmore Reef and Cartier Island". Flora of Australia: Volume 50: Oceanic Islands 2. Canberra: AGPS Press. pp. 43–47. ISBN 0-644-14446-7.