native plants



What’s here?

Norfolk Island only had 178 native plant species when it was first settled by Europeans in 1788. This is because Norfolk is so far from other land and the plants had to cross huge areas of ocean to get here from New Zealand or Australia.  The seeds would have been carried mainly by the wind or by seabirds but a few may have come on the ocean waves.  The plants that did get here and became established were able to grow well in the fertile soil and warm moist air.  Over the three million years that Norfolk has existed, the plants evolved into new species that had special adaptations to the conditions here.  As a result, there are 41 species of plant that are only found on Norfolk Island.


Samson’s sinew

  1. The Norfolk Island pine is the most obvious native plant on the island.  It can grow as high as 57metres.  Captain Cook believed it could be used for masts on sailing ships but it was not strong enough. 

  2. Palm and tree fern forest

  3. Other common trees are the white oak, the Norfolk oleander, the Norfolk tree fern and the Norfolk beech.           

  4. In the rainforest you will also see Samson’s sinew, a woody climbing vine which grows to 5cm thick.  Another native vine is called devil’s guts because it has sharp thorns on its stem.

  5. In the national park and botanic gardens you will also see  many types of weed.  These are being managed to stop them competing with the native flora.  It is very important that garden plants don’t get established in the park – that way they can’t become pests.


Why is the native flora important?

  1. Many of the plants of Norfolk Island grow nowhere else in the world.

  2. The plants provide homes and food for many birds and insects.  Most of these animals couldn’t live without the diversity of trees, shrubs and other plants that the national park and botanic garden provide. 

  3. Many plants in the national park are useful to humans – either for their edible fruit, or their leaves and flowers in making baskets, fabrics and decorations.  Some of them might one day also hold the key to new medicines.

  4. The roots and fallen leaf matter help prevent erosion.  This is even more important on slopes and in gullies.

  5. National parks, gardens and bushland reserves are beautiful places which help make the island attractive for locals and tourists.

Dem plaant


Wathen ya?

Norfuk Ailen uni haed 178 nietiv plaant spiisis wen dem Yuurapiiyans setel ya iin 1788.  Dieh es said  Norfuk es daa faa wieh fram taeda said en dem plaant bin haewa krors hyuuj ieriyas of sii f’ get ya fram Nyuu Siilan ala Ostrielya.  Dem siids wud bii s’ kaali et moesti bai daa win ala bai siiberds sam mait bii bin kam orn dem oeshan wiev.  Dem plaant thaet did get ya en bekam estaeblisht groe guud  iin dem fertail soiyal ena worm mois eya.  Or daa thrii milyan yias Norfuk s’ egsist, dem plaant bin evohlv intu nyuu spiisis thaet haed speshl adaepshans t’ d’ kondishans ya.  Aes’ resolt, gat 41 spiisis o plaant uni el fain et ya iin Norfuk Ailen.Daa Norfuk Ailen pain es d’ moes ohbviyas nietiv plaant orn d’ Ailen.  El groe hai es 57 miitas.  Kaeptan Kuk thort dem el yuus et f’ maas orn’ siehlen shep bat ent strorng enaf. 



Samson’s sinew

  1. Taeda kohman trii es dem wait oek, daa Norfuk oliaenda, daa Norfuk trii fern en daa Norfuk biich.

  2. Iin daa rienfores yu el sii daa Saemsan’s Sinyuu (Samson’s Sinew), wan wudi klaimen vain el groe gen 5 cm thik.  Naeda  nietiv waini wi korl devils gats said gata shaap thorns orna stem.

  3. Iin daa naeshnal paak ena bohtaenik gaadens yu el si  plenty kaina  wiid.  Dem maenajen dii f’ stopet comhpiiten lorngf’ dem nieiv flora.  Es veri important thaet gaaden plaants nor get estaeblisht iin daa paak – soe dem nor kam es pest.


Fut dem nietiv flora es important?

  1. Plenti o dem  plaants o Norfuk Ailen nor yuus’ groe enisaid aels iina werl.

  2. Dem plaant el mieka hoem ena wetls f’ plenti berd ena inseckt.  Plenti dii thing kaa lew nor gat daa daiversiti o dem trii, bush ena taeda plaants thaat daa naeshbak paak ena bohtaenik gaaden el giw. 

  3. Plenti plaents iina naeshnal paak es yuusful f’ salan – eitha f’ dems fruut yu el iit ala dems liif ena flauwa f’ miek baasket, faebrik ena dekorieshans.  Sam o dem mait wan dieh orlsoe  hoel daa kii f’ nyuu medisans.

  4. Dem rut ena forlen liif maeta haelp stop eroeshan.  Dii es iiven mor important orna sloep en iina gali.

  5. Naeshnal paaks, gaadens ena bushlaen reservs es byuutiful said en haelp mieka ailen atraektiv f’ aklan en dem tuuris.