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Flora of New South Wales in its Geological Aspect

Nature volume 25, page 543 | Download Citation



THIS, the oldest of the Australian settlements, may have its area grouped as follows:—(1) That of the sandstones or poor country represented by the Proteads and Epacrids; (2) the eastern slopes of coast range represented by the tree-nettles and the palms; (3) the cold mountain shrubs re resented by sassafras, tree ferns, and myrtles; and (4) the interior lains repre sented by Chenopods and Compositæ. It may be wondered how the distribution of the vegetation has originated. That the Australian continent has risen slowly, is gathered from numerous proofs, among others the very apparent one of the strata exhibit ing preponderately a horizontal plane. It may further be inferred that in its uplifting, the outer rim of the continent was slightly more elevated than the interior. This taken into consideration along with what doubtless at one time existed, namely, a great inland sea, abundance of marshes and mud, and a once probable greater rainfall, and particularly the latter, though one and all may have contributed to the present physical features, and consequently plant life. Another. interrogatory arises, viz. Whence the coal-seams? As to these, there is some likelihood they are the remains of vegetation borne hence from a now sunken continent eastward of Australia; New Zealand, Norfolk, and Howes Island being outliers or now mere island vestiges of the said great land area in the Pacific Ocean.

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