The Leura Falls Creek catchment area is biodiverse, being home to many indigenous (also known as native) vegetation communities, including several eucalypt communities and their numerous plant species.

  • Eucalyptus sieberi Silvertop Ash, and Eucalyptus piperita Sydney Peppermint, are dominant tree species in a commonly encountered catchment vegetation community. As part of this community, dense groves of Allocasuarina littoralis Black She-oak are often seen along cliff top edges, maybe hosting a family of feeding Glossy Black-Cockatoos Calyptorhynchus lathami.

The eucalypt vegetation communities also feature an understorey of shrub species, and a layer of grasses, herbs and groundcovers. A classified ‘Vulnerable’ shrub of the eucalypt forests, Persoonia acerosa Needle Geebung, grows in the National Park on the eastern ridges above Gordon Creek. See https://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/threatenedSpeciesApp/profile.aspx?id=10591 .

The Bushcare Officer and bushcarers of NPWS Prince Henry Cliff Walk Bushcare Group work to maintain the habitat of the Needle Geebung. Broom and weedy grasses are removed. Pittosporum undulatum, a Blue Mountains rainforest plant species, also colonises damp track edges and disturbed areas, and this behaviour poses an additional threat to the habitat of the Needle Geebung.

  • Eucalyptus oreades Blue Mountains Ash vegetation community. A tall, distinctive eucalypt, this tree often has long strands of peeling bark trailing down its predominantly white trunk (below). A botanical survey conducted along Leura Falls Creek in 2018 revealed the vegetation complexity of the E. oreades community there. See

Depicted here is Pultenaea glabra Smooth or Swamp Bush Pea, another ‘Vulnerable’ species. See https://www.environment.gov.au/cgi-bin/sprat/public/publicspecies.pl?taxon_id=11887

Pultenaea glabra flower Source: M Nugent 2020
Pultenaea glabra Source: M Nugent 2020

The Bushcare Officer and bushcarers of Gordon Falls Reserve Bushcare Group and Prince Henry Cliff Walk Bushcare Group work to restore and maintain this species’ natural habitat (see Archives).

Eucalyptus oreades community. Yellow flowering Pultenea glabra Smooth Bush-Pea (foreground) Gordon Creek Source: M Nugent 2020
Eucalyptus oreades vegetation community including yellow flowering Pultenaea glabra Smooth Bush-Pea (foreground) Gordon Creek Source: M Nugent 2020
  • Eucalyptus radiata Narrow-leaved Peppermint vegetation community. The prolific understorey shrubs Lambertia formosa Mountain Devil and Persoonia mollis Soft Geebung can be found throughout the catchment’s forests.
  • Blue Mountains Swamps. A variety of rushes, sedges and ferns are typically found in the swamps, with shrubs such as Leptospermum juniperinum Tea-tree, Leptospermum trinervium Paperbark Tea-tree and Grevillea acanthifolia often growing on the margins. The swamps provide habitat for indigenous animals, and regulate water flow. Inappropriate development, erosive stormwater flows, weeds such as Blackberry and too frequent fires are major threats to this protected ecological community. See https://www.bmcc.nsw.gov.au/environment/waterways/swamps for more information.
  • Rainforest vegetation community. Growing in the sheltered valleys of the escarpment, the trees Ceratopetalum apetalum Coachwood and Doryphora sassafras Sassafras dominate the rainforest community. An understorey of ferns, for example Cyathea australis Rough Tree Fern, Todea barbara King Fern and Blechnum nudum Fishbone Fern, may be present. Clematis aristata Traveller’s Joy, a climber, grows in the catchment.
  • Riparian, or stream bank vegetation. The often moist and alluvial soils of the stream banks support dense stands of Callicoma serratifolia Black Wattle, Blechnum fern species, Acacia Wattle species, Leptospermum Tea-tree species, and many other trees and shrubs. Healthy riparian vegetation promotes clean stream water and aquatic biodiversity.
  • Blue Mountains Escarpment Complex. A variety of plant species can be observed on the cliff faces, often in seepage areas. Dwarf mountain pine Pherosphaera fitzgeraldiia, a conifer, is an endangered species that grows on the damp cliff ledges adjacent to upper Blue Mountains waterfalls. Twenty plants have been recorded at ‘Little Gordon Falls’ and eighty plants at ‘Leura Falls’. Water pollution and weeds such as Ivy and Japanese Honeysuckle are major threats to these plants. See https://www.environment.gov.au/cgi-bin/sprat/public/publicspecies.pl?taxon_id=40324
  • Modified bushland. Some stands of indigenous bushland in the catchment have been overwhelmed by weeds such as Blackberry, Privet and Holly. Local bushcare groups are working hard to recover this valuable bushland.
Replanting degraded bushland area following weed removal Leura Cascades Bushcare Group Source: John Hill 2008
Replanting degraded bushland area following weed removal Leura Cascades Bushcare Group Source: John Hill 2008


Baker M (2004) Native Plants of the Blue Mountains (Bower Bird Books: Winmalee)

BMCC Interactive Maps/Vegetation https://www.bmcc.nsw.gov.au/development/developing-land/property-search

Source: Catchment Group & BMCC