The Macquarie University Arboretum currently has over 3,000 trees across more than 300 species in native bushland, planted groves, courtyards and teaching gardens. More information about these trees and woody shrubs can be found in the following sections.
The iconic trees of campus include species that are a major feature of the campus landscape. They include trees planted in the early days of the university, and trees that are easily recognised across campus. Species include the Plane Tree (Platanus x hispanica) (pictured along Wally's Walk), the smooth white trunks of the Flooded Gum (Eucalyptus grandis), and the autumn colour provided by the China Pear (Pyrus calleryana) and Liquidambar (Liquidambar styraciflua)
There are over 20 species of Eucalypt on campus. Many are native to the local area. Eucalypts are the most identifiably Australian tree species, with over 900 species across Australia in all but the most arid of environments, and only a couple found outside of Australia. There are three genera contained within the Eucalypt group: Eucalyptus, Angophora and Corymbia.
There are over 600 species of Acacia in Australia.
Macquarie University has approximately 20 species on campus. Many of these are native to the area and grown from locally sourced seed. You can find them in the native bushland on campus, along Mars Creek, in the forest on the far side of the lake, and around the Wetland.
Acacias can be difficult to identify. Key features are the leaf shape, the shape and location of the flowers, and the number and location of special glands on the stem or leaves.
Gymnosperms and conifers
Gymnosperm means 'naked seed' and is a group of plants that includes pines, firs and ginkgo, plus many others. There are four main groups of Gymnosperms of which three are currently represented on campus:
- Conifers (Pines, Cypresses, Podocarps etc)
- Gnetales (Epehdra, Welwitschia etc) - no representatives on campus
- Cycads (Cycas, Macrozamia etc)
The east coast of New South Wales and south east Queensland has a number of different rainforest types from dry temperate through to subtropical. The Biological Sciences garden, features a number of trees and shrubs from these ecosystems.
Macquarie University has a number of areas of native bushland, both remnant and regeneration/restoration.
- Sydney Turpentine Ironbark Forest (remnant shale) – north-west side of the lake.
- Ecology Reserve (remnant sandstone vegetation) – north side of M2.
- Mars Creek Wetland (restoration) – upper end of Mars Creek.
- Mars Creek Bushland (restoration) – several locations along Mars Creek between Link Road and Gymnasium Road.
Major Australian Plant Families
Australia has an impressive diversity of species in a few families. These families contain species that are familiar to Australians both in nature and the arts, such as the stories of May Gibbs that feature gum nuts and banksia cones.
Important families in the Sydney region include the Myrtaceae (Eucalypts, Bottlebrushes and Tea Trees), Proteaceae (Grevilleas, Banksias and Geebungs), Fabaceae (Peas and Wattles) and Ericaceae (Heaths).