White cypress pines and river red gums
There seems to be 2 dominant tree species in the Flinders Ranges — the white cypress pine (Callitris columellaris) and the river red gum (Eucalyptus camaldulensis) — and there could not be 2 more different trees.
The white cypress pines are very prolific, with forests growing on hillsides and on the flat. The books say it can grow to a “majestic tree”. In fact the Latin name, Callitris, comes from Greek. Calli means ‘beautiful’ and treis means ‘three’, referring to the threefold arrangement of its leaves and scales. However, most of the ones I saw were small and rather straggly. As well, there is rarely an understory of smaller plants. While they are not an attractive plant, they give the ranges their very distinctive look.
On the other hand the river red gums are magnificent trees. They grow tall and strong in the creek beds. The creek beds are dry for most of the year but there is enough moisture to sustain these beauties. They have thick trunks and branches that twist out and up. There are often holes and hollows which make excellent nesting sites for birds such as the ringneck parrot and smaller mammals.