Kakadu's flora is among the richest in northern Australia and more than 2000 plant species have been recorded.
This richness is a result of the park's geological, landform and habitat diversity. Kakadu is also considered to be one of the most weed free national parks in the world.
Different regions - different flora
Estuaries and Tidal Flats
Mangroves are common in these habitats and are important for stabilising the coastline and serve as feeding and breeding grounds for many animals, including fish such as barramundi. Thirty-nine of the 47 Northern Territory species of mangrove occur in Kakadu.
Floodplains, Southern Hills and Basins
Floodplains are home to different types of grasses, sedges, waterlillies and herbaceous swamp vegetation. Clumps of freshwater mangroves (itchy tree), pandanus and paperbarks are found on slightly higher ground.
The greater part of Kakadu is covered by eucalypt-dominated open forest and woodland. These tracts are among the last expanses of virgin eucalypt forest in Australia. The lowland plants are heavily influenced by seasonal factors and some, such as the kapok bush, are deciduous. Others, such as the green plum, are semi-deciduous and have a waxy film on their leaves to help reduce water loss.
Stone Country and Outliers
Plants growing in the stone country and on the outliers must survive extremely hot, waterless conditions for many months each year. Among the best examples of plants well adapted to these harsh conditions are the resurrection grasses, which dehydrate in the absence of moisture and spring back to life within 24 hours of rain.
Monsoon forests often develop in the cool, moist gorges that dissect the stone country.