The flora of Lord Howe Island shows close affinities with nearby islands and landmasses - Australia, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Norfolk Island and, to a lesser extent, distant Pacific Islands. These places were the principal points of origin for the diverse and remarkable plant life found on Lord Howe Island.
The complex landscape of lowland, valley, mountain and ridges provides many microhabitats for diverse plants to exist. Over time, some of the plants slowly evolved into new species, with 105 of the 244 species of native vascular plants unique to the Island.
There are species of flowering plants ranging from tiny herbs to rainforest trees 20 metres tall. Most of these flower during spring and summer, but there are some plants to be seen in flower any time of the year.
The island forests have:
- 52 tree species
- 24 shrub species
- 24 creeper species
- 11 orchid species
- 28 grasses and sedges
- 48 herb species
- 56 fern species
There are 105 moss species on Lord Howe Island, particularly abundant in the mountain summit forests. There are 21 endemic species (about 20 per cent) which is a low percentage when compared with other islands in the Pacific.