Native vegetation through years of natural selection and genetic adaptation has developed as an indicator of soil type. Despite farmers clearing large areas of farm land, pockets of original timber do occur for example, alongside roads and on crown reserves.


Banksias, ti trees, smooth barked angophoras, waratahs, Gymea lily, and scribbly gum prefer sandstone soils. Grey box and spotted gum are an indicator of shale soil on the coast. Blackbutts indicate better quality shale soils. Tree ferns and bracken ferns prefer rich volcanic soil. Much of the granite based southern wheat soils of NSW were originally covered with yellow box and cypress pine.