Cumberland Plain Woodland occurs only in western Sydney on the shale based clay soils. It is now listed both federally and at a state level as a critically endangered ecological community and is therefore legally protected from further reduction. The main threat to habitat loss is urban development. Remnant areas are also impacted by weed invasion, illegal dumping and fragmentation.
The key feature of Cumberland Plain Woodland is the diversity of the understorey vegetation. At the Australian Botanic Garden the woodland is comprised of three main tree species (Eucalyptus moluccana, Eucalyptus tereticornis and Eucalyptus crebra), several shrub species (including the dominant Bursaria spinosa) and over 120 small herbs and grasses.
Many of these small herbs and grasses, including Calotis lappulacea, are displayed in the garden beds surrounding PlantBank. All the plants have been grown from seeds and cuttings, gathered from the surrounding Cumberland Plain Woodland. A mere 6 per cent (6400 hectares) of the original 107,000 hectares of Cumberland Plain Woodland remains.
In beds 241a - 241x, individual species are displayed in large triangular garden beds to enable visitors to focus on the significant understorey component of the Cumberland Plain Woodland.