Skip links and keyboard navigation

Species profile—Homopholis belsonii (Belson's panic)


Plantae (plants) → Equisetopsida (land plants) → Poaceae (grass) → Homopholis belsonii (Belson's panic)

Sighting data

KML | CSV | GeoJson

Species details

Plantae (plants)
Equisetopsida (land plants)
Poaceae (grass)
Scientific name
Homopholis belsonii C.E.Hubb.
Common name
Belson's panic
WildNet taxon ID
Alternate name(s)
Belson's couch
Nature Conservation Act 1992 (NCA) status
Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC) status
Conservation significant
Pest status
Short Notes
BRI 080382, handwriting of author
Homopholis belsonii is a rhizomatous and stoloniferous perennial grass growing to 0.5 m high. The species spreads mainly by the stolons and can form colonies in a matter of months (Menkins 1998). The flowering culms are erect, or basally decumbent, 20 to 40 cm tall, with 5 to 9 glabrous nodes. The mid-culm-leaves have sheath auricles and are flat, 50 to 150 mm long and 2 to 4.5 mm wide. The mid-culm sheaths are rounded, glabrous, with non-ciliate margins and smooth nerves. The primary branches have hairy axils, spreading, 80 to 150 mm long and 0.25 to 0.35 mm wide. The pedicels are scabrous and straight, 5 to 20mm long. The spikelets are solitary, not overlapping, with two or three on a typical lowermost branch. The first glume is 4.8 to 6.1mm long (as long as the spikelet), lanceolate, 7-nerved, glabrous, acuminate and muticous. The rachilla is pronounced between the first and second glume. The second glume is 4.5 to 5.7 mm long, lanceolate, 7-nerved with non-ciliate margins and submargins. The lower lemma is 4.2 to 5.5 mm long and 1 to 1.2 m wide, lanceolate and lacking distinct transverse nerves. The lower lemma indumentum is shorter than the spikelet, strigose and acute. The palea of lower floral vestigial, or absent. The upper lemma is 2.5 to 3 mm long, smooth, lanceolate, rounded on the back with obscure nerves. The anthers are 1.3 to 1.7 mm long (Webster, 1987).
View Map
Homopholis belsonii is distributed from the Darling Downs in southern Qld, to the Narrabri district in NSW. The distributional range of H. belsonii lies within the southern Brigalow Belt Queensland, namely the Darling Downs area west of Toowoomba, near Oakey, Jondaryan, Bowenville, Dalby, Acland, Sabine, Quinalow, Goombungee, Gurulmundi and Millmerran, and further west between Miles and Roma (Queensland Herbarium, 2012). The species is also found on the northwest slopes and plains of New South Wales (NSW), north of Warialda between Wee Waa, Goondiwindi and Glen Innes (Queensland Herbarium, 2012).
The species occurs within the Bendidee national park and Myall Park Nature Refuge (Queensland Herbarium, 2012).
Distributional limits
-26.1460396, 149.053125
-28.6291138, 151.7789955
Range derivation
Range derived from extent of the taxon's verified records
Homopholis belsonii occurs at elevations ranging from 200 m to 520 m above sea level. It is known to occur in dry woodland habitats on a range of soil types. It occurs on rocky hills supporting white box (Eucalyptus albens) and in wilga (Geijera parviflora) woodland; flat to gently undulating alluvial areas supporting belah (Casuarina cristata) forest; and soils and plant communities of poplar box (Eucalyptus populnea) woodlands (Leigh et al., 1984; Menkins, 1998). Flat to gently undulating alluvial areas supporting Casuarina cristata (belah) forest and sometimes Acacia harpophylla (brigalow) or G. parviflora (wilga) and subject to intermittent inundation. Also, drainage lines supporting C. cristata intermixed with sandy country dominated by cypress pine-bloodwood-ironbark-she-oak forest.
Homopholis belsonii was generally found among fallen timber at the base of trees or shrubs, among branches and leaves of trees hanging to ground level or along the bottom of netting fences. It may also be associated with shadier areas of brigalow (Acacia harpophylla), myall (A. melvillei), and weeping myall (A. pendula) communities; in mountain coolibah (Eucalyptus orgadophila) communities; and on roadsides (DSEWPC, 20120; Queensland Herbarium, 2012).
Population sizes of Homopholis belsonii appear to be similar in both NSW and Queensland with the species apparently rare on a landscape scale but locally abundant at some sites (DSEWPC, 2012).
Whilst the species occurs in isolated areas of remnant or regenerating vegetation and in corridor situations, populations are sufficiently large in size and number for collection of seed that would allow inclusion of the species in regeneration/revegetation projects (Tremont and Whalley 1993a).
Homopholis belsonii may be shade-dependent as it is almost always observed in greatest abundance in shady areas beneath or between trees (Menkins, 1998). In Queensland, it is found in areas of light to moderate shade beneath or beside trees, principally in the soils and plant communities of the Poplar Box (Eucalyptus populnea) woodlands (Leigh et al. 1984; Menkins 1998). These woodlands occur on level terraces on rock free, clay loam soils that are not prone to regular flooding (Fensham, 1998).
The understorey usually contains Geijera parviflora (Menkins, 1998). Belson's Panic is also found in the shadier areas of Acacia melvillei, A. pendula and A. harpophylla communities and less commonly, in Mountain Coolibah (Eucalyptus orgadophila) communities, and on roadsides (DSEWPC, 2012).
Homopholis belsonii is proposed to have the ability to recolonise cleared or a highly disturbed area as it has been found in regenerating vegetation along roadsides (DSEWPC, 2012).
Flowering occurs February-May (Sharp and Simon, 2001) and possibly November-December as fruiting has been recorded in February (Leigh et al. 1984). The exact viability time for seeds is not known. However, initial trials have indicated that it germinates readily without the need for a dormancy period (Menkins, 1998; Tremont and Whalley 1993a). Dispersal of seed occurs when the panicle dries after seed formation and breaks off in the wind. The wind causes the panicle to migrate forward in a continuous rolling motion until an obstacle is encountered DSEWPC, 2012).
Threatening processes
Threatening process for Homopholis belsonii include: habitat clearing, especially of poplar box woodlands in Queensland, for grazing, cropping and mining; weed invasion, including the introduction of green panic, Megathyrsus maximus (especially in remnants), Hyparrhenia hirta between Warialda and the NSW-Queensland border and tiger pear (Opuntia aurantiaca) east of Goondiwindi (DESWPC, 2012; DECNSW, 2012).
Status notes
Homopholis belsonii is listed as Endangered under the Queensland Nature Conservation Act 1992.
Homopholis belsonii
is listed as Vulnerable under the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act)
Management recommendations
Regional and local priority actions to support the recovery of Homopholis belsonii are outlined by DSEWPC (2012). A summary of these include: avoid habitat loss, disturbance and modification (e.g. control access routes to suitably constrain public access to known sites on public land; suitably control and manage access on private land; control weed invasion (e.g. Identify and remove weeds in the local area, which could become a threat to H. belsonii, using appropriate methods; manage sites to prevent introduction of invasive weeds, which could become a threat to the species, using appropriate methods); minimise trampling and grazing (e.g. prevent grazing at known sites on leased crown land through exclusion fencing or other barriers).
Occurs in the following Queensland pastoral districts: Darling Downs. Also occurs in the following regions: New South Wales.
Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities (DSEWPC) (2012). Homopholis belsonii in Species Profile and Threats Database, Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities, Canberra. Accessed 27/02/2012.
Hubbard, C.E. (1934). Bulletin of Miscellaneous Information, Kew : 127.
Jacobs, S.W.L. and Wall, C.A. in Harden, G.J. (Ed) (1993). Flora of New South Wales 4: 462.
NSW Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC) (2012). Homopholis belsonii - proposed endangered species listing. Accessed 08/05/2012.
Queensland Herbarium (2012). Specimen label information. Queensland Herbarium. Accessed 08/05/2012.
Stanley, T.D. in Stanley, T.D. and Ross, E.M. (1989). Flora of South-eastern Queensland 3: 229, Fig. 37G.
Webster, R.D. (1987). The Australian Paniceae (Poaceae). J. Cramer, Berlin. pp. 95-96.
Profile author
Lynise Wearne (08/05/2012)

Other resources

Data source

This profile data is sourced from the QLD Wildlife Data API using the Get species by ID function used under CC-By 4.0.

This information is sourced from the WildNet database managed by the Queensland Department of Environment and Science.

More species information

Get a list of species for your area or find other wildlife information.

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)
Last updated
20 May 2024