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Species profile—Gonocarpus urceolatus


Plantae (plants) → Equisetopsida (land plants) → HaloragaceaeGonocarpus urceolatus

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Species details

Plantae (plants)
Equisetopsida (land plants)
Scientific name
Gonocarpus urceolatus Orchard
WildNet taxon ID
Nature Conservation Act 1992 (NCA) status
Least concern
Conservation significant
Pest status
Short Notes
BRI 241683, status annotated by author
Gonocarpus urceolatus is a herb growing to 30 cm tall. The stems are smooth and pilose. The leaves are opposite, widely spaced, sessile, ovate and sparsely pilose. The lamina is 15 to 22 mm long with thickened margins that are hyaline, with 10 to 12 coarse teeth. The inflorescence is simple, spike-like with flowers borne singly in the axils of alternate bracts. The bracts are alternate, lanceolate, 2.5 to 3 mm long and green in colour. The margins of the bracts are entire, thickened and hyaline. The bracteoles are digitate, 0.3mm in diameter and yellow-brown in colour. The pedicel is 0.8 mm long. There are 4 sepals, which are green in colour and lanceolate, 1mm long, with a rounded swollen callus at the base; the margins are thickened, hyaline and glabrous. There are 4 petals that are 2.5 mm long, green to deep red in colour. There are 8 stamens. The anthers are 1.8 mm long. The fruit is silver-grey, urceolate, 2 mm long, 1.1 mm in diameter and are strongly 8-ribbed longitudinally.
Gonocarpus urceolatus is similar to G. pycnostachyus and G. confertifolius. However the latter species both occur in Western Australia. G. urceolatus differs from both species by its larger more coarsely serrate leaves, in fruit ornamentation and in its glabrous sepals (Orchard, 1986; Orchard, 1990).
Gonocarpus urceolatus has been recorded from 45 km NE of Injune in the north east to 30 km east of St. George in the south west and as far east as Inglewood in the south and Jandowae in the north. It is known from six localities (Mt Mee, Mt Tunbubudlam, Mt Beerburrum, Mt Beerwah, Mt Ngungun, Mt Tibrogargan) that are locally disjunct over distances of 2-40 km. It has been collected from Barakula, Eena, Nudley, Boondandilla and Kumbarilla State Forests. (Queensland Herbarium 2012).
Distributional limits
-25.5591666, 148.826142
-28.3203626, 151.1516946
Range derivation
Range derived from extent of the taxon's verified records
Gonocarpus urceolatus has been identified growing in remnant and non-remnant woodlands and open forest dominated by one or more of the following species: Eucalyptus crebra, Eucalyptus exserta, Eucalyptus fibrosa subsp. nubila, Allocasuarina luehmannii, Callitris glaucophylla, Lysicarpus angustifolius, Eucalyptus tenuipes, Corymbia citriodora, Melaleuca irbyana, Corymbia hendersonii, Eucalyptus elegans, Angophora leiocarpa and Eucalyptus dealbata. Topography is generally elevated and flat or slightly undulating plains, on top of plateaus and mid-slopes on iron rich red brown and yellow sandy duplex and gradational soils overlying laterite that are seasonally saturated (Queensland Herbarium 2012).
The highest density populations of Gonocarpus urceolatus have been associated with areas of high disturbance. The highest density occurs where grasses and other shrubs has been reduced by traffic and slashing on roads, tracks and pipeline corridors and within recently planted timber plantations, possibly due to reduced competition. There is an apparent high level of soil seed bank present as exhibited by spread by vehicular traffic and transport of road materials. There are several areas where the species is growing in non-typical soils on bleached sands in roadside drains where red gravels have been imported. Often associated with relatively moist areas underlain by impermeable hard pans, but not inundated by standing water for long periods. Density is sparse under remnant canopy and the species appears to be outcompeted once other grasses and shrubs take root.
Flowering of Gonocarpus urceolatus has been documented January, March, May, September-October and December (Queensland Herbarium, 2012).
Threatening processes
The major potential threat is considered to be the loss of individuals and suitable habitat through incompatible landuses. Invasion of buffel grass (Cenchrus ciliaris) and seca stylo (Stylosanthes scabra) pastures appear to be the greatest risks to this species (Forster, 2009).
Status notes
Gonocarpus urceolatus is listed as Least Concern under the Nature Conservation Act 1992 (Queensland).
Management recommendations
Forster (2009) states that Gonocarpus urceolatus requires accurate survey to precisely determine the number of subpopulations, geographical range, area of occupancy and number of individuals. There is also no information available on the genetics, reproductive biology, dispersal, recruitment or population structure of this species.
Occurs in the following Queensland pastoral districts: Darling Downs, Leichhardt, Maranoa.
Forster, P. (2009). Conservation Status Assessment for Gonocarpus effusus (Haloragaceae). Species Technical Committee, November 2009.
Orchard, A.E. (1986). New taxa in Gonocarpus and Haloragis (Haloragaceae). Nuytsia 5 (3): 333.
Orchard, A.E. in George, A.S. (Ed) (1990). Flora of Australia 18: 55.
Queensland Herbarium (2012). Specimen label information. Queensland Herbarium. Accessed 12/03/2012.
Profile author
Ronald Booth (12/03/2012)

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.

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Last updated
20 May 2024