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Species profile—Comesperma oblongatum


Plantae (plants) → Equisetopsida (land plants) → PolygalaceaeComesperma oblongatum

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Species details

Plantae (plants)
Equisetopsida (land plants)
Scientific name
Comesperma oblongatum (R.Br. ex Benth.) Pedley
WildNet taxon ID
Alternate name(s)
Byfield matchsticks
Nature Conservation Act 1992 (NCA) status
Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC) status
Conservation significant
Pest status
Comesperma oblongatum is a subshrub to 0.5 m tall in wind exposed sites, but reportedly up to 1 m in more sheltered sites. The branchlets are hairless. The leaves are oblong, obtuse mucronulate, discolorous with the margins recurved, (at least when dry), 15 to 30 mm long by 2.5 to 3.5 mm wide. 5.5 to 10 times long as wide. The inflorescence is congested, about 2 cm long, elongating to 5 cm when in fruit. The flowers are dark pink. The upper sepals of the outer calyx are 1.2 to 1.5 mm long, and the side sepals are 1 to 1.2 mm long. The inner sepals are 4 to 4.5 mm by 2.7 to 3.5 mm wide. The upper and side petals of the corolla are 4.2 to 4.5 mm long. The fruit is a capsule 9 by 3.5 mm. The seeds are 2.7 by 1 mm.
Comesperma oblongatum is similar to C. pallidum but differs in the flowers being purple (versus cream), and the capsule about 10 mm long (versus 10 to 15 mm long) (Pedley, 1984).
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Comesperma oblongatum is restricted to Shoalwater Bay military training area and Byfield National Park, south of Rockhampton (Queensland Herbarium, 2012).
Distributional limits
-22.3517331, 150.6706056
-22.8234218, 150.826072
Range derivation
Range derived from extent of the taxon's verified records
Comesperma oblongatum grows on exposed coastal headlands, often in more open, bare areas (Queensland Herbarium, 2012).
Comesperma oblongatum has been collected in flower from June to October. (Queensland Herbarium 2012). Fruiting has been recorded from January to August (Campbell, 2009).
Threatening processes
The main identified threats to Comesperma oblongatum are broad scale vegetation clearing; inappropriate fire regimes; and habitat fragmentation (Australian Natural Resources Atlas, 2007). The main potential threats to the species include activities occurring at Shoalwater Bay Military Training Area that pose a risk to plant populations. These threats are listed as damage from vehicles, chemical spills, fires started on live-firing exercises on firing ranges and possible contamination of the water catchment. However, most of these threats are rated as having a low risk. Weeds identified as potential problems in the Training Area include rubber vine (Cryptostegia grandiflora), lantana (Lantana camara) and parthenium (Parthenium hysterophorus) (Department of Defence, 2006; Campbell, 2009).
Other threats include habitat degradation from recreation/tourism, and loss and/or removal of individuals from inappropriate fire regimes (DERM, 2010).
Status notes
Comesperma oblongatum is listed as Vulnerable under the Environment and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 and Vulnerable under the Queensland Nature Conservation Act 1992.
Management recommendations
Management recommendations for Comesperma oblongatum have been outlined in Pollock (1997), Campbell (2009) and DERM (2010).
Occurs in the following Queensland pastoral district: Port Curtis.
Australian Natural Resources Atlas (ANRA) (2007). Biodiversity Assessment - Central Mackay Coast, Species at risk and the Threatening Process. Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts, Canberra. Accessed 11/03/2008.
Campbell, L. (2009). Byfield Matchstick Comesperma oblongatum. Report to Fitzroy Basin Association.
Department of Defence (2006). Talisman Sabre 2007 Public Environment Report, Maunsell Aecom, Melbourne.
Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities (DSEWPC) (2012). Comesperma oblongatum in Species Profile and Threats Database, Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities, Canberra.
Pedley, L. (1984). A revision of Comesperma (Polygalaceae) in Queensland. Austrobaileya 2 (1): 7-4.
Pollock, A.B. (1997). Comesperma oblongatum Species Management Profile. Department of Natural Resources, Brisbane.
Queensland Department of Environment and Resource Management (DERM) (2010). Fitzroy Natural Resource Management Region Back on Track Actions for Biodiversity. Department of Environment and Resource Management, Brisbane.
Queensland Herbarium (2012). Specimen label information. Queensland Herbarium. Accessed 19/01/2012.
Profile author
Ronald Booth (22/06/2012)

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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