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Species profile—Xanthostemon oppositifolius (southern penda)


Plantae (plants) → Equisetopsida (land plants) → MyrtaceaeXanthostemon oppositifolius (southern penda)

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Species details

Plantae (plants)
Equisetopsida (land plants)
Scientific name
Xanthostemon oppositifolius F.M.Bailey
Common name
southern penda
WildNet taxon ID
Alternate name(s)
luyas hardwood
Luya's hardwood
Nature Conservation Act 1992 (NCA) status
Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC) status
Conservation significant
Pest status
Short Notes
BRI 025882, 212338, handwriting of author
Xanthostemon oppositifolius is a tree to 40 m in height with light grey or brownish, scaly bark that is shed in flakes. The tree is generally hairless except for the young shoots and flower clusters which are very finely haired. The somewhat leathery leaves are elliptic to oblong-elliptic, 5 to 12 cm long by 2 to 4.5 cm wide and arranged in opposite pairs or occasionally alternately along the branchlets. The leaf tip is rounded and blunt. The midrib, lateral and the net veins are prominent on the lower leaf surface. The leaf stalks are 0.5 to 1.5 cm long. The flowers are grouped together into clusters of 3 to 11. Each cluster is borne on a stalk 2 to 4 cm long arising from the leaf axil. Each flower also has a stalk which is 1 to 2 cm long. The flowers when fully open are about 2.5 cm in diameter, and have 5 white, circular petals 4 to 6 mm in length. There are numerous slender stamens about 14 mm long in each flower. The woody fruits are broadly egg-shaped and 10 to 13 mm in diameter, 3 or 4 celled and contain many small, angular seeds which are released when the fruit splits (Wilson, 1990; DSEWPC, 2012).
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Xanthostemon oppositifolius has been recorded from the Granite Creek valley near Miriam Vale, near Maryborough and in the Kin Kin- Boreen Point-Cooroy District near Nambour. The species has been recorded in Alyxia Nature Refuge, Bulburin National Park, Great Sandy National Park, Tewantin National Park, Ringtail State Forest and Toolara State Forest (Queensland Herbarium, 2012).
Distributional limits
-24.187631, 151.439211
-26.4150695, 153.0843871
Range derivation
Range derived from extent of the taxon's verified records
Xanthostemon oppositifolius occurs mostly in notophyll and microphyll vineforest communities, occasionally in wet sclerophyll communities, at altitudes from near sea-level to 300 m altitude. It is mostly found along stream banks or flat alluvial terraces, occasionally on footslopes and low ridges. Soils in which it grows vary from clayey sands to sandy clay loams and are derived from sedimentary and metasedimentary rocks (DSEWPC, 2012).
Very little is known about the life history of this species. Flowering has been reported from May to September and mature fruits noted between September and October (DSEWPC, 2012; Queensland Herbarium, 2012).
Threatening processes
The main identified threats to Xanthostemon oppositifolius are timber harvesting and habitat clearing for agriculture, which has removed much of its original habitat over the past century, at least in the southern part of its range. Remnants are now seriously threatened by isolation and increased exposure to a variety of disturbances including weed encroachment, in particular Lantana camara; fire; grazing; continued clearing associated with road works and rural residential development (Barry and Thomas, 1994; DSEWPC, 2012) and from the pathogen myrtle rust (Puccinia psidii).
Status notes
Listed as Vulnerable under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 and Vulnerable under the Queensland Nature Conservation Act 1992
Management recommendations
Regional and local priority actions to support the recovery of Xanthostemon oppositifolius are outlined by DSEWPC (2012). A summary of these include: avoiding habitat loss, disturbance and modification (e.g. monitor known populations to identify key threats; monitor the progress of recovery, including the effectiveness of management actions and the need to adapt them if necessary); controlling invasive weeds (e.g. develop and implement a management plan for the control of Lantana in the region); managing fire (e.g. develop and implement a suitable fire management strategy for X. oppositifolius); increasing conservation information (raise awareness of Xanthostemon oppositifolius in the local community); enabling recovery of additional sites and/or populations (e.g. undertake appropriate seed collection and storage).
Occurs in the following Queensland pastoral districts: Burnett, Port Curtis, Wide Bay.
Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities (DSEWPC) (2012). Xanthostemon oppositifolius in Species Profile and Threats Database, Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities, Canberra.
Halford, D. (1998). Xanthostemon oppositifolius Species Management Profile, Department of Natural Resources, Brisbane.
Queensland Herbarium (2012). Specimen label information. Queensland Herbarium. Accessed 20/03/2012.
Wilson, P.G. (1990). A revision of the genus Xanthostemon (Myrtaceae) in Australia. Telopea 3 (4): 464-465.
Profile author
Ronald Booth (22/03/2012)

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