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Species profile—Cadellia pentastylis (ooline)


Plantae (plants) → Equisetopsida (land plants) → SurianaceaeCadellia pentastylis (ooline)

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Species details

Plantae (plants)
Equisetopsida (land plants)
Scientific name
Cadellia pentastylis F.Muell.
Common name
WildNet taxon ID
Alternate name(s)
scrub myrtle
Nature Conservation Act 1992 (NCA) status
Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC) status
Conservation significant
Pest status
Ooline is a tree growing to 10m (rarely to 25m) with dark, hard and scaly bark. Its leaves are alternate, simple (undivided), on short hairy stalks (petioles) 2-7mm long, glossy above, dull and paler below. The leaf blades are obovate (egg-shaped, attached at narrow end) to elliptical, usually 1-7 cm long, and 1.5-2 cm wide,. The apex is rounded or slightly indented (emarginate), and the veins are prominent on both surfaces when dry.
Flowers are usually single and have five white petals, each 5-7 mm long. Fruit are a cluster of five obovate (reverse egg-shaped) drupes, 3-5 mm in diameter. The fruits are brownish, with a wrinkled surface, slightly compressed and surrounded by five enlarged, spreading red and papery sepals (the outer lobes at the base of the flower). (Pollock 1999; DEWHA 2008)
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Ooline was once widespread in the bottle tree-dominated softwood scrubs, brigalow and belah communities of central and southern Queensland and north-western New South Wales. It is now restricted in distribution from near Duaringa west of Rockhampton to the NSW border in Queensland, and on the western edge of the North West Slopes north of Gunnedah in northern New South Wales. (DEWHA 2008; Herbrecs 2008)
Distributional limits
-23.435648, 145.0971666
-29.1400802, 151.5927672
Range derivation
Range derived from extent of the taxon's verified records
Ooline occurs in a range of vegetation types including semi-evergreen vine thicket, brigalow-belah, poplar box and bendee communities. Ooline often occurs on the edges of sandstone and basalt escarpments, 200 to 500 m above sea level. In most areas of its range, ooline grows on the moderately fertile soils preferred for agriculture and pasture development. (Pollock 1999; DEWHA 2008)
Dispersal of fruit and seed is probably by passive fall or by birds. Seeds show a high rate of infertility, although they have been successfully germinated and established after heat application. Ooline have the capacity to resprout from rootstock and coppice vigorously from stumps, a feature which may be critical for the species survival in a fire-prone environment. (DECC 2005)
Ooline flowers mainly from October to December in Queensland (October to November in New South Wales), but occasionally flowering extends through to early April. Fruiting records are from November to December. (Pollock 1999)
Threatening processes
1. Land clearing was once the major threat to ooline and has destroyed over half the original populations in some areas. However, the clearing of ooline in Queensland is now prohibited by law.
2. At some locations where grazing pressure from stock is high, it is likely that seedling recruitment is being inhibited by grazing of seedlings or suckers and compaction of the soil. Insect attack is also high at these locations, placing further demands on the tree's starch reserves.
3. Fire is a threat to ooline populations. Juvenile trees are sensitive to all fire, but adult trees appear able to withstand low-intensity fires.
Management recommendations
Under the Nature Conservation Act 1992, it is illegal to destroy ooline in Queensland and clearing of trees is prohibited by law.
Grazing pressure should be controlled or reduced to allow recruitment of new plants. Stands of ooline can be fenced to reduce grazing impacts.
Feral animal and weed control programs should be implemented in areas where ooline occurs.
Ooline is extremely fire-sensitive and therefore needs to be protected from potential wildfires by an adequate fire-protection regime.
Contributors: Sean FitzGibbon 28/04/1999; Ailsa Holland, Mellisa Mayhew 17/06/2009
Curran, T.J. & Curran, S.R. (2005). Rediscovery of Ooline, Cadellia pentastylis, near Gunnedah: notes on the habitat and ecology of this dry rainforest tree. Cunninghamia 9 (2): 311-316.
Department of Environment & Climate Change New South Wales (2005), Ooline - Profile, Accessed 18 March 2009. .
Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts (2008). Cadellia pentastylis in Species Profile and Threats Database, Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts, Canberra. Accessed 25/09/2008.
Harden, G.J., McDonald, W.J.F. & Williams, J.B. (2006). Rainforest trees and shrubs: a field guide to their identification in Victoria, New South Wales and subtropical Queensland using vegetative features. Gwen Harden Publishing, Nambucca Heads, NSW.
Herbrecs (2008). Cadellia pentastylis, in BriMapper version 2.12. Queensland Herbarium. Accessed 25/09/2008.
Pollock, A.B. (1999). Cadellia pentastylis, in Species Management Manual. Department of Natural Resources, Brisbane.
Profile author
Ailsa Holland (17/06/2009)

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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