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Species profile—Olearia gravis


Plantae (plants) → Equisetopsida (land plants) → Asteraceae (sunflower) → Olearia gravis

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Species details

Plantae (plants)
Equisetopsida (land plants)
Asteraceae (sunflower)
Scientific name
Olearia gravis (F.Muell.) Benth.
WildNet taxon ID
Nature Conservation Act 1992 (NCA) status
Least concern
Conservation significant
Pest status
Olearia gravis is a shrub growing to 1.6 m high. The leaves are alternate and scattered. The lamina is narrowly-elliptic to oblanceolate, 20 to 110 mm long and 4 to 18 mm wide, with regularly toothed margins. The apex is acuminate, without a mucro. The adaxial leaf surface is dark green and may or may not have greyish hairs, the abaxial surface is pubescent and pale green or yellowish brown-pubescent. The petiole may be up to 10mm long. The venation is pinnate. The inflorescence heads are terminal, solitary, 27 to 39 mm in diameter. There are 17 to 49 yellow central disc florets which are surrounded by 20 to 22 white ray florets ('petals'). The achenes are glabrous and 3mm long (Stanley and Ross, 1986; Lander, 1992).
Olearia gravis can be confused with Olearia canescens (grey daisy bush) which also occurs in Girraween National Park. Olearia canescens differs by its felty grey leaves with petioles very short or absent, and inflorescences which occur in terminal panicles, each head with only 8-15 white ray florets ('petals'). It also tends to have an earlier flowering season than O. gravis (Sparshott, 2007).
Olearia gravis is endemic to Queensland and New South Wales. This species is relatively widespread within the New England Tablelands Bioregion, but infrequent elsewhere. The known area of occurrence is a minimum of 95, 700 sq km. The known area of occupancy is likely to exceed 40 sq km. In Queensland the species occurs as far north as Coominglah State Forest (1 population) and Mount Walsh NP (1 population). There are also three populations south of Stanthorpe not reserved within any conservation area; one population within Sundown Regional Reserve, three populations within Girraween National Park and one population in Wyberba. In New South Wales there are six populations located within Torrington State Conservation Area (2 populations); Bluff River Nature Reserve (1 population), 40 km SE Tenterfield (1 population); 1.5 km from Pindari Reservoir (1 population) and Kings Plain National Park (1 population) (Forster, 2010; Queensland Herbarium, 2011).
Distributional limits
-24.8567505, 149.9419268
-28.9150774, 152.5527446
Range derivation
Range derived from extent of the taxon's verified records
Olearia gravis can be found growing on coarse sandy soil (derived from granite), edges of rocky gorges, steep rock gullies and granite pavements. The species grows in open forest of Corymbia trachyphloia, Eucalyptus acmenoides, Acacia complanata; stunted dry sclerophyll forest with Eucalyptus caleyi and Callitris endlicheri; steep rocky gully with Lophostemon confertus, Eucalyptus eugenioides, E. melanophloia, E. tereticornis; open forest of C. trachyphloia, E. acmenoides, Acacia complanata; dense forest with Eucalyptus andrewsii and E. decolor; low open forest of E. andrewsii, E. prava, E. youmanii (Queensland Herbarium, 2011).
The longevity of this species is not known, but is thought to be at least 5 years, and it is known to flower in the second year. The seed is wind-dispersed and known to germinate after fire and following soil disturbance such as on the side of roads after grading (Sparshott, 2007).
Olearia gravis has been recorded flowering and fruiting August-December (Queensland Herbarium, 2011).
Threatening processes
Goats have been known to browse this species. In appropriate fire regimes also threaten this species, as the species is killed by fire and regenerates from soil stored seed bank (Sparshott 2007; Clarke et. al. 2009). Land clearing is also a threat and populations on road reserves are under imminent threat (Forster, 2010).
Status notes
Olearia gravis is listed as Near Threatened under the Queensland Nature Conservation Act 1992.
Management documents
Forster, P.I. (2010). Conservation Status Assessment for Olearia gravis (Asteraceae). Species Technical Committee, 19th February, 2010.
Management recommendations
Forster (2010) noted that Olearia gravis requires accurate surveys to precisely determine the number of subpopulations, geographical range, area of occupancy and number of individuals. There is also little information available on the landscape ecology, genetics, reproductive biology, dispersal, recruitment or populations structure of this species, and this requires further research (Forster, 2010).
Occurs in the following Queensland pastoral districts: Burnett, Darling Downs. Also occurs in the following regions: New South Wales (Bostock and Holland, 2010).
Bostock, P.D. and Holland, A.E. (eds) (2010). Census of the Queensland Flora 2010. Queensland Herbarium, Department of Environment and Resource Management, Brisbane.
Clarke, P.J., Knox, K.J.E., Campbell, M.L. and Copeland, L.M. (2009). Post-fire recovery of woody plants in the New England Tableland Bioregion. Cunninghamia 11: 221-239.
Forster, P.I. (2010). Conservation Status Assessment for Olearia gravis (Asteraceae). Species Technical Committee, 19th February, 2010.
Hunter, J.T., Kingston, J. and Croft, P. (1999). Vegetation and floristics of Kwiambal National Park and surrounds, Ashford, New South Wales. Cunninghamia, 6 (2): 1999.
Lander, N.S. in Harden, G.J. (Ed) (1992). Flora of New South Wales 3: 191.
Queensland Herbarium (2011). Specimen label information. Queensland Herbarium. Accessed 21/07/2011.
Sparshott, K. (2007). Protecting the natural flora values of Girraween National Park. Comprehensive Vegetation Report. Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service.
Stanley, T.D. in Stanley, T.D. and Ross, E.M. (1986). Flora of South-eastern Queensland 2: 520.
Profile author
Lynise Wearne (08/12/2011)

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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