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Species profile—Graptophyllum ilicifolium (holly-leaved graptophyllum)


Plantae (plants) → Equisetopsida (land plants) → AcanthaceaeGraptophyllum ilicifolium (holly-leaved graptophyllum)

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Species details

Plantae (plants)
Equisetopsida (land plants)
Scientific name
Graptophyllum ilicifolium (F.Muell.) F.Muell. ex Benth.
Common name
holly-leaved graptophyllum
WildNet taxon ID
Alternate name(s)
Mt Blackwood holly
Nature Conservation Act 1992 (NCA) status
Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC) status
Conservation significant
Pest status
Graptophyllum ilicifolium is a shrub to small tree growing to 6 m tall. The young branches have large prickly leaves. The older branches have smaller, less prickly leaves. Axillary spines are absent. Condensed axillary branches are absent. The leaves are opposite, dark shiny green above, dull below, subsessile, ovate, 5.5 to 11.5 cm long and 3 to 6 cm wide, with long spinose marginal teeth. The inflorescences occur in clusters of 4 to 6 flowers per axil (rarely as many as 10). The flowers are tubular, showy, scarlet red, 28 to 35 mm long. The capsule is 28 mm long.
Graptophyllum ilicifolium is vegetatively similar to G. reticulatum, but can be distinguished by its broader leaves, somewhat shorter marginal teeth and less conspicuous reticulate venation (Bean and Sharpe, 1991).
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Graptophyllum ilicifolium is endemic to central coast Queensland from the Mackay area and a disjunct population near Miriam Vale. The species is recorded from Mt Adder, Mt Blackwood, Mt De Moleyns, Mt Jukes, Niddoe Creek and Miriam Vale (Queensland Herbarium 2012). Populations at Mt Blackwood and Mt Adder are within national parks, although at least part of one population at Mt Adder extends beyond the park boundary and onto freehold land. One subpopulation at Mt De Moleyns is on freehold land while the land tenure for the other site is unknown (DSEWPC, 2012).
Distributional limits
-20.9888888, 148.9038664
-24.3067524, 151.6093933
Range derivation
Range derived from extent of the taxon's verified records
Graptophyllum ilicifolium occurs in an area of vegetation consisting of tall to very tall mixed notophyll forest. Canopy species include Argyrodendron spp., Flindersia schottiana and Cryptocarya hypospodia. The mid-stratum contains such species as Bosistoa pentacocca, Cryptocarya bidwillii and Diospyros hebecarpa. Lower stratum species include Atractocarpus fitzalanii, Memecylon pauciflorum var. pauciflorum, Polyalthia nitidissima and Acronychia laevis (Queensland Herbarium, 2011).The species grows along rocky drainage lines in areas with the following substrate: Mt Jukes area consists predominantly of quartz and feldspar; Mt Blackwood is largely composed of Blackwood Quartz Syenite; Mt Adder, Mt De Moleyns and the east section of Mt Blackwood National Park are comprised of sedimentary rocks (Bean 1992; Champion 1990).
Graptophyllum ilicifolium flowers have been recorded in July-September. Fruits develop quickly and have been recorded in April, July and December. Plants usually have fruits at different stages for several months (Queensland Herbarium n.d.). Stems have been observed to develop adventitious roots (Queensland Herbarium, 2011).
Threatening processes
The main potential threats to Graptophyllum ilicifolium arise from its restricted distribution and being confined in the landscape to narrow creek margins. Competition from introduced weeds such as Lantana (Lantana camara) could threaten the habitat and possibly allow incursion of fires due to fuel build-up (DSEWPC, 2012).
Status notes
Graptophyllum ilicifolium is listed as Vulnerable under the Queensland Nature Conservation Act 1992 and Vulnerable under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999
Management documents
Documents that may assist in the management of Graptophyllum ilicifolium include Commonwealth Conservation Advice on Graptophyllum ilicifolium (DSEWPC, 2012).
Management recommendations
Management actions for Graptophyllum ilicifolium have been identified in DEEWPC (2012) and include: monitor known populations to identify key threats; identify populations of high conservation priority; monitor the progress of recovery, including the effectiveness of management actions and the need to adapt them if necessary; minimise adverse impacts from land use at known sites; protect populations of the listed species through the development of conservation agreements or covenants; identify, remove, and prevent introduction of weeds in the local area, which could become a threat to the species, implement management plan for the control of Lantana in the region; ensure chemicals and other mechanisms used to eradicate weeds do not have a significant adverse impact on the species; develop and implement a suitable fire management strategy; provide maps of known occurrences to local and state Rural Fire Services and seek inclusion of mitigative measures in bush fire risk management plans, risk register and/or operation maps; undertake appropriate seed and collection and storage; investigate options for linking, enhancing or establishing additional populations; and implement national translocation protocols (Vallee et al. 2004) if establishing additional populations is considered necessary and feasible.
Occurs in the following Queensland pastoral districts: Port Curtis, South Kennedy (Bostock and Holland, 2010).
Graptophyllum ilicifolium has relatively high levels of genetic diversity. There is also high genetic diversity between it and other Graptophyllum species, which limits likelihood of hybridisation between wild and cultivated populations (Shapcott 2007).
Reports of holly-leaved graptophyllum from Port Douglas and the Rockhampton area (Barker 1986; Bean and Sharpe 1991) are misidentifications.
Bean, A.R. and Sharpe, P.R. (1991). Notes on Graptophyllum Nees (Acanthaceae) in Australia. Austrobaileya 3 (3): 549-553.
Bostock, P.D. and Holland, A.E. (eds) (2010). Census of the Queensland Flora 2010. Queensland Herbarium, Department of Environment and Resource Management, Brisbane.
Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities (DSEWPC) (2012). Graptophyllum ilicifolium in Species Profile and Threats Database, Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities, Canberra. Accessed 23/01/2012.
Queensland Herbarium (2011). Specimen label information. Queensland Herbarium. Accessed 21/01/2011.
Shapcott, A. (2007). Does Species Range and Rarity Affect Population Genetics? A Case Study of Four Graptophyllum Species from Queensland, Australia. Biotropica. 39 (4):447-458.
Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC) (2008). Commonwealth Conservation Advice on Graptophyllum ilicifolium. [Online]. Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts.
Vallee, L., T. Hogbin, L. Monks, B. Makinson, M. Matthes and M. Rossetto (2004). Guidelines for the translocation of threatened plants in Australia - Second Edition. Canberra, ACT: Australian Network for Plant Conservation.
Profile author
Lynise Wearne (23/01/2012)

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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
8 March 2022