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Species profile—Dansiea elliptica


Plantae (plants) → Equisetopsida (land plants) → CombretaceaeDansiea elliptica

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Species details

Plantae (plants)
Equisetopsida (land plants)
Scientific name
Dansiea elliptica Byrnes
WildNet taxon ID
Nature Conservation Act 1992 (NCA) status
Near threatened
Conservation significant
Pest status
Short Notes
BRI 241211, status annotated by author
Dansiea elliptica is a tree growing to 35 m tall. It has dark, grey brown, fissured, flaky bark and the trunk may reach a diameter of up to 70 cm. The leaves are spirally arranged or subopposite, elliptical in shape, apiculate at the apex and shortly attenuate at the base. The leaves are glossy green above, dull and light green below; the young leaves are densely appressed pubescent. The lamina is 3 to 8.5 cm long by 1 to 3.5 cm wide, margins are entire with glands near the base. The petioles are 0.5 to 1 cm long, appressed pubescent. The flowers are cream-pale green, about 20 cm long, borne in the axils on 1 cm long peduncles. The calyx is minutely pubescent with orbicular bracteoles which are 12 to 15 mm in diameter and adnate to the lower tube. There are 5 petals which are broadly elliptic, 8 to 10 mm long and pubescent. There are 10 stamens inserted in the calyx tube in 2 series with small appendages at the base of the filaments of the inner whorl. The mature fruit are two or four winged, the wings are formed from two orbicular bracteoles below the flowers. The wings mature to become broad, brown, dry and papery. The ripe fruit is yellow green in colour and woody (Byrnes, 1981; Pedley, 1990; Queensland Herbarium, 2012).
The flowers of Dansiea are superficially similar to Macropteranthes but are usually borne single in the axils and the ovary is fused to the floral tube on one side only. Dansiea elliptica has more ovules than any other member of the family (Byrnes, 1981).
Dansiea elliptica is a restricted Queensland endemic with two, greatly disjunct centres of distribution. It is recorded from three localities in the Wet Tropics of north-east Queensland and five localities in central Queensland. The species is found within Dinden National Park, Wooroonooran National Park in northern Queensland and Rundle State Forest and Deep Water National park in central Queensland. The species ranges in abundance from being locally common to extremely rare or occasional at a given locality. The area of occupancy in Queensland is less than 40 square km in total (Forster, 2007; Queensland Herbarium, 2012).
Distributional limits
-16.9734666, 145.5875701
-24.4348556, 151.9963667
Range derivation
Range derived from extent of the taxon's verified records
Dansiea elliptica occurs in lowland dry rainforest and vinethicket (notophyll vineforests, semi evergreen vinethickets) on substrates derived from greywacke (southern populations) or rhyolite and basalt (northern populations). Species associated with D. elliptica from a site in semi evergreen vine thicket include Flindersia australis and Casuarina cristata. In the Rundle Ranges, species such as Gossia bidwillii, Drypetes deplanchei, Planchonella cotinifolia, Pleiogynium timorense and Terminalia porphyrocarpa occur with D. elliptica. In notophyll-mesophyll rainforest in north east Queensland, associated species include a canopy of Polyscias elegans, Flindersia spp., Elaeocarpus eumundi, Synima, Cryptocarya mackinnoniana and Cryptocarya vulgaris on soil derived from rhyolite (Pollock, 1996; Queensland Herbarium, 2012).
Dansiea elliptica has been recorded flowering in January and May (Queensland Herbarium, 2012).
Threatening processes
In the past Dansiea elliptica populations were directly threatened by landclearing activities which may have reduced the number of populations and individuals. Some of the populations in central Queensland are still threatened due to their small size and occurrence in small remnants which may not be mapped as remnant vegetation under the Vegetation Management Act 1999 (Forster, 2007). Inappropriate fire regimes are also considered a possible threatening process (Pollock, 1996).
Status notes
Dansiea elliptica is listed as Near Threatened under the Queensland Nature Conservation Act 1992.
Management recommendations
Management recommendations for the protection of Dansiea elliptica and its habitat include: the establishment of a protective barrier (0.3 ha) that excludes clearing with D. elliptica at least 30 m inside the protective buffer; and ensure fire protection on sites with vine thicket vegetation
Occurs in the following Queensland pastoral districts: Cook, Port Curtis and North Kennedy (Bostock and Holland, 2010; Queensland Herbarium, 2012).
The northern populations form tall rainforest canopy tree to 35 m tall; whereas the southern populations form somewhat smaller tree (up to 25 m). The disjunction in distribution appears to be real and not just a reflection of poor survey. It is likely that significant genetic differences occur between the northern and southern populations and further research is required to determine if recognition of the two groups at some taxonomic level is necessary (Forster, 2007).
Bostock, P.D. and Holland, A.E. (eds) (2010). Census of the Queensland Flora 2010. Queensland Herbarium, Department of Environment and Resource Management, Brisbane.
Byrnes, N.B. (1981). Addition to Combretaceae (Lagunclurieae) from Australia. Austrobaileya 1 (4): 385.
Forster, P. (2007). Nomination Guideline for re-classifying rare wildlife under the Nature Conservation Act 1992 for Dansiea elliptica Rare and Threatened Species Technical Committee/06/2008.
Pedley, L. in George, A.S. (Ed) (1990). Flora of Australia 18: 260-262.
Pollock, A. (1996). Dansiea elliptica Species Management Profile. Department of Natural Resources, Brisbane.
Queensland Herbarium (2012). Specimen label information. Queensland Herbarium. Accessed 7/02/2012.
Profile author
Lynise Wearne (06/02/2012)

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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