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Species profile—Zieria obovata


Plantae (plants) → Equisetopsida (land plants) → RutaceaeZieria obovata

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Species details

Plantae (plants)
Equisetopsida (land plants)
Scientific name
Zieria obovata (C.T.White) J.A.Armstr.
WildNet taxon ID
Zieria aspalathoides var. obovata
Nature Conservation Act 1992 (NCA) status
Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC) status
Conservation significant
Pest status
Zieria obovata is a small, diffuse, hirsute shrub growing to 1 m tall. The branches are hirsute all over with predominately simple hairs, becoming glabrescent with age. The leaves are palmately trifoliate, opposite and subsessile. The petiole when present is 0.5 to 1.0 mm long. The central lamina is obovate, 6 to 13 mm long and 2.0 to 3.5 mm wide, rounded and slightly acute at the apex. The upper lamina surface is dark green, glabrescent to sparsely pilose; the lower surface is lighter green, and hirsute. The lamina margin is entire (very slightly crenate). The secondary venation is obscure. The inflorescence is axillary, longer than the leaves, occasionally very much longer, mostly 1 to 3 cream conspicuous cream to pale pink flowers. The peduncle is 3.0 to 28 mm long, hirsute all over, with simple, bifurcate and stellate hairs. The bracts are scale like or foliaceous, linear to obovate, 1 to 5.3 mm long and 0.3 to 1.4 mm wide. The bracts are similar to the lamina in all surface features, except maybe warty on the lower surface. The pedicels are 1.6 to 2.5 mm long, densely hirsute all over, with stellate, simple and bifurcate hairs. The petals are elliptic, imbricate in bud, 1.3 mm long and 1.9 mm wide, with a small inflexed mucro at the apex, pubescent on both surfaces (much more so on the abaxial surface). The fruit is glabrous, except for the occasional tuft of stellate hairs at the apex and along the adaxial stylar ridge of each coccus. Cocci with a small terminal appendage. The seed is dark, brown-black, striate, 3.8 mm long and 1.4 mm wide (Armstrong, 2002).
Zieria obovata is closely related to Z. minutiflora. The main distinguishing character is the relative size of the inflorescence; in Z. obovate they are longer than the leaves and in Z. minutiflora they are usually shorter, at least at anthesis (Duretto and Forster, 2007).
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Zieria obovata is endemic to Queensland, known only from two areas within 10 km of Herberton, within the Wet Tropics Bioregion (Duretto and Forster, 2007; Queensland Herbarium, 2012).
Distributional limits
-17.2484674, 145.2511107
-17.792693, 145.479889
Range derivation
Range derived from extent of the taxon's verified records
Zieria obovata occurs in wet open eucalypt forest dominated by Syncarpia glomulifera, Eucalyptus abergiana and E. cloeziana, on rocky steep slopes along granite slabs and boulders (Dunetto and Forster, 2007; DSEWPC, 2008; Queensland Herbarium, 2012).
Zieria obovata flowers and fruits from September to March and in June (Duretto and Forster, 2007; Queensland Herbarium, 2012).
Threatening processes
The main potential threats to the species include destruction and degradation of habitat; competition from introduced weeds including lantana (Lantana camara) and praxelis (Praxelis clematidea); and changed fire regimes. Z. obovata occurs around and below the wall of the Herberton water supply reservoir, along a power line track and a trail on the outskirts of the town, which are all areas with frequent human visitation (DSEWPC, 2008).
Status notes
Zieria obovata is listed as Vulnerable under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 and Vulnerable under the Queensland Nature Conservation Act 1992.
Management documents
Praxelis (Praxelis clematidea) weed management guide (DEH, 2003a).
Lantana (Lantana camara) weed management guide (DEH, 2003b).
Management recommendations
DSEWPC (2008) identifies regional and local priority actions to support the recovery of Zieria obovata which include: habitat loss, disturbance and modification (e.g. monitor known populations to identify threats, recovery and effectiveness of management); invasive weeds (e.g. control Lantana and Praxelis in the local region; identify and remove other weeds which threaten Z. obovata); conservation information (raise awareness of Z. obovata in the community); fire (e.g. develop and implement suitable fire management for the species, provide maps of known occurrences to Rural Fire Services); enable recovery of additional sites and/or populations (e.g. undertake appropriate seed collection and storage; investigate options for linking enhancing or establishing additional populations).
Zieria obovata is found within the Cook and North Kennedy pastoral districts (Bostock and Holland, 2010). The species occurs within the Wet Tropics (Queensland) Natural Resource Management Region (DSEWPC, (2008).
Armstrong, J.A. (2002). Zieria (Rutaceae): a systematic and evolutionary study. Australian Systematic Botany 15 (3): 408-411.
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 Environment and Heritage (DEH) (2003a). Praxelis (Praxelis clematidea) weed management guide. Department of Environment and Heritage, CRC for Australian Weed Management, Accessed 09/01/2012
Department of Environment and Heritage (DEH) (2003b). Lantana (Lantana camara) weed management guide. Department of Environment and Heritage, CRC for Australian Weed Management, Accessed 09/01/201.
Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities (DSEWPC) (2008). Acacia wardellii in Species Profile and Threats Database, Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities, Canberra. Accessed 11/10/2011.
Duretto, M.F. and Forster, P.I. (2007). A taxonomic revision of the genus Zieria Sm. (Rutaceae) in Queensland. Austrobaileya 7 (3): 524-525.
Queensland Herbarium (2012). Specimen label information. Queensland Herbarium. Accessed 06/01/2012.
Profile author
Lynise Wearne (06/01/2012)

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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