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Species profile—Commersonia argentea


Plantae (plants) → Equisetopsida (land plants) → ByttneriaceaeCommersonia argentea

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Species details

Plantae (plants)
Equisetopsida (land plants)
Scientific name
Commersonia argentea Guymer
WildNet taxon ID
Nature Conservation Act 1992 (NCA) status
Least concern
Conservation significant
Pest status
Short Notes
BRI 330157 (Holotype), 336139, 336140 (Isotype); status annotated by author
Commersonia argentea is a shrub growing from 1.5 to 4 m tall with the above-ground stems suckering from rhizomes. The branchlets are silvery velutinous (with stellate hairs 0.2 to 1.2 mm in diameter). The leaves are silvery or glaucous, and discolorous; white stellate-velutinous above and below. The leaf blades are ovate to ovate-acute, 2.5 to 13 cm long and 1 to 8 cm wide. The leaf margins are crenulate, with 34 to 39 pairs of teeth up to 1 mm long. Petioles are 4-8 mm long and stellate-velutinous. Stipules are triangular, 4-6 mm long and 0.7- 1mm wide, early deciduous, and stellate pubescent.
The inflorescences are 2 to 5 cm long and contain 10 to 30 flowers which are white to cream in colour and 9 to 10 mm in diameter. The peduncles are 10 to 20 mm long. The calyx lobes are 2.7 to 3 mm long and 1.9 to 2.2 mm wide, white stellate-velutinous outside, sparsely puberulous inside. The petals are 4.5 to 5.1 mm long, with the central lobe spathulate, shallowly 3 or 4-lobed at the apex, with undulate margins. Ovary 5-lobed and 5-winged, 0.9 to 1 mm in diameter, with rudimentary bristles and stellate hairs. The capsules and seeds have not been seen (Guymer, 2005).
Commersonia argentea is related to C. fraseri but differs from that species by its silvery velutinous branchlets, leaves and inflorescences (Guymer, 2005).
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Commersonia argentea is confined to central and south east Queensland from the Carnarvon Range to the Chinchilla area. It has been recorded in Carnarvon National Park (Queensland Herbarium, 2012).
Distributional limits
-24.5067757, 146.7094739
-26.1234202, 150.9427586
Range derivation
Range derived from extent of the taxon's verified records
Commersonia argentea occurs in eucalypt open forest on ridges, or undulating terrain or along watercourses and occurs in sandy soils. It is often found in stands that can cover up to a hectare due to its suckering from rhizomes (Guymer, 2005). C. argentea grows on alluvial flats in gullies and gorges, on stony ridges and rocky hill slopes. It occurs in woodland to open forest communities. On the alluvial soils the taller tree species include Eucalyptus populnea, E. melanophloia and Corymbia tessellaris. On the rocky slopes and ridges the taller tree species include Eucalyptus crebra. The soils are loamy to sandy in texture are derived from sandstone or shale substrates (Queensland Herbarium, 2012).
Commersonia argentea flowers from November to March, but has not been observed to set fruit or seed (Guymer, 2005). Nothing is known about the requirements for flower and fruit production. C. argentea is capable of vegetative reproduction from root suckers. It has been observed that fire promotes recruitment of individuals from suckering rootstocks (Queensland Herbarium, 2012).
Threatening processes
Commersonia argentea was initially known only from a small area at Cadarga near Chinchilla, south-east Queensland. It is now known to be more widespread with at least one population present in the conservation estate. Commersonia argentea is currently not considered to be under threat of extinction in the wild. There are no actual or potential past, current and future threats recorded for this species (Queensland Herbarium, 2012)
Status notes
Commersonia argentea is Least Concern under the Queensland Nature Conservation Act 1992.
Management recommendations
The population in the Goodliffe section of Carnarvon National Park (NP) is the only known population within the conservation estate (Queensland Herbarium, 2012). Carnarvon NP is managed according to the management principles for national parks defined in the Nature Conservation Act 1992 (Qld). The remaining populations occur on road reserve, leasehold and freehold land. None of these sites are actively managed for this species.
Regional and local priority actions to support the recovery of C. argentea are outlined by DSEWPC (2012). A summary of these include addressing: habitat loss, disturbance and modification (e.g. monitor known populations to identify key threats; monitor progress of recovery, including the effectiveness of management actions; identify populations of high conservation priority); conservation information (raise awareness of C. argentea; maintain liaisons with private landholders); and enable recovery of additional sites and/or populations (e.g. investigate options for linking, enhancing or establishing additional populations).
Commersonia argentea has not been observed to set fruit or seed but reproduces by vegetative growth from root suckers. Therefore each individual is genetically isolated. Currently, there is no information available on the genetics of this species and until more is known about the reproductive biology, dispersal, recruitment and population structure of Commersonia argentea, all known populations would be considered important to this species long term survival (DSEWPC, 2012).
C. argentea is found in the Burnett, Leichhardt and Warrego pastoral districts (Bostock and Holland, 2010; Queensland Herbarium, 2012). The species was previously listed as vulnerable under the EPBC Act 1999 and Queensland Nature Conservation Act 1992.
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). Commersonia argentea in Species Profile and Threats Database, Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities, Canberra. Accessed 31/01/2012.
Guymer, G.P. (2005). New species of Commersonia J.R.Forst. and G.Forst. (Sterculiaceae) from Eastern Australia and Vanuatu. Austrobaileya 7 (1): 235-236.
Queensland Herbarium (2012). Specimen label information. Queensland Herbarium. Accessed 31/01/2012.
Profile author
Lynise Wearne (31/01/2012)

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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
20 May 2024