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Species profile—Parsonsia larcomensis (Apocynaceae)


Plantae (plants) → Equisetopsida (land plants) → ApocynaceaeParsonsia larcomensis

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Species details

Plantae (plants)
Equisetopsida (land plants)
Parsonsia larcomensis
Taxonomy Author
Nature Conservation Act (NCA) status
Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act (EPBC) status
Back on Track (BoT) status
Parsonsia larcomensis is a prostrate, creeping plant that grows to 5 m long, attached to rocks or soils by adventitious roots. The latex is clear. The leaves are coriaceous and glabrous; the lamina ovate to broadly elliptic, 1.1 to 4.5 cm long by 1 to 2.2 cm wide, rounded or cordate at the base; the tip being shortly acuminate or acute. The upper leaf surface is green and the lower surface glaucous with lateral and net veins raised on both surfaces. The petiole is 3 to 7 mm long. The inflorescences occur as axillary or terminal panicles, with 5 to 12 white flowers the pedicels are 3 to 5 mm long. The calyx lobes are narrow, 4.5 to 5 mm long. The corolla is whitish, with 5 red spots in the throat, and the tube is narrowly funnel-shaped and 7.5 to 8 mm long. The corolla lobes are lanceolate or narrowly deltoid, spreading to recurved, 2 to 3 mm long, puberulous externally, glabrous internally. The fruit capsules are slender, terete-fusiform, 7 to 11 cm long by 0.5 to 1.1 cm in diameter, brown and puberulous (Williams, 1996; Wang, 1998).
Parsonsia larcomensis resembles P. straminea in its tough to rigid, glabrous adult leaves with the fine vein reticulum prominently raised, and in its very small juvenile leaves that are on stems that creep by adventitious roots. However the adult leaves are much shorter and relatively broader and the flowers are very different to those of P. straminea (corolla lobes longer than the tube; cream, yellowish or pink corolla with no red spots in the throat; capsules larger than in P. larcomensis) (Williams, 1998).
Parsonsia larcomensis is restricted to central eastern Queensland, where it is confined to the Rockhampton - Mount Perry area. The most northern populations occur northeast and west of Byfield (3 populations), including: Byfield Shoalwater Bay Mount Parnassus sector; Byfield National Park and; Mingga Mountain. Other locations include Mount Wheeler, 12 km south west of Yeppoon (3 populations); Mount Larcom (4 populations) and Mount Perry (1 population). Most sites are on freehold land, with one population within National Park (Byfield National Park) (DSEWPC, 2008; Queensland Herbarium, 2011).
Parsonsia larcomensis is recorded from 350 to 750 m elevation. It occurs in open heathland and shrubland at or near the summits of mountain peaks in shallow, loamy soils on cliffs or among outcrops of acid volcanic rocks and serpentinites. Associated species include; Lophostemon confertus, Acacia aulacocarpa and Jacksonia scoparia. At Mt Wheeler, it is associated with Eucalyptus fibrosa, Xanthorrhoea spp. and Pimelea leptospermoides. It has also been found growing within complex notophyll vine forest and riverine rainforest on granite, clay loam, dominated by Endiandra discolor with mid-dense rainforest understorey (Wang, 1998; Queensland Herbarium, 2011).
Parsonsia larcomensis is attached to rocks or soil by adventitious roots (Wang, 1998; Queensland Herbarium, 2011).
Parsonsia larcomensis flowers from January to June. Fruiting is recorded fruiting August to September (Wang, 1998; Queensland Herbarium, 2011)
Threatening processes
Parsonsia larcomensis has a very restricted and fragmented distribution. In some areas the species is common (e.g. Mt Wheeler, Byfield), other locations the species is rare (Mt Larcom) or there is no information on the populations status (Mount Perry).
The main potential threats to Parsonsia larcomensis include fire (Halford, 1998); vegetation clearing; weed invasion; and increasing fragmentation and loss of remnants (ANRA, 2007). The species is thought to be susceptible to fire and incapable of regenerating from underground organs, meaning that the continued existence of the species after fire would depend on regeneration of seed (DSEWPC, 2011).
Management recommendations
Management actions for the protection of Parsonsia larcomensis and its habitat include: the establishment of protective buffer (0.25 ha) that excludes clearing with all P. kroombitensis at least 20 m inside the buffer; where practical control or eradicate weeds (i.e. Lantana) (Wang, 1998). DSEWPC (2008) also document 5 regional and local priority actions to support the recovery of P. kroombitensis. These include addressing: habitat loss, disturbance and modification (e.g. monitor known populations for key threats and progress of recovery); invasive weeds (e.g. identify and remove weeds in the local area); fire (e.g. develop and implement a suitable fire strategy, provide maps of known occurrences to local and regional fire services); conservation information (e.g. raise awareness of the species in the local community, maintain liaison with private landholders where the species occurs); enable recovery of additional sites and/or populations (e.g. undertake seed storage and seed collection, investigate options for linking, enhancing existing populations, implement national translocation protocols). There are also research priorities which could help to provide further knowledge on the species, these include: design and implement monitoring programs; additional work on population size, distribution, ecological requirements; survey work of habitat and potential habitat requirements; undertake seed germination and propagation research (DSEWPC, 2011).
Australian Natural Resources Atlas (ANRA) (2007). Biodiversity Assessment - South Eastern Queensland, Species at Risk and Threatening Processes. Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts, Canberra. Accessed 23/12/2011.
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) (2011). Marsdenia paludicola in Species Profile and Threats Database, Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities, Canberra. Accessed 23/12/2011.
Halford, D. (1998). Survey of Threatened Plant Species in South East Queensland Biogeographical Region. Queensland CRA/RFA Steering Committee, Department of Environment, Brisbane.
Queensland Herbarium (2011). Specimen label information. Queensland Herbarium. Accessed 22/12/2011.
Wang, J. (1998). Parsonsia larcomensis Species Management Profile. Department of Natural Resources, Brisbane.
Williams, J.B. in Orchard, A.E. (Ed) (1996). Flora of Australia 28: 160.
Profile author
Lynise Wearne
Profile date
Other resources
Atlas of Living Australia

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Last updated
20 October 2014
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