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Species profile—Eryngium fontanum

Classification

Plantae (plants) → Equisetopsida (land plants) → ApiaceaeEryngium fontanum

Photo of Eryngium fontanum () - Fensham, R.,Queensland Herbarium, DERM
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Species details

Kingdom
Plantae (plants)
Class
Equisetopsida (land plants)
Family
Apiaceae
Scientific name
Eryngium fontanum A.E.Holland & E.J.Thomps.
WildNet taxon ID
6515
Nature Conservation Act 1992 (NCA) status
Endangered
Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC) status
Endangered
Back on Track (BoT) status
High
Conservation significant
Yes
Confidential
No
Wetland status
Wetland Indicator Species
Endemicity
Native
Pest status
Nil
Description
Eryngium fontanum is an erect, perennial herb to 1 m, that has a circular cluster of leaves at its base and a solid fleshy taproot. The deep green leaves are erect, long and thin, to 40 cm long and 24 mm wide, hollow, distantly septate, and lacking teeth but tapering to a fine point at the apex.
The branched inflorescences (flowering stems) are each subtended by a pair of sessile leaf-like bracts which are narrowly triangular, subequal, 3-15 mm long and 1-2 mm wide, and lack teeth. The flowering heads are more or less conical, 6-9 mm long and wide, with triangular subtending bracts 3-6 mm long and pungent pointed. The flower petals are c. 1 mm long, white tinged blue. Fruit are obovoid, to 2 mm long, dark brown with ten faint ribs, and completely covered with inflated white scales.
Eryngium fontanum differs from the related E. plantagineum by the leaves which lack teeth and the much smaller inflorescence bracts which also lack teeth. E. plantagineum has dentate or deeply divided inflorescence bracts that are 4-7 cm long. (Holland & Thompson 1994; Fensham et al. 2008)
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Distribution
Eryngium fontanum is only known from two spring wetland complexes. These complexes are located on the eastern border of the Great Artesian Basin in central Queensland. These populations are about 150km apart, and both are found within a larger regional group of springs called the Barcaldine spring supergroup. (Fensham et al. 2008; Herbrecs 2008)
Distributional limits
-22.0909473, 145.4117305
-23.2912278, 146.2497223
Range derivation
Range derived from extent of the taxon's verified records
Habitat
Eryngium fontanum is found in permanent spring-fed wetland habitats with a groundwater source from the Great Artesian Basin. These areas are subject to frequent inundation. (Fensham et al. 2008)
Reproduction
Eryngium fontanum flowers between December and April, and produces small seeds. (Fensham et al. 2008)
Status notes
The population at the type locality contains about 200 plants but the species was not found in any similar sites in the area. The most immediate threat to this species is from cattle grazing and trampling. Depletion of the Great Artesian Basin is also a potential long-term threat.
Management documents
Fensham, R., Ponder, W. & Fairfax, R. (2008). Recovery plan for the community of native species dependent on natural discharge of groundwater from the Great Artesian Basin. Report to Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts, Canberra. Queensland Environmental Protection Agency, Brisbane.
Notes
Contributors: Ailsa Holland, Mellisa Mayhew 18/07/2009
References
Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts (2008). Eryngium fontanum in Species Profile and Threats Database, Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts, Canberra. Accessed 30/09/2008. http://www.environment.gov.au/cgi-bin/sprat/public/sprat.pl
Fensham, R., Ponder, W. & Fairfax, R. (2008). Recovery plan for the community of native species dependent on natural discharge of groundwater from the Great Artesian Basin. Report to Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts, Canberra. Queensland Environmental Protection Agency, Brisbane.
Herbrecs (2008). Eryngium fontanum, in BriMapper version 2.12. Queensland Herbarium. Accessed 30/09/2008.
Holland, A.E. & Thompson, E.J. (1994). Eryngium fontanum A.E. Holland & E.J. Thompson, (Apiaceae), a new species from Central Queensland. Austrobaileya 4(2): 155.
Profile author
Ailsa Holland (18/07/2009)

Other resources

Species Profile and Threats Database (SPRAT)
The Australasian Virtual Herbarium (AVH)
Atlas of Living Australia

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
https://apps.des.qld.gov.au/species/?op=getspeciesbyid&taxonid=6515

This information is sourced from the WildNet database managed by the Queensland Department of Environment and Science.

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Licence
Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)
Last updated
7 September 2021
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