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Species profile—Cerbera dumicola


Plantae (plants) → Equisetopsida (land plants) → ApocynaceaeCerbera dumicola

Photo of Cerbera dumicola () - Bean, T.,Queensland Herbarium, DES (Licence: CC BY NC)
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Species details

Plantae (plants)
Equisetopsida (land plants)
Scientific name
Cerbera dumicola P.I.Forst.
WildNet taxon ID
Nature Conservation Act 1992 (NCA) status
Near threatened
Conservation significant
Pest status
Short Notes
BRI 447534, 447821, status annotated by author
Cerbera dumicola is a shrub or small tree growing to 4 m high. The species has white latex, and the foliage and inflorescence are glabrous. The bark is light grey, fissured longitudinally and somewhat scaly on taller plants. The sap wood and heart wood are both white. The leaf lamina is elliptic-lanceolate to elliptic-oblong, 5 to 17 cm long and 1.5 to 6 cm wide and discolorous, with the upper surface glossy light green and the lower surface pale green. The leaf margins are often variously lobed and sinuate. The venation on the upper leaf surface is obscure, on the lower surface there are 14 to 18 secondary veins per side of the midrib with the tertiary reticulate venation prominent. The leaf tip is obtuse, acute or short acuminate, and the leaf base is cuneate. The petiole is 5 to 12 mm long by 0.7 to 0.8 mm wide. The inflorescences occur as a little branched cyme, up to 8cm long. The peduncle is up to 5cm long. The flowers are few, generally less than 30. The flowers are 15 to 18 mm long by 14 to 20 mm diameter, and sweetly scented. The pedicels are 31 to 45 mm long. The sepals are lanceolate-ovate, 8 to 9mm long by 3.5 to 5.0 mm wide. The corolla is white, with the tube 10 to 11 mm long by 1.8 to 2.2 mm in diameter. The fruit is globose-ovoid, 5.5 cm long and 4 cm wide by 4 cm thick, the colour is unknown (Forster, 1992).
Cerbera dumicola is a distinctive species due to its shrubby to small tree habit and the foliage often having sinuate margins. It is most closely allied to C. manghas but differs from that species in the shrubby habit, fewer lateral veins in the leaf lamina (14 to 18 per side of midrib), corolla lacking a red centre, the corolla tube 10 to 11mm long and the corolla lobes 8 to 9 mm long (Forster, 1992).
Cerbera dumicola is known from 37 populations in central coastal and subcoastal Queensland, with a few populations located in central Queensland. The most northern populations are located 23 km southwest of Charters Towers and the most southern population occurs at Baralaba. Other populations include; 15 km southwest of Ravenswood; Collinsville Mine Site, Collinsville; Gorge Creek, Redcliffe Tableland; 8 km north of Springvale; Doreen Station, 5 km due west of Collaroy Station homestead; 5 km northeast of Blairgowrie; Middle Percy Island; Junee Tableland, north of Dingo; Shoalwater Bay Training Area; Mt Fairview State Forest; Blackwater; Romulus Tableland; Blackdown Tableland National Park; Taunton National Park and Ravensbourne-Mount Edinburgh area (Bostock and Holland, 2010; Queensland Herbarium, 2011).
Distributional limits
-20.1567823, 145.5844893
-26.2484202, 150.6760751
Range derivation
Range derived from extent of the taxon's verified records
Cerbera dumicola occurs across a range of habitats in central and southern Queensland. Associated vegetation and species include: sandstone hills in open E. umbra subsp. carnea; on plateaus, in woodland of Acacia shirleyi with Corymbia dolichocarpa; acidic soils in mine rehabilitation area; woodland of A. catenulata and A. shirleyi with E. thozetiana on a slope of sand/clay soil; semi-deciduous notophyll-microphyll vine forest of Brachychiton australis, Gyrocarpus americanus, Flindersia australis, Pleiogynium timorense, Drypetes deplanchei and Sterculia quadrifida on rhyolite hillslopes; open-woodland of E. melanophloia with occasional Acacia shirleyi, E. populnea and E. brownii; semi-evergreen vine thicket with Corymbia citriodora and Corymbia aureola emergents; woodland of A. rhodoxylon on brown, sandy loam; and in Corymbia tessellaris - Acacia aneura open woodland (Queensland Herbarium, 2011).
Flowering of Cerbera dumicola has been recorded in October (Queensland Herbarium, 2011). The species is capable of suckering (Forster, 2008; Queensland Herbarium, 2011).
Threatening processes
Cerbera dumicola has been severely impacted by land clearing with extensive fragmentation of its original habitat. While it can be very common at some of its known localities, many of the remnant populations comprise few individuals. It is likely to be more widespread than is currently known as these eucalypt dominated woodlands are poorly surveyed in southern Queensland. Threatening processes include; (1) land clearing for agriculture, which has undoubtedly been the main reason in the past for reductions in the area of occupancy, number of populations, number of individuals. Many populations are in areas mapped as 'non-remnant vegetation', hence are still able to be cleared; (2) land clearing for mining. Several populations have been recorded from mining leases in the central highlands coalfields and are presumed lost; (Forster, 2008).
Status notes
Cerbera dumicola is listed as Near Threatened under the Queensland Nature Conservation Act 1992
Management recommendations
Cerbera dumicola is a poorly known and requires accurate survey to determine the number of populations and subpopulations, geographical range, area of occupancy and number of individuals within Queensland. There is no information available on the genetics, reproductive biology, dispersal, recruitment or population structure for this species (Forster, 2008). Many populations are very small, often consisting of a single plant, often with many suckers. It is highly likely that inbreeding depression is occurring in many populations.
Cerbera dumicola is found within the Leichhardt, Mitchell, North Kennedy, Port Curtis, and South Kennedy pastoral districts (Bostock and Holland, 2010).
Bostock, P.D. and Holland, A.E. (eds) (2010). Census of the Queensland Flora 2010. Queensland Herbarium, Department of Environment and Resource Management, Brisbane.
Forster, P. (2008). Conservation Status Assessment for Cerbera dumicola Rare and Threatened Species Technical Committee November 2008.
Forster, P.I. (1992). A Taxonomic Revision of Cerbera L. (Apocynaceae) in Australia and Papuasia. Austrobaileya 3 (4): 569-579.
Queensland Herbarium (2011). Specimen label information. Queensland Herbarium. Accessed 17/12/2011.
Profile author
Lynise Wearne (28/06/2012)

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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