Skip links and keyboard navigation

Species profile—Cyathea exilis

Classification

Plantae (plants) → Equisetopsida (land plants) → CyatheaceaeCyathea exilis

Species details

Kingdom
Plantae (plants)
Class
Equisetopsida (land plants)
Family
Cyatheaceae
Scientific name
Cyathea exilis Holttum
WildNet taxon ID
9023
Superseded by
Alsophila exilis (04/05/2021)
Back on Track (BoT) status
High
Conservation significant
No
Confidential
Yes
Endemicity
Native
Pest status
Nil
Short Notes
Pteridophyta, three sheets
Description
Cyathea exilis is a slender tree fern with a trunk up to 2m tall. The stalks of the fronds are about 20cm long and thickened at the base. There are blunt spines, 0.5-1.5mm long, toward the base of the stalk. Each spine bears a dull brown scale, about 10mm long and 1mm wide.
The branch-like leaves are up to 100cm long and the leaflets are up to 30cm long. The leaflets are divided into smaller leaflets, each 5.2cm long by 1.5cm wide. These smaller leaflets consist of deeply lobed segments attached to a mid-vein. The segment margins have rounded teeth and a scale near the base of each segment bears small bristles. The short prickles at the base of the leaflets distinguish it from all other tree ferns on Cape York Peninsula. (Bostock 1991, 1998; Fensham 2007)
Map
View Map
Habitat
Cyathea exilis occurs in dense notophyll palm vine thicket, a type of closed forest scattered along the eastern coast and adjacent hinterland of Cape York Peninsula. The species grows on rocks or in hummocks, in sandstone canyons or downstream from sandstone areas, in all cases fed by permanent groundwater originating from the sandstone. (Fensham 2007; Hebrecs 2008)
Reproduction
Cyathea exilis regenerates from spores. A small number of immature plants have been observed in the 2 populations on Cape York Peninsula, Queensland. (Fensham 2007)
Threatening processes
Space ports, wilderness resorts, fire and illegal collecting. The vine thicket is known to have suffered fire incursion in 1996 but effect on the fern has not been determined.
Management documents
Conservation and management of protected plants in trade in Queensland 1995-1998. Department of Environment.
Fensham, R. (2007). Draft Recovery Plan for Cyathea exilis. Report to Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts, Canberra. Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service, Brisbane.
Notes
Contributors: Weslawa Misiak 18/09/1998; Peter Bostock, Mellisa Mayhew 16/02/2009
References
Bostock, P.D. (1991). Cyathea exilis Holttum (Pteridophyta: Cyatheaceae). Austrobaileya 3(3): 565.
Bostock, P.D. in McCarthy, P.M. (Ed) (1998). Flora of Australia 48: 197-198.
Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts (2008). Cyathea exilis in Species Profile and Threats Database, Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts, Canberra. Accessed 29/09/2008. http://www.environment.gov.au/cgi-bin/sprat/public/sprat.pl
Fensham, R. (2007). Draft Recovery Plan for Cyathea exilis. Report to Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts, Canberra. Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service, Brisbane.
Herbrecs (2008). Cyathea exilis, in BriMapper version 2.12. Queensland Herbarium. Accessed 29/09/2008.
Profile author
Peter Bostock (16/02/2009)

Other resources

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=9023

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

More species information

Get a list of species for your area or find other wildlife information.

Licence
Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)
Last updated
23 October 2019
  1. Is your feedback about:
  2. (If you chose ‘website’ above)

    Page feedback

    1. How satisfied are you with your experience today? *
  3. (If you chose ‘service’ above)

    Feedback on government services, departments and staff

    Please use our complaints and compliments form.