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Species profile—Bertya sharpeana (Mt. Coolum bertya)


Plantae (plants) → Equisetopsida (land plants) → EuphorbiaceaeBertya sharpeana (Mt. Coolum bertya)

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Species details

Plantae (plants)
Equisetopsida (land plants)
Scientific name
Bertya sharpeana Guymer
Common name
Mt. Coolum bertya
WildNet taxon ID
Alternate name(s)
Sharp's bertya
Nature Conservation Act 1992 (NCA) status
Near threatened
Conservation significant
Pest status
Short Notes
BRI 382437 (Holotype), 382436 (Isotype), status annotated by author
Bertya sharpeana is an extensively branched monoecious or dioecious shrub, growing up to 4 m tall. The bark is shallowly fissured and reddish brown. The branchlets are terete, with a dense indumentum of sessile, stellate, white hairs. The branchlets become glabrous with age. The leaves are petiolate, spirally alternate or opposite, and horizontally spread. The petiole is 1 to 4 mm long, slightly grooved adaxially with a dense stellate-pubescent indumentum up to 2.5 mm thick. The lamina is narrowly ovate to ovate, 8 to 22 mm long and 3 to 10 mm wide. The adaxial surface is green, sparsely hairy with stipitate, stellate hairs, becoming glabrous with age, tuberculate with persistent hair bases. The abaxial surface is white, densely hairy with stipitate, stellate hairs. The leaves have either recurved margins or flat, the apex is acute or obtuse, and the base is obtuse or slightly cordate. The midvein is slightly impressed adaxially, and on the abaxial surface the midvein is raised and angular with stellate-pubescent hairs. Marginal glands are usually present at the base of the lamina. The inflorescences are axillary, and occur as a single, pedunculate, flower. The male flowers are sessile, with five sepals lobes which are white with a pinkish-coloured blush, turning reddish-pink with age, elliptic or ovate-elliptic, 2.5 to 4 mm long by 1.5 to 2 mm wide with 47 to 53 stamens. The female flowers are sessile, with 5 sepal lobes (rarely 5) which are light green in colour, petals are absent or rudimentary. The capsule is narrowly ellipsoid or narrowly ovoid, 4 to 8 mm long and 2.4 to 3.5 mm across, sparsely stellate-pubescent and 1-seeded. The seeds are obloid-ellipsoid, 3.1 to 4.5 mm long by 2.0 to 2.9 mm wide and 2.3 to 2.7 mm across, light brown and mottled with dark brown, with a creamy-white pyramidal caruncle (Guymer, 1988; Halford and Henderson, 2002).
Bertya sharpeana is related to B. oleifolia but differs by its smaller, ovate to ovate-lancelate leaves, its longer suprabasal leaf glands (0.25 to 0.65 mm long) and its perianth not enlarging in fruit. The northern populations of B. sharpeana tend to have slightly longer and broader leaf laminas and larger female flowers than those from the type locality at Mt Coolum, south-east Queensland (Guymer, 1988; Halford and Henderson, 2002).
Bertya sharpeana has a disjunct distribution in central and south-eastern Queensland. Populations are known from near Bowen, Mackay and from Mt Coolum (3 km south of Coolum Beach) (Guymer, 1988; Halford and Henderson, 2002; Queensland Herbarium, 2012). The species occurs in Eungella National Park, Homevale National Park and Mt Coolum National Park (Queensland Herbarium, 2012).
Distributional limits
-20.356776, 148.1927553
-26.5636112, 153.0869445
Range derivation
Range derived from extent of the taxon's verified records
Bertya sharpeana has been recorded from a number of structural vegetation formations on Mt Coolum, including heath, open forest and woodland and the margins of rainforest. In other locations the species occurs mostly in heath but occasionally in open forest or woodland communities or on rainforest margins (Guymer, 1988; Halford and Henderson, 2002). Soils are recorded as skeletal dark brown organic loams. Around Mt Coolum the species is found approximately 150 m asl, most abundantly in closed-heath where Melaleuca nodosa, Phebalium woombye, Logania albiflora, Leptospermum spp., Banksia collina and Allocasuarina thalassoscopica are the most common species. Around Sydney Head (75 km south-west of Mackay and 5 km north of Mt Britton), B. sharpeana is located approximately 920 m asl and most commonly in low open-heath vegetation consisting of Acacia spp., Astroloma sp., Leucopogon neo-anglicus, Leptospermum neglectum, Melaleuca pearsonii, Pultenaea retusa and Banksia spinulosa (Batianoff and Pearson, 1990; Queensland Herbarium, 2012).
Flowering in Bertya sharpeana has been recorded from May to October and in November, fruits in August, September and November (Halford and Henderson, 2002; Queensland Herbarium, 2012).
Threatening processes
Threats to Bertya sharpeana and its habitat include fragmentation combined with inappropriate fire frequency (DERM, 2011).
Status notes
Bertya sharpeana is listed as Near Threatened under the Queensland Nature Conservation Act 1992.
Occurs in the following Queensland pastoral districts: Leichhardt, Moreton, North Kennedy, South Kennedy (Bostock and Holland, 2010).
Batianoff, G.N. and Pearson, S.G. (1990). Further Notes on Bertya-sharpeana Guymer Euphorbiaceae a Significant Extension of Its Range in Queensland Australia. Austrobaileya 3, 327-8.
Bostock, P.D. and Holland, A.E. (eds) (2010). Census of the Queensland Flora 2010. Queensland Herbarium, Department of Environment and Resource Management, Brisbane.
Guymer, G.P. (1988). Notes on Bertya Planchon (Euphorbiaceae). Austrobaileya 2 (5): 427-431.
Halford, D.A. and Henderson, R.J.F. (2002). Studies in Euphorbiaceae A.L.Juss. sens. lat. 3. A revision of Bertya Planch. (Ricinocarpeae Mull.Arg., Bertyinae Mull.Arg.). Austrobaileya 6 (2): 235-236, .
Queensland Department of Environment and Resource Management (DERM) (2011). Cape Hillsborough, Pioneer Peaks, Mount Ossa, Mount Martin and Reliance Creek National Parks and adjoining State Waters Management Plan, 2011.
Queensland Herbarium (2012). Specimen label information. Queensland Herbarium. Accessed 19/01/2012.
Sharpe, P.R. and Batianoff, G.N. (1985). Appendix 1. Mt Coolum checklist of ferns, conifers and flowering plants. Queensland Naturalist 25: 57-74.
Profile author
Lynise Wearne (19/01/2012)

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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