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Species profile—Xerothamnella herbacea


Plantae (plants) → Equisetopsida (land plants) → AcanthaceaeXerothamnella herbacea

Photo of Xerothamnella herbacea () - Queensland Herbarium, DES (Licence: CC BY NC),2007
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Species details

Plantae (plants)
Equisetopsida (land plants)
Scientific name
Xerothamnella herbacea R.M.Barker
WildNet taxon ID
Nature Conservation Act 1992 (NCA) status
Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC) status
Conservation significant
Pest status
Short Notes
BRI 336015
Xerothamnella herbacea is a sparse, sprawling, perennial herb growing to a height of 30 cm. The stems arise from a central point but can root at the nodes where they contact the soil. The leaves are in opposite pairs and are soft, linear to narrowly ovate in outline, dark green above and paler beneath. The flowers are small, bright pink to mauve, two lipped, to 6.5 mm long, and occur in the upper leaf axils. The fruits are club-shaped, 9 mm long and sparsely glandular hairy (Barker, 1986).
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Xerothamnella herbacea is known the Banana-Theodore area, north of Injune, Durong-Chinchilla area, and north of Yelarbon (Queensland Herbarium, 2012).
Distributional limits
-24.1402722, 148.8816873
-28.613031, 151.1960834
Range derivation
Range derived from extent of the taxon's verified records
Xerothamnella herbacea occurs in brigalow (Acacia harpophylla) dominated communities in shaded situations, often in leaf litter and is associated with gilgais (shallow ground depressions). Soils are heavy, grey to dark brown clays. This species is not known to occur in any conservation reserves. Three of the four known populations occur in cleared areas or non-remnant vegetation that are not protected under the Vegetation Management Act 1999 (Queensland Herbarium 2012).
Threatening processes
The main identified threat to Xerothamnella herbacea is competition from invasive plant species as it occurs in a niche with few other ground layer species. Green panic (Megathyrsus maximus var. pubiglumis) and to a lesser extent buffel grass (Cenchrus ciliaris) are species that tolerate shade and colonise these habitats. Both of these introduced grasses threaten X. herbacea either by direct competition or by increasing the fuel load and altering fire regimes. DSEWPC (2012). Other potential threats to Xerothamnella herbacea include road widening and maintenance activities; surface erosion; and grazing and trampling by cattle and native macropods (McDonald, 2007).
Status notes
Listed as Endangered under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 and Endangered under the Queensland Nature Conservation Act 1992
Occurs in the following Queensland pastoral districts: Darling Downs, Leichhardt.
Barker, R.M. (1986). A taxonomic revision of Australian Acanthaceae. Journal of the Adelaide Botanic Gardens 9: 169-171.
Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities (DSEWPC) (2012). Xerothamnella herbacea in Species Profile and Threats Database, Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities.
McDonald, W.J.F. (2007). National recovery plan for the Semi-evergreen vine thickets of the Brigalow Belt (North and South) and Nandewar Bioregion ecological community. Report to Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts Canberra. Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service, Brisbane.
Queensland Herbarium (2012). Specimen label information. Queensland Herbarium. Accessed 20/03/2012.
Profile author
Ronald Booth (12/06/2012)

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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
20 May 2024