Commersonia rosea (a shrub) - endangered species listing

NSW Scientific Committee - final determination

The Scientific Committee, established by the Threatened Species Conservation Act, has made a Final Determination to list the shrub Commersonia rosea S. A. J. Bell & L. M. Copel. as an ENDANGERED SPECIES in Part 1 of Schedule 1 of the Act. Listing of endangered species is provided for by Part 2 of the Act.

The Scientific Committee has found that:

1. Commersonia rosea S. A. J. Bell & L. M. Copel. (family Malvaceae) is an endemic Australian shrub described by Bell and Copeland (2004) as: Prostrate shrub 0.1-0.3m high, producing trailing branches up to 60cm long. Branches terete, densely stellate-hairy (especially on young growth), becoming glabrescent and channelled on older branches; hairs 0.3-0.5mm long on young growth. Leaves petiolate, petioles 4-10mm long, densely stellate-hairy; stipules linear, 6-9mm long and 1mm wide, stellate-hairy, persistent; lamina narrowly oblong to narrowly elliptic, mid-green (15-) 24-70mm long, 8-17mm wide; base obtuse to truncate; margins crenate to toothed; apex obtuse; adaxial surface sparsely to moderately stellate-hairy, with whitish hairs 0.3-0.5mm long, occasionally mixed with 0.9-1.2mm long hairs, denser towards leaf margins and along veins; abaxial surface densely stellate-hairy, with whitish hairs of two lengths, 0.3-0.5mm and 0.9-1.2mm, longer hairs particularly evident on veins; primary and secondary veins impressed on adaxial surface, raised on abaxial surface. Inflorescence a few-flowered, leaf-opposed, cyme of 1-3 flowers; peduncle 2-8mm long; pedicels 2-6mm long, densely stellate-hairy; bract singular, 0.5-1.0mm from base of pedicel, linear, 3-10mm long, persistent, stellate-hairy. Calyx lobes 5, 7-9mm long, pink, abaxial surface densely stellate-hairy, with translucent hairs, adaxial surface sparsely to moderately stellate-hairy with translucent hairs. Petals 5, free, pink, glabrous, unequally and broadly 3-lobed; 5-7mm long, 4-5mm wide at broadest point, linear towards the tips; petal bases broad, truncate and concave about the staminal tube, and then ligulate or tongue-shaped above. Stamens 5, almost sessile, opposite the petals; staminal tube white, c. 0.4mm long; anthers yellow. Staminodes 5, white with pink tips, alternating with the stamens, glabrous, each staminode shallowly 3-lobed, the central lobe much wider and more conspicuous than the small obscure lateral lobes. Ovary densely stellate-hairy; styles 5, pale yellowish-green, fused for their entire length; stigmas globular, yellowish-green. Capsule globose, lime-green turning pale brown with age, 10-16mm diameter, densely covered in 2-4mm long bristles, each bristle sparsely to moderately covered in 2-5 armed stellate hairs, with a 9-16 armed stellate hair apically. Locules 5, each with 4-6 ovules. Seeds ellipsoid, dark brown, glabrous, warty, 1.5-2.5mm long; aril basally attached, a creamy-white to pale-brown segmented lobe, 1.0-1.25mm long.

2. Commersonia rosea is only known from four localities in the Sandy Hollow district of the upper Hunter Valley, New South Wales, all within an 8 km radius of Sandy Hollow.

3. Commersonia rosea occupies relatively small areas at its known sites and has a total population of less than 200 plants (Bell and Copeland 2004). No populations are within a conservation reserve. Vegetation surveys in the nearby Manobalai Nature Reserve, Goulburn River National Park, Myambat Logistics Company site Department of Defence, Wollemi National Park and other Crown Lands have failed to locate further plants (Bell 1997,1998; Fallding et al. 1997, Hill 1999).

4. Threats to Commersonia rosea include environmental and demographic stochasticity due to its small population size, disturbance associated with track maintenance, inappropriate fire regimes, and future land development should tenure change.

5. In view of the above the Scientific Committee is of the opinion that Commersonia rosea S. A. J. Bell & L. M. Copel. is likely to become extinct in nature in New South Wales unless the circumstances and factors threatening its survival or evolutionary development cease to operate.

Associate Professor Paul Adam


Scientific Committee

Proposed Gazettal date: 12/11/04

Exhibition period: 12/11/04 - 24/12/04



Bell SAJ (1997) Vegetation survey and mapping of Crown land, south of Manobalai Nature Reserve, Upper Hunter Valley. Report to the Department of Land and Water Conservation and the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service (Upper Hunter District).

Bell SAJ (1998) Wollemi National Park vegetation survey. A fire management document. Volumes 1 & 2. Eastcoast Flora Survey - Report to NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service (Upper Hunter District).

Bell SAJ, Copeland LM (2004) Commersonia rosea (Malvaceae s.l.: Lasiopetaleae): a new, rare fire-ephemeral species from the upper Hunter Valley of New South Wales. Telopea 10: 581-587.

Fallding M, Bell S, Murray M (1997) Myambat Vegetation and Fauna Management. Guidelines for Landscape Management at the Myambat Logistics Company Site. Draft prepared for Land and Environment Planning for the Dept of Defence.

Hill L (1999) Goulburn River National Park and Munghorn Gap Nature Reserve. Vegetation survey for fire management purposes. Volumes 1 & 2. Report to NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service (Upper Hunter District)


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Page last updated: 27 February 2011