The areas shown in pink and/purple are the sub-regions where the species or community is known or predicted to occur. They may not occur thoughout the sub-region but may be restricted to certain areas.
( click here
to see geographic restrictions).
The information presented in this map is only indicative and may contain errors and omissions.
Scientific name: Pherosphaera fitzgeraldii
Profile last updated:
07 Sep 2012
Ascending or erect shrub with drooping branches to 1 m tall, or sometimes with straggling branches, and to 2 m in diameter. The leaves are 2.5 - 3.5 mm long, narrow, whitish on the upper surface, and green and shining below. Male cones are approximately 6 mm long. Female cones are approximately 3 mm long with 4 - 8 scales. This species was previously called Microstrobos fitzgeraldii.
All currently-known populations occur in the upper Blue Mountains between Wentworth Falls and Katoomba, a range of nine kilometres. Pre-1950 records occur at Katoomba Falls, Leura Falls and Bonnie Doon Falls. All sites fall within the Blue Mountains local government area.
Habitat and ecology
- Found within the spray zone or associated drip lines and seepage areas of waterfalls on steep, sandstone cliffs and ledges, at altitudes between 680 and 1000 metres above sea level.
- The sites face south-east to south-west, and being on near-vertical to vertical slopes or under overhangs, are heavily shaded. The degree of shading from other plants varies from none on exposed cliffs and ledges to up to 70% from nearby rainforest plants on larger, lower ledges and overhang caves.
- Plants appear to be long-lived and have low mortality rates, and are slow-growing.
- Plants bear either female or male cones; female plants are more common. Male or female cones may be present at any time of year. Abundant female cones may be produced on some plants every year, and can contain well developed seed.
- Very few young plants are present, and they may have mostly originated from a broken branch or root forming a new plant.
Regional distribution and habitat
Click on a region below to view detailed distribution, habitat and vegetation information.
- Activities such as vegetation clearing, land management changes, erosion, and pollution can decrease water quality.
- Weed encroachment onto plants, weed invasion into or expansion within the catchments, and insensitive control measures.
- Changes in surface water flows and groundwater levels.
- Fire under extreme fire conditions or global warming effects.
- Susceptible to extinction from random natural and human-induced events because of its very limited distribution, small population size and low fecundity.
- Chemical spillages into waterways from development sites, damaging species habitat.
- Drought will increase risk of fire on the site. Species is likely to be sensitive to fire as it is located in wet habitat.
- Erosion from upstream tracks leading to sedimentation and disturbance to habitat.
A targeted strategy for managing this species has been developed under the Saving Our Species program; click here
for details. For more information on the Saving Our Species program click here
Activities to assist this species
- Implement measures to prevent fire reaching habitat, and establish wildfire response plan.
- Maintain or reduce effects of off-site activities on water quality within the catchments.
- Maintain natural groundwater levels.
- Remove adjacent weeds, and manage weeds within catchments to prevent expansion.
- Jones, W. (1994) The biology and management of the Dwarf Mountain Pine (Microstrobos fitzgeraldii) in NSW. Species management report number 13. NPWS, Sydney.
- Smith, J. (1981) The distribution and conservation status of a rare conifer, Microstrobos fitzgeraldii (Podocarpaceae). Cunninghamia 1(1),125-8
- Turton, M. and Melick, D. (2001) The problematical protection of Microstrobos fitzgeraldii — living in a World Heritage area exposed to urban influences. Ecological Management and Restoration 2(2), 149-150.
Known or predicted
Geographic restrictions region