Daphnandra sp. C ‘Illawarra’ is listed as endangered on the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 and as endangered on Schedule 1 of the NSW Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995.
It is a medium sized rainforest tree (family Monimiaceae) that is endemic to the Illawarra region of NSW. The species inhabits the rocky hillsides and gully slopes of the Illawarra escarpment and coastal lowlands, growing on soils derived from volcanic or fertile sedimentary rocks. Associated vegetation includes the subtropical, moist subtropical, dry subtropical and mixed subtropical - warm temperate rainforest types of Mills & Jakeman (1995).
D. sp. C ‘Illawarra’ occurs in the local government areas of Wollongong, Shellharbour, Kiama and Shoalhaven, where it has been recorded from 36 sites on freehold land, three sites within Budderoo National Park and two sites on council managed land. The species is highly clonal and as a consequence, its total population size is expected to be low. Some sites are suspected of containing just one genetic individual.
Extensive clearing of the Illawarra lowlands since European settlement has destroyed much of the rainforest habitat of D. sp. C ‘Illawarra’ and the remaining habitat is highly fragmented. Extant D. sp. C ‘Illawarra’ sites are threatened by further clearing for agriculture, hard rock quarrying, residential development and road construction. Weed invasion, altered hydrological conditions, grazing and trampling by livestock and feral deer, and rubbish dumping also threatens the species.