Nature conservation

Threatened species

Green Bird Flower - profile

Indicative distribution

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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: Crotalaria cunninghamii
Conservation status in NSW: Endangered
Commonwealth status: Not listed
Profile last updated: 03 Jan 2019


Perennial shrub or subshrub, 1-2 m high, with stout velvety stems. Leaves large, soft and woolly on both surfaces. Flowers large and showy, clustered, yellowish green and streaked with purple, pea-like, resembling birds attached by the beak to the central stalk of the flowerhead. Pods club-shaped, swollen, hard and velvety.


Recorded only from the Milparinka and Hungerford districts in the NSW far north-western plains, where it is quite rare. Also distributed in Qld, the NT, SA and WA.

Habitat and ecology

  • Green Bird Flower is usually found in Mulga communities or on unstable sand dunes, particularly on the dune crests.
  • Other habitats throughout its range include stabilised red sand dunes and ridges with deep soils, stony hills, sand in rock crevices, seaside dunes with spinifex, a disturbed vine thicket, river banks in heavy loam soil, dry sandy creek beds and riparian woodland.
  • Flowers irregularly, and flowering time is probably rainfall-related. In western NSW it flowers from winter to spring and sometimes in autumn.
  • Seedlings have been observed in some interstate populations, as well as regrowth from dead plants.
  • Plant abundance at sites ranges from rare and infrequent to very common and abundant. Heavy growth was reported at one site

Regional distribution and habitat

Click on a region below to view detailed distribution, habitat and vegetation information.


Recovery strategies

Activities to assist this species

Information sources

IBRA Bioregion IBRA Subregion Known or predicted Geographic restrictions region
Channel CountryCentral Depression Predicted None
Channel CountryCore Ranges Known None
Channel CountrySturt Stony Desert Predicted None
Other StateSA Known None
Simpson Strzelecki DunefieldsStrzelecki Desert Known None