Nature conservation

Threatened species

Dillwynia tenuifolia - 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: Dillwynia tenuifolia
Conservation status in NSW: Vulnerable
Commonwealth status: Not listed
Profile last updated: 10 Sep 2019


A low spreading pea-flower shrub to a metre high. Its leaves are small and narrow (linear-terete, soft, 4-12mm long, with the tip often bent downwards). The wide orange-yellow and red pea-flowers are usually single, at or near the tips of the branches. Seed pods are brownish, egg-shaped, 4-5mm long with reticulate seeds. Both the singular orange flowers and the stem hairs distinguish it from the similar and more common yellow-flowered Dillwynia glaberrima and D. floribunda.


The core distribution is the Cumberland Plain from Windsor and Penrith east to Dean Park near Colebee. Other populations in western Sydney are recorded from Voyager Point and Kemps Creek in the Liverpool LGA, Luddenham in the Penrith LGA and South Maroota in the Baulkham Hills Shire. Disjunct localities outside the Cumberland Plain include the Bulga Mountains at Yengo in the north, and Kurrajong Heights and Woodford in the Lower Blue Mountains.

Habitat and ecology

  • In western Sydney, may be locally abundant particularly within scrubby/dry heath areas within Castlereagh Ironbark Forest and Shale Gravel Transition Forest on tertiary alluvium or laterised clays. May also be common in transitional areas where these communities adjoin Castlereagh Scribbly Gum Woodland. At Yengo, is reported to occur in disturbed escarpment woodland on Narrabeen sandstone.
  • Eucalyptus fibrosa is usually the dominant canopy species. Eucalyptus globoidea, E. longifolia, E. parramattensis, E. sclerophylla and E. sideroxylon may also be present or codominant, with Melaleuca decora frequently forming a secondary canopy layer. Associated species may include Allocasuarina littoralis, Angophora bakeri, Aristida spp. Banksia spinulosa, Cryptandra spp. Daviesia ulicifolia, Entolasia stricta, Hakea sericea, Lissanthe strigosa, Melaleuca nodosa, Ozothamnus diosmifolius and Themeda australis. D. tenuifolia is often found in association with other threatened species such as Dodonaea falcata, Grevillea juniperina, Micromyrtus minutiflora, Pultenaea parviflora and Styphelia laeta. At Yengo D. tenuifolia is reported to occur in disturbed escarpment woodland on Narrabeen sandstone. Associated tree species include Eucalyptus eximia, E. punctata, E. sparsifolia and Callitris endlicheri. The shrub layer is dominated by D. tenuifolia, Leucopogon muticus, Leptospermum parvifolium and Pultenaea microphylla (Maryott-Brown & Wilks 1993).
  • Flowering occurs sporadically through the year with a peak from from August to March depending on environmental conditions. Pollinators are unknown. The lifespan is estimated to be 20-30 years. It is thought a minimum of 3-4 years is required before seed is produced.
  • Seeds are hard coated and are persistent in the soil seed bank. Dispersal is likely to be localised and ants are the probable vectors
  • Killed by fire and re-establishes from soil-stored seed.
  • Abundance is influenced by past disturbance history e.g. fire. The high population densities at some recorded sites (200,000+ individuals) reflects prolific seed germination in response to fire.

Regional distribution and habitat

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Recovery strategies

Activities to assist this species

Information sources

IBRA Bioregion IBRA Subregion Known or predicted Geographic restrictions region
Sydney BasinCumberland Known None
Sydney BasinWollemi Known None
Sydney BasinYengo Known None