Nature conservation

Threatened species

Dwarf Kerrawang - 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: Commersonia prostrata
Conservation status in NSW: Endangered
Commonwealth status: Endangered
Profile last updated: 16 Aug 2018


Dwarf Kerrawang is a ground-hugging shrub that forms mats to more than 1 m across. Its leaves are up to 4 cm long and 2.5 cm wide, on 5 to 20 mm long leaf-stalks.  The leaves have irregular, rounded teeth and scattered star-shaped hairs on the lower surface.  The flowers are star-shaped, 3 to 4 mm across, and are produced in clusters of three to 12 flowers.  Flowers are initially white, becoming pale pink with age.  Flowering is mainly between October and November. The fruit is a dry, hairy, spherical capsule about 9 mm across.


Dwarf Kerrawang occurs on the Southern Highlands and Southern Tablelands (one plant at Penrose State Forest, one plant at Tallong, a small population near the Corang and about 2000 plants at Rowes Lagoon), a larger population in the Thirlmere Lakes area (particularly among the dying reeds at the edge of the water), and on the North Coast (less than 100 plants at the Tomago sandbeds north of Newcastle). It is also found in Victoria.

Habitat and ecology

  • Occurs on sandy, sometimes peaty soils in a wide variety of habitats: Snow Gum (Eucalyptus pauciflora) Woodland and Ephemeral Wetland floor at Rowes Lagoon; Blue leaved Stringybark (E. agglomerata) Open Forest at Tallong; and in Brittle Gum (E. mannifera) Low Open Woodland at Penrose; Scribbly Gum (E. haemostoma)/ Swamp Mahogany (E. robusta) Ecotonal Forest at Tomago.
  • Associated native species may include Imperata cylindrica, Empodisma minus and Leptospermum continentale.
  • Appears to respond positively to some forms of disturbance (e.g. some Victorian records are from gravel road surfaces and the Tomago population is on an area previously subject to sandmining), however, there are conflicting reports about the response of the species to fire.
  • The population at the Thirlmere lakes is most abundant in the areas of prior lake bed exposed by the dropping water levels. It is uncertain how long this may remain the case, as many of the individuals are very large, growing among the decomposing bases of bulrushes. It is also found among wattle thickets in the drainage line between the lakes.

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
NSW North CoastKaruah Manning Known None
South Eastern HighlandsBungonia Known None
South Eastern HighlandsCrookwell Predicted None
South Eastern HighlandsMonaro Known None
Sydney BasinBurragorang Known None
Sydney BasinCumberland Known None
Sydney BasinMoss Vale Predicted None