Nature conservation

Threatened species

Rotala tripartita - profile

Indicative distribution

   Loading map...
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: Rotala tripartita
Conservation status in NSW: Endangered
Commonwealth status: Not listed
Gazetted date: 28 Mar 2008
Profile last updated: 18 Dec 2020


Rotala tripartita is an annual or short-lived perennial herb up to 40 cm tall, with branched stems that are often shortly creeping to sprawling at the base of the plant and erect above. Leaves are up to 20 mm long and 5 mm wide with the lower surface paler than the upper surface. Flowers are sessile, solitary and occur within the axils of bracts and scattered along stems. Flowers have three (or rarely four) sepals with appendages longer than sepals, three (or rarely four) elliptic, colourless petals and three (or rarely four) stamens inserted near the base of the hypanthium. The style is c. 0.5 mm long.


Rotala tripartita occurs in New South Wales, Queensland and the Northern Territory. In New South Wales the species is currently known from few locations, generally between the Casino district and the South Grafton area, in the Southeast Queensland bioregion. These locations are separated by a distance of less than c. 100 km. The geographic distribution of the species in New South Wales is therefore highly restricted. There are no records of Rotala tripartita in any reserve or State Forest.

Habitat and ecology

  • Rotala tripartita is a riparian species that often grows in free-standing water with sedges. There appear to be extreme fluctuations in abundance of the species, with plants observed to germinate prolifically and establish in large numbers after substantial rainfall. Individuals disappear above-ground during dry periods and may only persist during these times in the soil seed-bank.
  • Surveys in the South Grafton area located two populations of Rotala tripartita growing in exposed silty clay on the edges of farm dams that were about 150m apart.
  • Also known from Melaleuca freshwater coastal wetland.
  • Near Ellangowan - Bungawalbyn it is found in open floodplain forest with melonhole gilgai soil.

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
South Eastern QueenslandClarence Lowlands Known None
South Eastern QueenslandClarence Sandstones Known None