Nature conservation

Threatened species

Omeo Storksbill - 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: Pelargonium sp. Striatellum
Conservation status in NSW: Endangered
Commonwealth status: Endangered
Gazetted date: 13 Aug 2010
Profile last updated: 17 Sep 2019


Omeo Storksbill Pelargonium sp. (G.W. Carr 10345), syn. P. striatellum, is a tufted perennial forb with leaves in basal rosettes arising from fleshy, often extensively branched rhizomes. Plants occur in clonal colonies that may be up to several metres wide. The leaf-stalks are velvety, having short glandular and non-glandular hairs in roughly equal proportions, and with occasional longer non-glandular hairs. The leaves are all or mostly basal (in a rosette), with leaves on the short stems, if present, being opposite. The rosette leaves are on leaf-stalks between 2 and 6 cm long, with leaf blades egg-shaped in outline, between 1 and 2.5 cm long and 1 to 2 cm wide. The leaves are entire or shallowly lobed; most commonly with 5 to 7 lobes and with scalloped margins. The leaf surface is minutely furry along the veins and near the edges. The flowering stems are to 15 cm tall, and terminate with an umbrella-like flower-cluster with 1 to 3 (and sometimes to 7) flowers that are borne on stalks between 1 and 2 cm long. The flowers have 5 petals that are wider at their tips than at their bases and are between 8 and 11 mm long. The flowers are in various shades of pale pink and each petal is marked with darker crimson or purple branching stripes that run down to the center of the flower. Flowers have 10 stamens. The fruit, 10 to 15 mm long, is a dry structure that splits into 5 segments. The fruit is elongated and shaped like a stork's bill, hence the plant's common name. Flowering is from October to March, with the peak flowering occurring in November and December. Seeds ripen and are shed about five weeks after flowering.


Known from only 4 locations in NSW, with three on lake-beds on the basalt plains of the Monaro and one at Lake Bathurst.  A population at a fifth known site on the Monaro has not been seen in recent years. The only other known population is at Lake Omeo, Victoria. It occurs at altitudes between 680 to 1030 m. It is known to occur in the local government areas of Goulburn-Mulwaree, Cooma-Monaro and Snowy River, but may occur in other areas with suitable habitat; these may include Bombala, Eurobodalla, Palerang, Tumbarumba, Tumut, Upper Lachlan and Yass local government areas.

Habitat and ecology

  • It has a narrow habitat that is usually just above the high-water level of irregularly inundated or ephemeral lakes, in the transition zone between surrounding grasslands or pasture and the wetland or aquatic communities.
  • It sometimes colonises exposed lake beds during dry periods.
  • The extent of habitat at any one site and the persistence of the species is likely be closely related to the combined effects of: - frequency of inundation and the topography of lake bed and shoreline, which maintains a more or less extensive disturbed interzone between grass-dominated communities and sedge-dominated aquatic vegetation; and - past and current grazing regimes and other forms of disturbance.
  • It is possible that it occurs in non-lake situations, as suggested by a reportof a small remnant population in Victoria that is several kilometres' distant from a larger lakeside site.
  • It is unknown whether, or if so, for how long, the rhizomes and soil seedbank persist through either prolonged inundation or drought.
  • Given its clonal nature, estimation of population size is difficult, as each "colony" may comprise of either several plants, or just one. However, at the Lake Bathurst site at least, there is some evidence of sexual propagation (i.e. by seeds).
  • Along with its clonal (vegetative) reproduction, which is by its nature very local, this species may reproduce by seeds and thus, be dispersed over some distance by nomadic wetland birds.
  • The remaining known populations of this species are highly isolated and fragmented.
  • This species is associated with a variety of other species, though it typically occurs within disturbed and often intermittently grazed sites that are dominated by grasses, sedge and/or other forbs.
  • At Lake Bathurst it occurs with Serrated Tussock (Nassella trichotoma) and Curly Sedge (Carex bichenoviana), and less commonly with Creeping Hopbush (Dodonaea procumbens - vulnerable) and a bog-sedge (Schoenus nitens) on sandy soils or gravelly soils or amongst rocks.
  • On or adjacent to the Monaro lakes it occurs either in grassland on basaltic soils and among basalt boulders, and associates either with Curly Sedge (Carex bichenoviana), Tall Speargrass (Austrostipa bigeniculata), Corkscrew Grass (A. scabra), Windmill Grass (Chloris truncata) and a variety of forbs, or on freshwater sedge-herb marsh communities dominated by sedges and other aquatics, including Curly Sedge, Lepilaena bilocularis, a buttercup (Ranunculus diminutus), a millfoil (Myriophyllum simulans), a pondweed (Potamogeton tricarinatus), a mud-mat (Glossostigma elatinoides) and Swamp Wallaby-grass (Amphibromus nervosus).
  • It occurs in habitats that are mostly or wholly included in the two Endangered Ecological Communities (EECs): 'Natural Temperate Grassland of the Southern Tablelands of NSW and the Australian Capital Territory' and 'Upland Wetlands of the New England Tablelands (New England Tableland Bioregion) and the Monaro Plateau (South Eastern Highlands Bioregion)', as listed under the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999. Parts of its habitat may fall into the EEC 'Montane peatlands and swamps of the New England Tableland, NSW North Coast, Sydney Basin, South East Corner, South Eastern Highlands and Australian Alps Bioregions', listed under the NSW Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995.
  • This species is likely to occur at other sites, especially on other Monaro basalt lakes; much potential habitat may occur on private land and has not been extensively surveyed.

Regional distribution and habitat

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


Recovery strategies

Activities to assist this species

IBRA Bioregion IBRA Subregion Known or predicted Geographic restrictions region
South Eastern HighlandsMonaro Known None