Nature conservation

Threatened species

Dentella minutissima - 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: Dentella minutissima
Conservation status in NSW: Endangered
Commonwealth status: Not listed
Profile last updated: 01 Nov 2022


Small fleshy, mat-forming herb, covered with translucent hairs. Plants are often found creeping in mud and rooting at the nodes, forming a dense, green, carpet-like covering on the soil. Leaves circular, 0.5-1.5 mm long, to about 1 mm wide. Flowers stemless, solitary in the leaf axils, 4-8 mm long.


Recorded from Nocoleche Nature Reserve, Toorale National Park, Toorale State Conservation Area and Naree Station in the far north-western plains of NSW. The species is also found in Qld and the NT.

Habitat and ecology

  • Habitats include mud flats around a drying waterhole, sandy silt on the edge of a drainage line, white sandy-clay soil in damp areas and grey cracking clays in river bed or edges of waterholes.
  • Recorded in Nocoleche Nature Reserve from an undisturbed riparian sandy bank on the Paroo River with scattered Juncus tussocks in coarse sandy soil.
  • Recorded on silty sand in the flat beds of depressions and a by-wash channel adjacent to Warrego River in Toorale State Conservation Area and National Park as well as on large undisturbed exposed mudflats on the river channel itself upstream of several dams.
  • Flowering time is late winter to autumn. Most desert members of the genus Dentella are ephemeral in duration owing to the scarcity of rain.
  • Occurs as rare or occasional plants, to common. Plants are prostrate and mat-forming.
  • Populations often grow in concentric belts or rings parallel to the receding waterline as they colonise newly exposed mudflats. The oldest plants, or those furthest away from the waterline, are typically brown in colour with either no or very few flowers (<10). Plants classified as middle-aged by being located between the closest and furthest belts of plants from water, are characteristically grey in colour. These plants typically had few flowers (<40). Plants located closest to (but not on) the waterline are categorised as the youngest age class and are mostly green in colour with many flowers (50-300).
  • Associated species on the Warrego River at Toorale State Conservation Area were scattered Hairy Carpet-weed (Glinus lotoides) and Spreading Heliotrope (Heliotropium sepinum).
  • Only found on dry, flat sections of mudflat exposed to full sunlight.
  • Does not grow under tree canopy shade or in locations with significant amounts of litter cover.
  • Dispersed downstream by floods

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
Darling Riverine PlainsLouth Plains Known None
Mulga LandsCuttaburra-Paroo Known None
Mulga LandsWarrego Plains Predicted None
Mulga LandsWarrego Sands Known None