Nature conservation

Threatened species

Squash Bush - 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: Osteocarpum scleropterum
Conservation status in NSW: Endangered
Commonwealth status: Not listed
Profile last updated: 01 Nov 2022


Dwarf annual or short-lived perennial subshrub to about 20 cm high, resembling Water Weed (Osteocarpum acropterum). The leaves are hairless, club-shaped and succulent, 3-5 mm long. The fruiting body has 5 hard and thick rounded wings of unequal length, one of them longer and more erect than the others.


Uncommon in the north-western plains of NSW with only two collections known, from the Warrego River area west of Bourke (collected 1885) and from Gereera, Enngonia (collected 1971). The species also occurs in south-western Qld and SA.

Habitat and ecology

  • Appears to be highly sensitive to grazing. The species is probably dependent upon a low-lying habitat with poorly draining clay soils, free from grazing pressure and the impacts of stock and native herbivores. The species may also be seasonally dependent on rainfall events for seed dispersal, germination and growth.
  • Flowering time has not been recorded, but fruiting is noted in November.
  • Recorded growing in the wide channel of a creek, in scalded grey clay 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
Mulga LandsNebine Plains Known None
Mulga LandsWarrego Plains Predicted None
Mulga LandsWarrego Sands Known None