#ThreatenedSpecies of the Week: Broad-fruited Haloragis (Haloragis platycarpa)

Broad-fruited Haloragis (Haloragis platycarpa) is listed as Critically Endangered under the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act) and the WA Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016.

Photo credit: arc infrastructure http://www.arcinfra.com/

Broad-fruited Haloragis (Haloragis platycarpa) is a short-lived perennial herb up to 30 cm tall. The branches are numerous and mainly hairless, although some have single-celled transparent hairs. The leaves, which are stalkless, up to 45 mm long, and arranged alternatively along the stem, are lanceolate with several large teeth towards the apex. Flowers are held in groups of one to three in the upper leaf axils but only the central flower is functional. Each flower has four petals, up to 2 mm long, eight stamens and four styles. A single fruit develops in each axil and is up to 2.5 mm long with a swollen, spongy covering. It has four compartments, four weak ribs, and is densely covered with minute, rounded projections.

Broad-fruited Haloragis (Haloragis platycarpa) is endemic to Western Australia and occurs in a single known population near Dalwallinu, 220 km north-east of Perth.The species is found in flat areas in low woodland growing in brown loam soils in association with Jam trees (Acacia acuminata), Grevillea levis, Rye (Pimelea avonensis) and numerous native and introduced grasses.

Broad-fruited Haloragis (Haloragis platycarpa) is probably an annual which reappears in winter/spring from soil-stored seed; its apparent life cycle makes it difficult to predict trends with only a few years’ survey data.

The main threats to the Broad-fruited Haloragis (Haloragis platycarpa) are weed invasion, lack of winter rain, soil disturbance, inappropriate fire regimes and lack of recruitment. In particular, weeds have been identified as a significant threat to the known population of Broad-fruited Haloragis (H. platycarpa), and are likely to reduce germination success, population health and reproductive vigor through competition for resources.

Information Source: Government of Australia, Department of Environment and Energy and Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions, and Florabase.

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