Wurmbea tubulosa or the Long-flowered Nancy, is listed as Endangered under the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act) and was declared as Rare Flora in 1982 under the Wildlife Conservation Act 1950.
The main threats are competition from annual weeds (in particular at some sites, Gorteria personata), habitat loss, degraded habitat and disturbance from recreational activities and road, rail and firebreak maintenance.
Wurmbea tubulosa is currently known from 15 populations over a geographic range of about 100km, with the majority around Mingenew. It grows in clay and sandy clay, clay loam or brown loam under shrubs on riverbanks, along drainage lines and in seasonally wet places in open York Gum (Eucalyptus loxophleba) woodland.
Wurmbea tubulosa is commonly called Long-leaved Nancy and is a small plant 1-3 cm tall. The male and female flowers are borne on separate plants, with up to 16 flowers in the inflorescence. It has three leaves, and the lower two are basal and similar in length and width, with no distinct section of stem between their bases.
The leaves are very broad, 3-22 mm wide, lanceolate in shape, and held flat to the ground. The fruit is a capsule with spherical, smooth brown seeds.
Wurmbea tubulosa is a tuberous species, and as a consequence it is reliant on its underground perennial bulb for survival. Above ground parts emerge annually after initial winter rainfall. The number of plants that emerge at a site varies from year to year and is probably dependant upon the amount of rainfall.
Wurmbea tubulosa is currently flowering and the Department of Parks and Wildlife’s Geraldton District Office would love to hear of any reported sightings.
For more information about this plant, or if you have seen it, please contact the Department of Parks and Wildlife’s Geraldton District Office on 9964 0901.