#ThreatenedSpecies of the Week: Darwinia acerosa (Fine-leaved Darwinia)

Darwinia acerosa or Fine-leaved Darwinia as it is commonly known, is listed as  Endangered under the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act) and Declared Rare Flora under the WA Wildlife Conservation Act 1950.
Darwinia acerosa or Fine-leaved Darwinia
Darwinia acerosa or Fine-leaved Darwinia.

Fine-leaved Darwinia is a densely branched, spreading, heath-like shrub that can reach up to 40cm tall. It is characterised by whitish branchlets and crowded, finely pointed, often hooked leaves to 1cm long and about 1cm wide. There are 40 to 50 yellowish-green flowers in each flower head. The flower heads are drooping, hemispherical and about 1.5cm across. The flowering season occurs in September and October.

Fine-leaved Darwinia was first collected in 1903 from the Mogumber area in Western Australia. Further collections were made in 1934 and 1964 from the same area, however the original population has been destroyed by extensive clearing and stock grazing of remnant vegetation. The species is now known from three populations in the Mogumber area comprising more than 1,500 plants and four populations in the Perth area, comprising approximately 3,500 plants. Its range is now restricted to 18 km between Mogumber and Wannamal.

Fine-leaved Darwinia grows on and around granite outcrops, in orange sandy clay and gravel in open Eucalyptus calophylla and Allocasuarina woodland. Xanthorrhoea, Grevillea, Melaleuca, Calothamnus, Gastrolobium, Hakea, Dryandra and Calytrix species dominate the associated scrub and heath.

The main identified threats to Fine-leaved Darwinia are dieback caused by Phytophthora cinnamomi, weed invasion, grazing and frequent fires

 

Information Source: Government of Australia, Department of Environment and Department of Parks and Wildlife Western Australia

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