#ThreatenedSpecies of the Week: Grevillea murex

1Grevillea murex is listed as Endangered under the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act) and as Declared rare Flora under the Wildlife Conservation Act 1950.

The main threats to Grevillea murex include dieback caused by the root-rot fungus

Phytophthora cinnamomi, clearing, grazing, roadworks and weeds.

Grevillea murex is an upright shrub growing 1–2 m tall, with many somewhat-hairy branches. The leaves, 8–10 mm long, have 4–5 blunt-tipped lobes and are on stalks to 1.5 mm long. The dome-shaped flower heads are at the ends of the branchlets and contain individual flowers that are yellow in colour, hairless on the outside and grow to about 3 cm long. The flower pistil is 9–10 mm long, the ovary glabrous and the pollen presenter oblique and almost flat. Fruit are oblong to ellipsoid shaped, 9–13 mm long, with a thick coat and are covered with irregular shiny protuberances, to 2.5 mm long, giving the fruit the appearance of a murex shell. Flowering occurs from August to September.

Grevillea murex is closely related to Grevillea crithmifolia, but differs in the hairy branchlets, smaller leaves and hard-coated seed pods with irregular projections.

Grevillea murex is endemic to Western Australia and is known from 10 populations occurring in the Moora District, in a restricted area north-east of Arrino, and the Geraldton District, north-east of Yankanooka. Two populations occur on Shire road verges and others occur on private property. There are an estimated 315 mature plants known to occur in the wild, with the largest population having 77 mature plants in 2007.

Grevillea murex is known to have a restricted habitat type, usually growing in reddish sandy clay associated with limestone. This is also found in open York gum woodland over open low scrub on lateritic gravel and brown clay loam on gentle lower slopes. Associated species include Eucalyptus loxphleba, Allocasuarina campestris, Calothamnus spp. and Melaleuca spp.

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

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