Approved Conservation Advice
(s266B of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999)
Approved Conservation Advice for
This Conservation Advice has been developed based on the best available information at the
time this Conservation Advice was approved; this includes existing plans, records or
management prescriptions for this species.
small single stemmed shrub, growing to 60–150 cm tall and at least 30 cm across. It is
densely branched and thick stemmed with a pine-like growth habit, which creates an
impression of a miniature pine tree. The dark green leaves are densely crowded, very narrow
linear, growing to 7–14 mm long. The appearance of this species rapidly changes between
early autumn and early winter, when the foliage is completely covered with masses of tiny
pinkish-mauve, honey-scented flowers. Flowers have finely fringed sepals and petals and
fringed staminodes (sterile stamen). Its flowers range from white through pale pink to
magenta-pink, or almost purple. The flowering period for this species occurs from February to
June. This species is closely related to Autumn Featherflower (Verticordia harveyi), another
rare species with fringed sepals, petals and staminoids, but is a more open shrub with less
crowded leaves and marginally larger flowers that are less profuse and more scattered
amongst the foliage (Robinson & Coates, 1995; Brown et al., 1998; DEC, 2008).
Verticordia pityrhops is listed as endangered. This species is eligible for listing as endangered
under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (Cwlth) (EPBC
Act) as, prior to the commencement of the EPBC Act, it was listed as endangered under
Schedule 1 of the Endangered Species Protection Act 1992 (Cwlth). Verticordia pityrhops is
also listed as declared rare flora under the Wildlife Conservation Act 1950 (Western Australia).
Distribution and Habitat
Verticordia pityrhops is known from a single population in Fitzgerald River National Park,
below Mount Barren, where it occurs on a platform approximately 100 m above sea level in
the Albany district of Western Australia. There is only one population recorded, which is
divided into two subpopulations. It is estimated that there are over 420 mature plants in the
area. One subpopulation has increased from three plants in 1997 to 26 plants in 1999 after the
adult plants in this subpopulation were destroyed in 1989 by fire. The other subpopulation has
declined from 1000 plants in 2002 to 400 in 2008 after 60 per cent of the population was
burnt in a fire in 2006. The area of occupancy has been recorded for one subpopulation and is
estimated to be between 0.02–0.05 km
open heath and shrubland. The population was burnt in 1989 and was not relocated, despite
intensive searching, until November 1993 (Robinson & Coates, 1995; Brown et al., 1998).
occurs within South Coast (Western Australia) Natural Resource Management
The distribution of this species is not known to overlap with any EPBC Act-listed threatened
Verticordia pityrhops Conservation Advice - Page 1 of 3
The main identified threat to Verticordia pityrhops is dieback caused by Phytophthora
Another threat to the species is inappropriate fire regimes. After fire in 1989 this species was
not relocated for four years. Adult plants are readily killed by fire and regeneration from seed
is very slow (Robinson & Coates, 1995; Brown et al., 1998; DEC, 2008).
Research priorities that would inform future regional and local priority actions include:
Design and implement a monitoring program or, if appropriate, support and enhance
relative impacts of threatening processes.
Undertake survey work in suitable habitat and potential habitat to locate any additional
National Park after this species has flowered.
Undertake seed germination and/or vegetative propagation trials to determine the
Regional and Local Priority Actions
The following regional and local priority recovery and threat abatement actions can be done
to support the recovery of V. pityrhops.
Habitat Loss, Disturbance and Modification
the need to adapt them if necessary.
Control access routes to suitably constrain public access to known sites on public land.
Identify populations of high conservation priority.
Minimise adverse impacts from land use at known sites.
inclusion of mitigative measures in bush fire risk management plans, risk register and/or
Diseases, Fungi and Parasites
Develop and implement suitable hygiene protocols to protect known sites from further
Raise awareness of V. pityrhops within the local community. The development and
Enable Recovery of Additional Sites and/or Populations
Undertake appropriate seed collection and storage.
Investigate options for linking, enhancing or establishing additional populations.
populations is considered necessary and feasible.
This list does not necessarily encompass all actions that may be of benefit to V. pityrhops, but
highlights those that are considered to be of highest priority at the time of preparing the
(EA, 2001), and
Declared Rare and Poorly Known Flora in the Albany District (Robinson & Coates, 1995).
agency’s website for any updated versions.
Brown, A, Thomson-Dans, C & Marchant, N (Eds) 1998, Western Australia's Threatened Flora, Department of
Conservation and Land Management, Western Australia.
Department of Conservation and Land Management (CALM) 1991, Fitzgerald River National Park
Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC) 2008, Records held in DEC’s Declared Flora Database and
Environment Australia (EA) 2001, Threat Abatement Plan for Dieback caused by Root-rot Fungus Phytophthora
cinnamomi, Biodiversity Group, viewed 16 September 2008, <
Management Program No. 20, Department of Conservation and Land Management, Western Australia.