Approved Conservation Advice for

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This Conservation Advice was approved by the Minister / Delegate of the Minister on: 



Approved Conservation Advice  

(s266B of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999

Approved Conservation Advice for 

Verticordia helichrysantha (Coast Featherflower) 

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.  


Verticordia helichrysantha, Family Myrtaceae, also known as Coast Featherflower, is a small 

shrub, growing to 20 cm high with clustered, crowded leaves. The leaves are linear, semi-

circular in cross-section, and grow to 6 mm long. The pale yellow flowers, 7 mm in diameter, 

have oval petals with minute teeth, a hairy calyx tube 3 mm deep and a very long protruding 

pink style, which grows to 15 mm in length. The style is slightly hooked at the apex and has 

very fine hairs just below the stigma. The lobes of the calyx are finely ciliated at the fringe and 

separated almost to the base. Flowering occurs intermittently between September and October 

(Robinson & Coates, 1995; Brown et al., 1998). 

Conservation Status 

Coast Featherflower is listed as vulnerableThis species is eligible for listing as vulnerable 

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 vulnerable under 

Schedule 1 of the Endangered Species Protection Act 1992 (Cwlth). Coast Featherflower is 

also listed as declared rare flora under the Wildlife Conservation Act 1950 (Western Australia).   

Distribution and Habitat 

Coast Featherflower is known from five populations, one of which was imprecisely localised 

and has not been seen since 1964, one of which has not been re-located since 1986 and three 

remaining populations known to be extant. Three of the populations occur near Cape Riche and 

one in Fitzgerald River National Park in Western Australia. Two populations occur on land 

reserved for government purposes, one on conservation estate and one on unallocated Crown 

land. There are an estimated 25 000 mature plants recorded from three populations. The fourth 

population, however, could not be located in 1995 and has not been seen since 1986. Three of 

the four populations have their area of occupancy recorded, which totalled 0.078 km


. Three of 

the populations have been observed to be healthy. One population has increased in population 

size between 2001, with an estimated 5000 plants, and 2005 with approximately 10 000 and 

has remained stable in size up until 2007, when last observed. Another population has also 

increased in population size from 1000 plants in 1998, to 5000 plants in 2003. The other 

population has remained unchanged in population size with 10 000 plants in 2002 and 2005, 

while the population size trend of the last population is unknown as it has not been observed 

since 1986 (DEC, 2008). The extent of occurrence is 81 km² (DEC, 2008). 

This species is known to grow in very shallow greyish-brown sand over lateritic gravel over 

spongelite, in association with very low open coastal heath (Brown et al., 1998).  

This species occurs within the South Coast (Western Australia) Natural Resource Management 


The distribution of this species is not known to overlap with any EPBC Act-listed threatened 

ecological community. 

Verticordia helichrysantha


Conservation Advice - Page 1 of 3 


This Conservation Advice was approved by the Minister / Delegate of the Minister on: 




The main potential threats to Coast Featherflower include land clearing, inappropriate fire 

regimes, road works, mining, dieback, and recreational activities such as four wheel driving. 

This species regenerates poorly after substrate disturbance and land clearance. This species 

regenerates from seed after fire, but too frequent fire may lead to localised extinction. This 

species has a low to moderate risk from dieback caused by Phytophthora cinnamomi. Damage 

from vehicle traffic has been observed (Robinson & Coates, 1995; Brown et al., 1998; EA, 

2001; DEC, 2008). 

Research Priorities 

Research priorities that would inform future regional and local priority actions include: 


Design and implement a monitoring program or, if appropriate, support and enhance 

existing programs. 


More precisely assess population size, distribution, ecological requirements and the relative 

impacts of threatening processes. 


Undertake survey work in suitable habitat and potential habitat to locate any additional 

populations/occurrences/remnants, especially at coastal spongelite areas and the population 

previously observed at the shire reserve in Kamballup (Robinson & Coates, 1995). 


Undertake seed germination and/or vegetative propagation trials to determine the 

requirements for successful establishment. 


Determine the susceptibility of Coast Featherflower to dieback caused by Phytophthora 

cinnamomi (Robinson & Coates, 1995). 


Identify appropriate intensity and interval of fire to promote seed germination. 


Regional and Local Priority Actions  

The following regional and local priority recovery and threat abatement actions can be done to 

support the recovery of Coast Featherflower. 

Habitat Loss, Disturbance and Modification 


Monitor known populations to identify key threats. 


Monitor the progress of recovery, including the effectiveness of management actions and 

the need to adapt them if necessary. 


Identify populations of high conservation priority. 


Ensure road widening and maintenance activities (or other infrastructure or development 

activities) involving substrate or vegetation disturbance in areas where Coast Featherflower 

occurs does not adversely impact on known populations. 


Control access routes to suitably constrain public access to known sites on public land. 


Minimise adverse impacts from land use, including mining, at known sites. 


Investigate formal conservation arrangements, management agreements and covenants on 

private land, and for crown and private land investigate inclusion in reserve tenure if 




Develop and implement a suitable fire management strategy for Coast Featherflower. 


Provide maps of known occurrences to local and state Rural Fire Services and seek 

inclusion of mitigative measures in bush fire risk management plans, risk register and/or 

operation maps. 

Verticordia helichrysantha


Conservation Advice - Page 2 of 3 


This Conservation Advice was approved by the Minister / Delegate of the Minister on: 



Verticordia helichrysantha


Conservation Advice - Page 3 of 3 


Diseases, Fungi and Parasites 


Develop and implement suitable hygiene protocols to prevent known sites from outbreaks 

of dieback caused by Phytophthora cinnamomi. 

Conservation Information 


Raise awareness of Coast featherflower within the local community. The development and 

distribution of fact sheets and the organisation of field days may benefit the conservation of 

this species.  


Establish and/or maintain partnerships with private landholders and managers of land on 

which populations occur to ensure appropriate conservation. 

Enable Recovery of Additional Sites and/or Populations 


Undertake appropriate seed collection and storage. 


Investigate options for linking, enhancing or establishing additional populations. 


Implement national translocation protocols (Vallee et al., 2004) if establishing additional 

populations is considered necessary and feasible.  

This list does not necessarily encompass all actions that may be of benefit to Coast 

Featherflower, but highlights those that are considered to be of highest priority at the time of 

preparing the conservation advice.  

Existing Plans/Management Prescriptions that are Relevant to the Species 


Fitzgerald River National Park Management Plan (CALM, 1991),  


Threat Abatement Plan for Dieback Caused by the Root-rot Fungus Phytophthora 

cinnamomi (EA, 2001), and  


Declared Rare and Poorly Known Flora in the Albany District (Robinson & Coates, 1995).  

These prescriptions were current at the time of publishing; please refer to the relevant agency’s 

website for any updated versions.  

Information Sources: 

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 Management 

Plan, Department of Conservation and Land Management, viewed 17 September 2008, 



Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC) 2008, Records held in DEC’s Declared Flora Database and 

rare flora files. Department of Environment and Conservation, Western Australia. 

Environment Australia (EA) 2001, Threat Abatement Plan for Dieback Caused by the Root-rot Fungus 

Phytophthora cinnamomi, viewed 17 September 2008, < 



Robinson, CJ & Coates, DJ 1995, Declared Rare and Poorly Known Flora in the Albany District, Wildlife 

Management Program No. 20, Department of Conservation and Land Management, Western Australia. 

Vallee, L, Hogbin, T, Monks, L, Makinson, B, Matthes, M & Rossetto, M 2004, Guidelines for the Translocation 

of Threatened Plants in Australia (2


 ed.), Australian Network for Plant Conservation, Canberra.  

Document Outline

  • Description
  • Conservation Status
  • Distribution and Habitat
  • Threats
  • Research Priorities
    • Habitat Loss, Disturbance and Modification
    • Fire
    • Diseases, Fungi and Parasites
    • Conservation Information
    • Enable Recovery of Additional Sites and/or Populations
  • Information Sources:

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