Vegetation and flora of a diverse upland remnant of the Western Australian wheatbelt

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We consider Nature Reserve A21064, with 323 taxa

located within 110 ha, as exceptionally diverse for an

upland area. It is always difficult to compare flora

surveys because of the different methodologies applied,

the differences in the vegetation communities surveyed

and the differences in surveying intensity and season

(Obbens et al. 2001). Nonetheless, a quadrat-based flora

survey of 3 remnants within the Cartmeticup sub-

catchment, Shire of Woodnilling (about 35 km south-east

of A21064) by Gunness (1999) found 266 vascular taxa in

130 ha although less than 40% of this survey was upland

habitat. In 2001, the Western Australian Herbarium had

358 individual vascular plant species recorded for the

Highbury State Forest, a large collection of woodland

remnants (4028 ha) with significant upland areas just

south of Narrogin (about 20 km north of A21064). For

this survey, we found new taxa on every visitation and

even after many visits the last survey still produced over

30 new taxa. Our experience is that intense surveying

appears to overcome the shortfalls of annual/seasonal

variation or of detecting cryptic/short-lived species etc.

Most surveys do not have the resources for such

intensive work and hence record significantly less. In

fact, Nilsson & Nilsson (1985) reported that standardised

surveys by professional botanists estimate only 79% at

best of total plant diversity. Consequently, most survey

results somewhat underrate the biodiversity present and

hence the conservation value of the areas surveyed. Even

this intensive surveying program cannot be considered

as 100% conclusive in detecting all the vascular plant taxa

within A21064.

Declared Rare Flora.

One declared rare taxon (Conostylis drummondii) is

listed for the reserve. Within the reserve it occurs in one

heath community only, while there are several

populations recorded mostly on roadside situations

(WAHERB data). This species has an IUCN ranking of


Priority species.

Seven priority taxa have been identified and, along

with the rare flora, reaffirming the high conservation

value of the reserve.

Dryandra rufistylis. Priority 2. Seven small or medium

sized populations are known from degraded roadsides

mainly around Woodanilling with a few populations

recorded further east to Nyabing. The A21064 population

is the most western population and the second to be

discovered on a reserve.

Eucalyptus aspersa. Priority 4. A reasonably widespread

mallee species (77 WAHERB collections) ranging from

Julimar State Forest in the north to Frankland in the

south. Most populations are apparently small groves and

distributed unevenly.

Eucalyptus latens. Priority 4. Again, this is a fairly

widespread mallee species (57 WAHERB collections). The

four limits of its distribution are roughly North

Bannister, Kulin, Tarin Rock and Arthur River/Darkin

area. Most populations have small numbers of


Leucopogon florulentus. Priority 2. This taxon is currently

under review (M Hislop, WA Herbarium). There is some

taxonomic uncertainty regarding the boundaries of this

species, with two variants noted. The more western/

inland variant (i.e. Bannister, Cordering, Dryandra State

Forest, Dumbleyung and A21064) is potentially a

different taxon from the more eastern/south coastal

variant (i.e. Ongerup to east of Esperance) which

represents the typical L. florulentus populations. At

present, the A21064 population consisting of thousands

of plants represents a significant find.

Leucopogon  sp Dongolocking. Priority 2. This taxon

belongs to the ‘Gynoconus’ group of Leucopogons and is

most closely related to L. pogonocalyx and another

unnamed taxon L. sp Wandering (M Hislop, WA

Herbarium personal communication). It is currently

known from two localities, Dongolocking and A21064

nature reserves. The species has a low sprawling habit

and is difficult to find amongst other shrubs, so numbers

of individuals in the A21064 populations are not exactly

known at present.

Microcorys lenticularis. Priority 2. There are several

populations of this taxon in scattered locations ranging

from Hyden in the east to Boxwood Hills in the south to

Tarin Rock and Ongerup areas. A21064 is now an

additional population and the most western distribution

for the species. Most populations have few individuals

and are located on degraded roadsides.

Thysanotus cymosus. Priority 3. First collected by NH

Brittan in 1958 south of Kulin. There are now five known

locations (i.e. Popanyinning, Muntadgin, Hyden, north of

Kojonup and A21064). Thysanotus cymosus appears to

grow in sandy clay loams often associated with nearby

granite outcrops.

Species of interest.

A small shrub with yellow/dark brown pea flowers

was listed as Pultenaea aff ericifolia. This unnamed species

belongs to the Pultenaea verruculosa/ericifolia group of

species currently under taxonomic revision. It is probably

closely related to the south coast species that has been

known erroneously as P. vestita. The true P. vestita does

not occur in Western Australia (M Hislop, WA

Herbarium personal communication). However, this

specimen and another northern collection differ from P.

vestita in having distinctive recurved leaf tips and

different floral bract morphology.

Two variants of Baeckea crispiflora occur within the

reserve, one with the usual narrow leaf and the other a

wider, round-leafed variant (probably another unnamed

taxon; M Trudgen, WA Herbarium personal

communication). Rounded and pointed leaf variants of

Synaphea aff interioris have also been recorded. Range

extensions were recorded for Allocasuarina campestris,

Obbens & Sage: Vegetation and flora of an upland remnant, Western Australian wheatbelt


Journal of the Royal Society of Western Australia, 87(1), March 2004

Desmocladus fascicularis, Dryandra lindleyana subsp

sylvestris, Stylidium carnosum, Tetraria octrandra and

Thelymitra crinita. Most range extensions were significant

increases in easterly occurrence for species with a deep

southwest distribution, while only Allocasuarina

campestris significantly increased its westerly position

from its more inland distribution.

Patterns of species distributions

The A21064 locality represents the limits of

distribution for a number of taxa including Eucalyptus

argyphea (western edge), Lomandra suaveolens and

Hemiandra linearis (eastern edge), and Conospermum

stoechadis subsp. sclerophyllum and Isopogon dubius

(southern edge). Approximately 24% of the reserve’s

species list have a distribution pattern located within the

wetter portion of the South West Botanical Province (i.e.

roughly NW/SW orientated, often occurring near coastal

and extending inland to the inner/mid wheatbelt

regions). Another 28% have a similar orientated

distribution pattern, but these are located within the drier

portion of the South West Botanical Province (i.e.

occurring from the inner/mid wheatbelt areas and

extending eastwards and sometimes overlapping into the

more arid Eremaean Province). The latter distribution

pattern frequently extends to the coast north of the

Eneabba area or to the coast east of Albany. A

widespread distribution within the South West Botanical

Province and adjacent Eremaean Province accounted for

22% of the species distributions of the reserve. Additional

distribution patterns include the geographically restricted

(i.e. about 100-150 km radius) accounting for 6% of the

reserve’s flora, south coastal and adjacent agricultural

districts accounting for 5%, localised distributions (i.e.

about 50 km radius) accounting for 3% while various

other distributions accounted for the remainder.

The first two patterns of distribution accounted for

52% of the taxa listed for the reserve and are common

distribution patterns for many taxa of the southwest. The

area where the edges of these distributions overlap

represents a ‘transitional zone’. A21064 sits squarely

within this narrow zone. It is also located within the

western limits of Beard’s 1980 map of the South West

Botanical Province’s Avon district.

Introduced weeds.

There were 22 weed species (about 6.8% of the flora)

recorded for the reserve, most occurring in disturbed

boundary areas adjacent to farmland or beside tracks or

within old gravel extraction pits. Many are common

agricultural weeds such as the broadleafs Arctotheca

calendula (Capeweed), Hypochaeris glabra (Flatweed),

Erodium botrys and Trifolium campestre, or grasses, such as

Avena barbataBromus diandrus and Lolium rigidium.

Although weeds are common in these boundary areas

their extent elsewhere is very limited, apart from the

orchid Disa bracteata which is scattered throughout

several communities. Overall, the vast majority of the

reserve is in near pristine condition.


: The authors thank N Marchant and the staff of the

Western Australian Herbarium (CALM) for their assistance and support

for this voluntary project. Special thanks to field volunteers H Jensen, L

Scott and R Davis. We also gratefully acknowledge M Hislop for his help

and comments on earlier drafts of this paper.


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Appendix 1

The vascular plant taxa recorded for A21064 Nature Reserve listed in alphabetical order by family. Threatened or priority status of taxa

is recorded for those relevant species. The * symbol represents species which are naturalized weeds. The collector’s number for each

specimen is included in parentheses after species authority name.

Yates C J, Norton D A & Hobbs R J 2000 Grazing effects on plant

cover, soil and microclimate in fragmented woodlands in

south-western Australia: Implications for restoration. Austral

Ecology 25: 36-47.


Cheilanthes austrotenuifolia HM Quirk & TC Chambers



Ptilotus declinatus Nees (FO72/02)

Ptilotus manglesii (Lindl) F Muell (LWS1099)


Agrostocrinum scabrum (R Br) Baill (FO228/98)

Caesia occidentalis R Br (LWS1411)

Chamaescilla corymbosa (R Br) Benth. (FO310/99)

Chamaescilla spiralis (Endl) Benth (LWS1236)

Corynotheca micrantha var elongata RJF Hend (LWS1414)

Dichopogon fimbriatus (R Br) JF Macbr (LWS1410)

Laxmannia grandiflora Lindl (FO40/01)

Laxmannia squarrosa Lindl (LWS1217)

Sowerbaea laxiflora Lindl (FO321/99)

Thysanotus cymosus Brittan (P3) (FO50/02)

Thysanotus patersonii R Br (FO331/99)

Thysanotus thyrsoideus Baker (FO281/98)

Tricoryne elatior R Br (FO279/98)


Trachymene ornata (Endl) Druce (FO319/99)

Trachymene pilosa Sm (FO215/98)


Arctotheca calendula (L) Levyns (FO222/98)

Argentipallium niveum (Steetz) Paul G Wilson (LWS1098)

Blennospora drummondii A Gray (FO324/99)

Brachyscome glandulosa (Steetz) Benth (FO34/01)

Helichrysum leucopsideum DC (FO274/98)

Hypochaeris glabra L (FO233/98)

Lagenophora huegelii Benth (LWS1499)

Lawrencella rosea Lindl (FO333/99)

Millotia tenuifolia Cass var tenuifolia (FO38/01)

Podolepis canescens DC (LWS1096)

Podolepis gracilis (Lehm) Graham (LWS1095)

Podolepis lessonii (Cass) Benth (FO304/99)

Pterochaeta paniculata Steetz (FO302/98)

Rhodanthe citrina (Benth) Paul G Wilson (LWS1097)

Rhodanthe manglesii Lindl (LWS1093)

Siloxerus multiflorus (Nees) PS Short (FO28/01)

Ursinia anthemoides (L) Poir (FO230/98)


Borya sphaerocephala R Br (FO234/98)


Allocasuarina campestris (Diels) LAS Johnson (FO67/02)

Allocasuarina huegeliana (Miq) LAS Johnson (LWS1247)

Allocasuarina humilis (Otto & F Dietr) LAS Johnson


Allocasuarina microstachya (Miq) LAS Johnson (FO250/98)


Crassula colorata (Nees) Ostenf (FO225/98B)

Crassula decumbens Thunb (FO35/01)

Crassula exserta (Reader) Ostenf (FO225/98A)


Callitris roei (Endl) F Muell (FO2/01)


Caustis dioica R Br (FO21/01)

Lepidosperma aff costale (LWS1431)

Lepidosperma brunonianum Nees (FO287/98)

Lepidosperma costale Nees (FO205/98)

Lepidosperma leptostachyum Benth (FO252/98)

Lepidosperma sp (small sedge) (FO203/98)

Lepidosperma sp (large sedge around granites) (FO204/98)

Lepidosperma sp K Boorabbin (KL Wilson 2579) (LWS1432)

Lepidosperma tuberculatum Nees (LWS1503)

Mesomelaena stygia (R Br) Nees subsp stygia (FO32/01)

Schoenus aff brevisetis (FO260/98)

Schoenus aff subflavus (FO48/02)

Schoenus armeria Boeck (FO251/98)

Schoenus minutulus F Muell (LWS1422)

Tetraria capillaris (F Muell) JM Black (FO259/98)

Tetraria octandra (Nees) Kuk (LWS1224)


Chamaexeros serra (Endl) Benth (FO293/98)

Lomandra effusa (Lindl) Ewart (FO24/01)

Lomandra micrantha (Endl) Ewart subsp micrantha (LWS1427)

Lomandra suaveolens (Endl) Ewart (LWS1519)


Hibbertia aff recurvifolia (FO262/98)

Hibbertia commutata Steud (LWS1238)

Hibbertia hemignosta (Steud) JR Wheeler (LWS1417)

Hibbertia microphylla Steud (FO309/99)

Hibbertia rupicola (S Moore) CA Gardner (LWS1062)


Drosera androsacea Diels (FO326/99)

Drosera bulbosa Hook subsp bulbosa (FO28/99)

Drosera glanduligera Lehm (FO12/01)

Drosera macrantha Endl subsp macrantha (FO13/01)

Drosera menziesii DC subsp menziesii (FO332/99)

Drosera subhirtella Planch (FO322/99)


Andersonia parvifolia R Br (FO62/02)

Astroloma cataphractum AJG Wilson ms (FO20/99)

Astroloma serratifolium (DC) Druce (FO229/98)

Leucopogon cymbiformis DC (LWS1440)

Leucopogon dielsianus E Pritz (LWS1516)

Leucopogon fimbriatus Stschegl (FO8/01)

Leucopogon florulentus Benth (P2) (FO22/99)

Leucopogon sp Dongolocking (P2) (LWS1495)

Lysinema ciliatum R Br (FO323/99)


Fumaria capreolata L (FO29/01)


Erodium botrys (Cav) Bertol (FO83/02)

Pelargonium havlasae Domin (FO209/98)

Obbens & Sage: Vegetation and flora of an upland remnant, Western Australian wheatbelt


Journal of the Royal Society of Western Australia, 87(1), March 2004


Anthotium odontophyllum Sage (LWS1409)

Dampiera haematotricha de Vriese subsp haematotricha


Dampiera juncea Benth (LWS1057)

Dampiera lavandulacea Lindl (LWS1056)

Dampiera lindleyi de Vriese (LWS1055)

Dampiera sacculata Benth (FO55/02)

Goodenia incana R Br (LWS1054)

Goodenia pulchella subsp Wheatbelt (LW Sage & F Hort 795)


Goodenia scapigera R Br subsp scapigera (LWS1060)

Goodenia watsonii subsp glandulosa Carolin (LWS1406)

Lechenaultia biloba Lindl (FO277/98)

Velleia trinervis Labill (LWS1061)


Anigozanthos humilis Lindl subsp humilis (LWS1066)

Conostylis aculeata subsp bromelioides (Endl) JW Green


Conostylis drummondii Benth (R) (FO61/02)

Conostylis pusilla Endl (LWS1086)

Haemodorum discolor T Macfarlane (LWS1434)


Glischrocaryon aureum (Lindl) Orchard (FO11/02)


Hypoxis glabella R Br var glabella (FO1/01)


Orthrosanthus laxus var gramineus (Endl) Geerinck (FO306/


Patersonia juncea Lindl (FO283/98)

Patersonia occidentalis R Br (LWS1089)

Romulea rosea (L) Eckl (FO220/98)


Chloanthes coccinea Bartl (LWS1065)

Hemiandra linearis Benth (FO57/02)

Hemigenia humilis Benth (FO68/02)

Hemigenia incana (Lindl) Benth (LWS1072)

Microcorys lenticularis F Muell (P2) (FO85/02)


Isotoma hypocrateriformis (R Br) Druce (FO210/98)

Lobelia rarifolia E Wimm (FO47/02)


Phyllangium sulcatum Dunlop (FO320/99)

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