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
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
Seven priority taxa have been identified and, along
with the rare flora, reaffirming the high conservation
value of the reserve.
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.
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
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
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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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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.
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* Arctotheca calendula (L) Levyns (FO222/98)
* Hypochaeris glabra L (FO233/98)
* Ursinia anthemoides (L) Poir (FO230/98)
* Fumaria capreolata L (FO29/01)
* Erodium botrys (Cav) Bertol (FO83/02)
Obbens & Sage: Vegetation and flora of an upland remnant, Western Australian wheatbelt
* Romulea rosea (L) Eckl (FO220/98)