Biodiversity

Species Profile and Threats Database


For information to assist proponents in referral, environmental assessments and compliance issues, refer to the Policy Statements and Guidelines (where available), the Conservation Advice (where available) or the Listing Advice (where available).
 
In addition, proponents and land managers should refer to the Recovery Plan (where available) or the Conservation Advice (where available) for recovery, mitigation and conservation information.

EPBC Act Listing Status Listed as Endangered as Euphrasia collina subsp. muelleri
Recovery Plan Decision Recovery Plan required, this species had a recovery plan in force at the time the legislation provided for the Minister to decide whether or not to have a recovery plan (19/2/2007).
 
Adopted/Made Recovery Plans Purple Eyebright Euphrasia collina subspecies muelleri - National Recovery Plan (Murphy, A.H. & J. Downe, 2006c) [Recovery Plan] as Euphrasia collina subsp. muelleri.
 
Federal Register of
    Legislative Instruments
Declaration under s178, s181, and s183 of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 - List of threatened species, List of threatened ecological communities and List of threatening processes (Commonwealth of Australia, 2000) [Legislative Instrument] as Euphrasia collina subsp. muelleri.
 
State Government
    Documents and Websites
NSW:Mueller's Eyebright - profile (NSW Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water (NSW DECCW), 2005el) [Internet].
NSW:Recovery Plan for the "lost" threatened flora of south-eastern NSW: Baeuerlen's Gentian (Gentiana baeuerlenii), Elusive Bush-pea (Pultenaea parrisiae subsp. elusa), Elusive Cress (Irenepharsus magicus), etc (NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service (NSW NPWS), 2001h) [State Recovery Plan].
VIC:Flora and Fauna Guarantee Action Statement 225-Purple Eyebright Euphrasia collina subsp. muelleri (Victorian Department of Sustainability and Environment (Vic. DSE), 2008k) [State Action Plan].
State Listing Status
NSW: Listed as Endangered (Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995 (New South Wales): December 2013) as Euphrasia collina subsp. muelleri
SA: Listed as Endangered (National Parks and Wildlife Act 1972 (South Australia): June 2011) as Euphrasia collina subsp. muelleri
VIC: Listed as Threatened (Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988 (Victoria): February 2014) as Euphrasia collina subsp. muelleri
Non-statutory Listing Status
VIC: Listed as Endangered (Advisory List of Rare or Threatened Plants in Victoria: 2005)
Scientific name Euphrasia collina subsp. muelleri [16151]
Family Scrophulariaceae:Scrophulariales:Magnoliopsida:Magnoliophyta:Plantae
Species author  
Infraspecies author (Wettst.) W.R.Barker
Reference Barker, W.R. (1982) Taxonomic studies in Euphrasia L. (Scrophulariaceae). A revised infrageneric classification, and a revision of the genus in Australia. Journal of the Adelaide Botanic Gardens 5: 209, figs. 53 (map), 68 [comb. et stat. nov.]
Other names Euphrasia muelleri [53460]
Distribution map Species Distribution Map

This is an indicative distribution map of the present distribution of the species based on best available knowledge. See map caveat for more information.

Illustrations Google Images

Scientific name: Euphrasia collina subsp. muelleri

Common name: Purple Eyebright, Mueller's Eyebright

The Purple Eyebright is a semi-parasitic perennial herb growing up to 41 cm high (Barker 1999).

Historically, the Purple Eyebright was widespread in south-eastern Australia extending from south-central South Australia (SA) through Victoria to northern New South Wales (NSW). No records have been found in NSW since 1907 (NSW NPWS 2000, pers. comm.). It is now known only from Victoria including the Mornington Peninsula, Jamieson, Little River, Benambra, Deep Lead and Maryborough, although three of these populations may have become extinct in recent years (Murphy & Downe 2006).

The Purple Eyebright has only been recorded at eleven sites since the mid 1980s, all in Victoria. Eight sites are on crown land: two populations in a National Park (NP), two in State Parks (SP), two in State Forests (SF), and two in a Flora and Fauna Reserve (FFR). The remaining populations occur on private land and on roadsides. The total population consists of about 1 500 plants, with most plants (about 1 300) occurring in one population at Deep Lead in western Victoria (Murphy & Downe 2006).

Current population location information is summarised as follows (Murphy & Downe 2006):

  • National Parks
    Mornington Peninsula NP (Green's Bush, Mornington Peninsula)
    Snowy River NP (Little River - possibly extinct)
  • State Parks
    Arthurs Seat SP (McKellar Flora Reserve, Mornington Peninsula)
    Paddys Ranges SP (taxonomy uncertain)
  • State Forest
    Nunniong Plains (Nunniong Plateau, Bowen Mountains)
    Special Protection Zone established along Tambo River – zone no. 629
    Williams Creek NFSR (roadside, Wren's Flat)
  • Flora and Fauna Reserves
    Deep Lead FFR
  • Roadsides (Mornington Peninsula Shire Council)
    Merricks North (Junction Rd A - possibly extinct)
    Main Ridge (Purves Rd)
  • Private Land
    Merricks North (Junction Rd B - possibly extinct)

The Purple Eyebright grows in heathland and heathy woodland on sand and in open forest (Barker 1999; MEL collection records).

The genus Euphrasia in Australia occurs frequently in environments where light levels are very high, either as a result of environmental extremes or frequent disturbance such as fire. Habitats suitable for the Purple Eyebright are prone to fire or periodic inundation by water, including open grassland, grassy woodland, heath in perched swamps and heathy woodland (Murphy & Downe 2006c).

At McKellar Flora Reserve, associated species include Eucalyptus cephalocarpa, Hakea ulicina, Epacris impressa, Pultenaea dentata and Austrostipa muelleri. At Greens Bush, associated species include Leptospermum myrsinoides, Xanthorrhoea australis, Banksia marginata, Leucopogon virgatus and Monotoca scoparia. At Wrens Flat, the vegetation is open forest dominated by Eucalyptus rubida, E. radiata, Acacia dealbata, A. melanoxylon, Bursaria spinosa, Poa sieberiana and Themeda triandra (DNRE 2000).

Associated communities currently include: Xanthorrhoea australis dominated sandy heath on the Mornington Peninsula; Eucalyptus cephalocarpa–Eucalyptus obliqua open forest at Merricks North; Eucalyptus pauciflora grassy woodland near Benambra; Eucalyptus radiata–Eucalyptus rubida grassy open forest near Jamieson; and Eucalyptus macrorhyncha heathy woodland at Deep Lead (Barker 1982 in Murphy & Downe 2006c; JCVRFASC 1999 in Murphy & Downe 2006c; Williams & Molnar 1997 in Murphy & Downe 2006c).

The Purple Eyebright flowers from October to December (Barker 1999).

The Purple Eyebright has suffered a significant decline in both range and abundance since European settlement. Much of its habitat has been cleared for agriculture and heavily grazed. Potential threats to existing populations include roadworks, slashing for firebreaks, inappropriate fire regimes, trail bike riding, track widening, and prospecting and mining activities (SAC 1997c). The population at Wren's Flat, near Jamieson, is threatened by 4WD activity, trail bike riding and road or rail works. The weed, Ox-eye daisy (Leucanthemum vulgare), occurs at the Wren Flat site and has the potential to spread widely (DNRE 2000).

Community Groups in the Castlemaine Zone (Vic) received $45 000 of funding, through the Threatened Species Network Community Grants in 2001-02, for: securement of the species' habitat; integrated control of predators and weeds; habitat restoration; and enhancement of community participation.

Murphy, A.H. and Downe, J. (2006). National recovery plan for the Purple Eyebright (Euphrasia collina subspecies muelleri) http://www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/threatened/publications/pubs/e-collina.pdf.

The following table lists known and perceived threats to this species. Threats are based on the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) threat classification version 1.1.

Threat Class Threatening Species References
Agriculture and Aquaculture:Agriculture and Aquaculture:Land clearing, habitat fragmentation and/or habitat degradation Purple Eyebright Euphrasia collina subspecies muelleri - National Recovery Plan (Murphy, A.H. & J. Downe, 2006c) [Recovery Plan].
Agriculture and Aquaculture:Livestock Farming and Grazing:Grazing pressures and associated habitat changes Purple Eyebright Euphrasia collina subspecies muelleri - National Recovery Plan (Murphy, A.H. & J. Downe, 2006c) [Recovery Plan].
Energy Production and Mining:Mining and Quarrying:Habitat destruction, disturbance and/or modification due to mining activities Purple Eyebright Euphrasia collina subspecies muelleri - National Recovery Plan (Murphy, A.H. & J. Downe, 2006c) [Recovery Plan].
Human Intrusions and Disturbance:Human Intrusions and Disturbance:Mechanical disturbance during construction, maintanance or recreational activities Purple Eyebright Euphrasia collina subspecies muelleri - National Recovery Plan (Murphy, A.H. & J. Downe, 2006c) [Recovery Plan].
Human Intrusions and Disturbance:Recreational Activities:Disturbance, especially from human recreational activities and development Purple Eyebright Euphrasia collina subspecies muelleri - National Recovery Plan (Murphy, A.H. & J. Downe, 2006c) [Recovery Plan].
Human Intrusions and Disturbance:Recreational Activities:Habitat disturbance from recreational vehicle use Purple Eyebright Euphrasia collina subspecies muelleri - National Recovery Plan (Murphy, A.H. & J. Downe, 2006c) [Recovery Plan].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive Non-Native/Alien Species:Competition and/or habitat degradation Oryctolagus cuniculus (Rabbit, European Rabbit) Purple Eyebright Euphrasia collina subspecies muelleri - National Recovery Plan (Murphy, A.H. & J. Downe, 2006c) [Recovery Plan].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive Non-Native/Alien Species:Competition and/or habitat degradation Pinus radiata (Radiata Pine Monterey Pine, Insignis Pine, Wilding Pine) Purple Eyebright Euphrasia collina subspecies muelleri - National Recovery Plan (Murphy, A.H. & J. Downe, 2006c) [Recovery Plan].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive Non-Native/Alien Species:Competition and/or habitat degradation by weeds Purple Eyebright Euphrasia collina subspecies muelleri - National Recovery Plan (Murphy, A.H. & J. Downe, 2006c) [Recovery Plan].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Predation, competition, habitat degradation and/or spread of pathogens by introduced species Purple Eyebright Euphrasia collina subspecies muelleri - National Recovery Plan (Murphy, A.H. & J. Downe, 2006c) [Recovery Plan].
Natural System Modifications:Fire and Fire Suppression:Inappropriate and/or changed fire regimes (frequency, timing, intensity) Purple Eyebright Euphrasia collina subspecies muelleri - National Recovery Plan (Murphy, A.H. & J. Downe, 2006c) [Recovery Plan].
Transportation and Service Corridors:Roads and Railroads:Development and/or maintenance of railway tracks Purple Eyebright Euphrasia collina subspecies muelleri - National Recovery Plan (Murphy, A.H. & J. Downe, 2006c) [Recovery Plan].
Transportation and Service Corridors:Roads and Railroads:Development and/or maintenance of roads Purple Eyebright Euphrasia collina subspecies muelleri - National Recovery Plan (Murphy, A.H. & J. Downe, 2006c) [Recovery Plan].
Uncategorised:Uncategorised:threats not specified Northern Rivers Regional Biodiversity Management Plan (NSW Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water (NSW DECCW), 2010p) [State Recovery Plan].

Barker, W.R. (1999). Scrophulariaceae. In: Walsh, N.G. & T.J. Entwisle, eds. Flora of Victoria. 4:483-528. Inkata Press, Melbourne.

Department of Natural Resources and Environment (DNRE) (2000). VROTPOP database.

Flora & Fauna Guarantee - Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC) (1997c). Final recommendation on a nomination for listing: Euphrasia collina R.Br. ssp. muelleri (Wettst.) W.R.Barker - Purple Eyebright (nomination no. 404). Dept. of Natural Resources & Environment, Victoria.

Melbourne Herbarium (MEL) collection records (undated). National Herbarium of Victoria Specimens. [Online]. Available from: http://www.rbg.vic.gov.au/research_and_conservation/herbarium.

Murphy, A.H. & J. Downe (2006c). Purple Eyebright Euphrasia collina subspecies muelleri - National Recovery Plan. [Online]. Available from: http://www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/threatened/publications/e-collina.html.

NSW National Parks & Wildlife Service (NSW NPWS) (2000). Personal communication. Sydney: NSW NPWS.

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This database is designed to provide statutory, biological and ecological information on species and ecological communities, migratory species, marine species, and species and species products subject to international trade and commercial use protected under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (the EPBC Act). It has been compiled from a range of sources including listing advice, recovery plans, published literature and individual experts. While reasonable efforts have been made to ensure the accuracy of the information, no guarantee is given, nor responsibility taken, by the Commonwealth for its accuracy, currency or completeness. The Commonwealth does not accept any responsibility for any loss or damage that may be occasioned directly or indirectly through the use of, or reliance on, the information contained in this database. The information contained in this database does not necessarily represent the views of the Commonwealth. This database is not intended to be a complete source of information on the matters it deals with. Individuals and organisations should consider all the available information, including that available from other sources, in deciding whether there is a need to make a referral or apply for a permit or exemption under the EPBC Act.

Citation: Department of the Environment (2014). Euphrasia collina subsp. muelleri in Species Profile and Threats Database, Department of the Environment, Canberra. Available from: http://www.environment.gov.au/sprat. Accessed Thu, 17 Apr 2014 05:58:47 +1000.