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 Vulnerable
Listing and Conservation Advices Commonwealth Conservation Advice on Medicosma obovata (Threatened Species Scientific Committee, 2008sg) [Conservation Advice].
Commonwealth Listing Advice on Medicosma obovata (Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC), 2012av) [Listing Advice].
Recovery Plan Decision Recovery Plan not required, included on the Not Commenced List (1/11/2009).
Adopted/Made Recovery Plans
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].
State Listing Status
QLD: Listed as Vulnerable (Nature Conservation Act 1992 (Queensland): May 2014 list)
Scientific name Medicosma obovata [17533]
Family Rutaceae:Sapindales:Magnoliopsida:Magnoliophyta:Plantae
Species author T.Hartley
Infraspecies author  
Reference Australian Journal of Botany 33 (1985) 39, fig. 2c.
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: Medicosma obovata

Medicosma obovata is a small tree with hairless leaves and branchlets. Leaves are oppositely arranged with conspicuous oil glands across the surface, 5.5–9 cm long, and usually broadest above the middle. The inflorescences are axillary, comprising one to a few flowers, on very short stalks or with no stalks. The petals are white, 4.5–5 mm long, and densely hairy on the outer surface (Hartley 1985).

Medicosma obovata is known only from Mt Dryander, in Proserpine, in the North Kennedy Pastoral District of east-central Queensland (Hartley 1985). All records are from Mt Dryander National Park or Dryander State Forest (Queensland Herbarium 2009). The species extent of occurrence is 16 km² (Bean 2009).

Herbarium records describe Medicosma obovata as "rare", "common" and "very common" at locations where it has been collected (Queenland Herbarium 2009), although no specific information is available regarding population size.

Medicosma obovata occurs in notophyll vine forest as an understorey tree or shrub at altitudes between 80–700 m above sea level (Queensland Herbarium 2009). It occurs on hillslopes and alluvia derived from acid and intermediate volcanic rocks (McDonald 2001 pers. comm.). At one site, associated species include Argyrodendron polyandrum, Hauer (Dissiliaria baloghioides) and Macropteranthes fitzalanii (Queensland Herbarium 1999).

Flowers are bisexual and fruits are follicles (dry seed vessel, or pod, consisting of a single carpel, splitting at maturity only along the front part of the suture) (Hartley 1985). Flowering has been recorded in January, May and July and fruits are present in May to July (Queensland Herbarium 2009).

The seeds of many Boronia spp. are known to be ant-dispersed (Berg 1975). The seeds of Medicosma spp. are essentially identical to Boronia spp. in external features, so it is likely that after being expelled from the follicles the seeds of Medicosma spp. may be further dispersed by ants which are attracted to the persistent, membranaceous to subfleshy endocarp (Hartley 1985).

Medicosma obovata is not very distinct and may be difficult too detect (Bean 2009). Medicosma obovata is closely related to M. elliptica, which is endemic to Granite Creek State Forest, south of Gladstone. M. obovata can be distinguished by its obovate leaf blades which are approximately 1.5–2 times as long as wide and its petioles which are often slightly swollen apically and sometimes articulated with the blade. The leaf blades of M. elliptica are usually elliptic or elliptic-obovate, about 2–3 times as long as wide and its petioles are neither swollen or articulated with the blade. The sepals of M. obovata are nearly glabrous while those of M. elliptica are densely appressed-pubescent (Hartley 1985).

Medicosma obovata has no known or potential threats (TSSC 2012av).

Management documents relevant to Medicosma obovata are at the start of the profile.

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
Ecosystem/Community Stresses:Indirect Ecosystem Effects:Restricted geographical distribution (area of occupancy and extent of occurrence) Medicosma obovata in Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage (DEH), 2006oo) [Internet].
Uncategorised:Uncategorised:threats not specified Commonwealth Conservation Advice on Medicosma obovata (Threatened Species Scientific Committee, 2008sg) [Conservation Advice].

Bean, A.R. (2009). Medicosma obovata - Species Information Sheet. Provided to the Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts. Queensland Herbarium.

Berg, R.Y. (1975). Myrmecochorous plants in Australia and their dispersal by ants. Australian Journal of Botany. 23:475-508.

Hartley, T.G. (1985). A Revision of the Genus Medicosma (Rutaceae). Australian Journal of Botany. 33:27-64.

McDonald, W.J.F. (2001). Personal Communication.

Queensland Herbarium (1999). Personal communication.

Queensland Herbarium (2009). Specimen label information.

Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC) (2012av). Commonwealth Listing Advice on Medicosma obovata. [Online]. Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities. Canberra, ACT: Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities. Available from:

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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). Medicosma obovata in Species Profile and Threats Database, Department of the Environment, Canberra. Available from: Accessed Sat, 20 Sep 2014 19:28:49 +1000.