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 Codonocarpus pyramidalis (Slender Bell-fruit) (Threatened Species Scientific Committee, 2008kj) [Conservation 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 Government
    Documents and Websites
SA:Draft recovery plan for 23 threatened flora taxa on Eyre Peninsula, South Australia 2007-2012 (Pobke, K., 2007) [State Recovery Plan].
State Listing Status
NSW: Listed as Extinct (Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995 (New South Wales): August 2014 list)
SA: Listed as Endangered (National Parks and Wildlife Act 1972 (South Australia): June 2011 list)
Scientific name Codonocarpus pyramidalis [19507]
Family Gyrostemonaceae:Batales:Magnoliopsida:Magnoliophyta:Plantae
Species author (F.Muell.) F.Muell.
Infraspecies author  
Reference Plants Indigenous to the Colony of Victoria 1 (1862) 201, in obs.
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.

Other illustrations Google Images

Scientific name: Codonocarpus pyramidalis

Common names: Slender Bell-fruit, Camel Poison

A multi or single stemmed shrub or tree that can grow rapidly up to 8 m tall (Jessop & Toelken 1986). The mature leaves are reported to lean to one side and the fruit is bell-shaped and segmented (TSSC 2008kj). Within each segment, a u-shaped 3 mm seed tightly within the seed casings.

Codonocarpus pyramidalis occurs as scattered individuals across areas of the Flinders Ranges, Northern Lofty Ranges and the eastern regions of South Australia such as within the Murray Darling Basin, Eyre Peninsula, Yorke and Adelaide. The remaining Slender Bell-fruit populations are bounded by the North Olary Plains area (Yunta) in the south and Lake Callabonna in the north, and the Flinders Ranges in the west and the New South Wales border in the east (Playfair & Robinson 1997).

Slender Bell-fruit was recorded over 60 years ago from the Pooncarie district in the south-west plains of New South Wales (NSW) (Ayres et al. 1996). It is now considered extinct in at this site (G. Robertson 2000 pers. comm.). No details as to exact species locations or population numbers were given by any of these references.

Recent survey efforts for the Slender Bell-fruit have occurred as a result of several large scale surveys of the various regions in which several populations inhabit. These surveys have not provided great detail on the size of Slender Bell-fruit populations, however they identify the species as present at these locations.

These locations and reports include:

  • Flinders Ranges - A Biological survey of the Flinders Ranges, South Australia 1997-1999 (Brandle 2001).
  • Eyre Peninsula - Draft Recovery Plan for 23 Threatened Flora Taxa on Eyre Peninsula, South Australia 2007-2012 (Pobke 2007).
  • South Olary Plains - A Biological Survey of the North Olary Plains of South Australia (Playfair and Robinson 1997).

Slender Bell-fruit occur as scattered individuals in several populations across locations across South Australia. However the exact population size is not known or estimated. It is listed as vulnerable nationally and endangered in South Australia due to the small size and limited range of populations and individuals, and the apparent contraction of distribution (presumed extinct in NSW). Therefore, it seems that these populations are all important for the survival and protection of this species into the future (TSSC 2008kj).

Slender Bell-fruit grows along the crests of hills and ridges, slopes and along creeks, where the soil is either a loamy sand or sandy clay loam (TSSC 2008kj), and where the pH is between 8.5–9 (Davies 1995a). Throughout its range it is never common and only scattered trees are to be found (Jessop & Toelken 1986).

Slender Bell-fruit is monoecious, with female flowers borne on branches below the male flowers. Flowers are borne in May–October (Jessop & Toelken 1986).

Identified Threats

Identified threats to the Slender Bell-fruit include:

  • Habitat changes including habitat loss, disturbance and modification from human development or large scale natural disturbance, for example from a large fire event.
  • Damage to plants including trampling, and browsing or grazing, including seedling grazing by feral animals such as rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus) and goats (Capra hircus) (TSSC 2008kj).

Potential Threats

Potential threats include:

  • changed fire patterns
  • changed water patterns
  • climate change
  • competition with weeds
  • diseases such as the root rot fungus Phytophthora, an infectious soil and waterborne fungi that causes plant dieback
  • disturbance by vehicles
  • fragmented habitat
  • grazing by herbivores (eg by introduced animals such as livestock, rabbits and goats, and by native animals such as kangaroos)
  • habitat loss from building development
  • land clearance and modification of habitat
  • loss of native pollinators (eg insects and small animals)
  • road and rail maintenance
  • rubbish dumping
  • salinity (TSSC 2008kj).

Several priorities and actions have been identified for abating the threats to this species, including the implementation of a Recovery Plan on Eyre Peninsula for 23 listed species over the period of 2007–2012 (Pobke 2007), which includes the Slender Bell-fruit. Other priority areas include the need for further research into the monitoring, assessment and surveying of existing populations and their propagation requirements (Vallee et al 2004); identifying populations of high conservation priority; developing a management plan for the control of feral rabbits and goats; and the exclusion of livestock grazing on areas of occurrence (TSSC 2008kj).

Management documents for the Slender Bell-fruit include:

  • Threat Abatement Plan for Competition and Land Degradation by Feral Goats (EA, 1999b).
  • Threat Abatement Plan for Competition and Land Degradation by Feral Rabbits (EA, 1999b).
  • Operation Bounceback (an ecological restoration program operating in the Flinders Ranges)(DEH SA, 2001).
  • Draft recovery plan for 23 threatened flora taxa on Eyre Peninsula, South Australia 2007-2012 (Pobke 2007).
  • Management Plan for Flinders Ranges National Park (NPWS, 1983).

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
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive Non-Native/Alien Species:Competition and/or habitat degradation Oryctolagus cuniculus (Rabbit, European Rabbit) Commonwealth Conservation Advice on Codonocarpus pyramidalis (Slender Bell-fruit) (Threatened Species Scientific Committee, 2008kj) [Conservation Advice].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive Non-Native/Alien Species:Grazing, tramping, competition and/or habitat degradation Capra hircus (Goat) Commonwealth Conservation Advice on Codonocarpus pyramidalis (Slender Bell-fruit) (Threatened Species Scientific Committee, 2008kj) [Conservation Advice].

Ayers, D., S. Nash & K. Baggett (Eds) (1996). Threatened Species of Western New South Wales. Hurstville: NSW NPWS.

Brandle, R. (2001). A biological survey of the Flinders Ranges, South Australia 1997-1999. Page(s) 28. [Online]. Biodiversity Survey & Monitoring, National Parks & Wildlife, South Australia, Department for Environment & Heritage. Available from:

Davies, R.J.P. (1995a). Threatened Plant Species Management in the Arid Pastoral Zone of South Australia. Pastoral Management Branch, Department of Environment and Natural Resources.

Department of Environment and Heritage, South Australia (DEH SA) (2001). Bounceback Flinders Ranges. [Online]. Available from:

Environment Australia (EA) (1999d). Threat Abatement Plan for Competition and Land Degradation by Feral Goats. [Online]. Biodiversity Group, Environment Australia. Available from:

G. Robertson (2000a). Sydney: NSW NPWS.

Jessop, J.P. & H.R. Toelken, eds. (1986). Flora of South Australia. Adelaide, South Australia: SA Government Printing Division.

National Parks & Wildlife Service (NPWS) (1983). Flinders Ranges National Park Management Plan. [Online]. Available from:

Playfair, R.M. & A.C. Robinson (1997). A Biological Survey of the North Olary Plain, 1995-1997. SA Dept Environment & Natural Resources, Adelaide.

Pobke, K. (2007). Draft recovery plan for 23 threatened flora taxa on Eyre Peninsula, South Australia 2007-2012. [Online]. South Australia: Department for Environment and Heritage. Available from:

Threatened Species Scientific Committee (2008kj). Commonwealth Conservation Advice on Codonocarpus pyramidalis (Slender Bell-fruit). [Online]. Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts. Available from:

Vallee, L., T. Hogbin, L. Monks, B. Makinson, M. Matthes & M. Rossetto (2004). Guidelines for the translocation of threatened plants in Australia - Second Edition. Canberra, ACT: Australian Network for Plant Conservation.

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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). Codonocarpus pyramidalis in Species Profile and Threats Database, Department of the Environment, Canberra. Available from: Accessed Sat, 20 Sep 2014 13:34:08 +1000.