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
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 Recovery plan for Pimelea spicata (NSW Department of Environment and Conservation (NSW DEC), 2006e) [Recovery Plan].
 
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
NSW:Spiked Rice-flower - profile (NSW Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water (NSW DECCW), 2005jf) [Internet].
NSW:Threatened Species Information - Pimelea spicata (NSW National Parks & Wildlife Service (NPWS), 2000w) [Information Sheet].
NSW:Pimelea spicata Threatened Species Information (NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service (NSW NPWS), 2004f) [Information Sheet].
NSW:Environmental Impact Assessment Guidelines - Pimelea spicata (NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service (NSW NPWS), 2004g) [Internet].
State Listing Status
NSW: Listed as Endangered (Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995 (New South Wales): December 2013 list)
Scientific name Pimelea spicata [20834]
Family Thymelaeaceae:Myrtales:Magnoliopsida:Magnoliophyta:Plantae
Species author R.Br.
Infraspecies author  
Reference Prodromus Florae Novae Hollandiae: 362 (1-7 Apr. 1810).
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
http://farrer.riv.csu.edu.au/ASGAP/gall5.html#psp-image

Scientific name: Pimelea spicata

Common name: Spiked Rice-flower

This species is conventionally accepted as Pimelea spicata R.Br. (CHAH 2010).

Slender, low growing shrub with glaborous stems and narrow elliptical leaves 5–20 mm long and approximately 2 mm wide. Flowers are in racemes starting out compact but elongating as they age. Flowers are white often tinged with pink, 7–10 mm long with sparsely haired sepals. Fruit is green and approximately 2.5 mm long (Harden 1990).

When growing in its natural habitat, Pimelea spicata grows up to 50 cm in height but rarely exceeds 30 cm in height. Stems are prostrate and brittle. The species does vary when its habitat is invaded by mat-forming grasses such as Kikuyu (Pennisetum clandestinum). In this type of habitat, the stems can become elongated to over 2 m in length, climbing to the upper canopy, in response to shading. When this occurs, foliage is restricted to the emergent sections of the stem (Matarczyk 1999; NSW NPWS 2000w; Rye 1990; A.J. Willis, pers. comm. 2001).

Pimelea spicata has a relatively scattered distribution in two disjunct areas: the Cumberland Plain area of western Sydney; and the Illawarra Region near Wollongong, NSW. In western Sydney, the distribution extends from Camden in the south to Maraylya in the north and from Horsley Park east to Bankstown. In the Illawarra, the species is associated with coastal headlands and hill tops from Mount Warrigal to Gerroa (NSW NPWS 2000w).

The species possesses a restricted area of occupancy of less than 17 ha (NSW DEC 2006).

In 2000, it was known to occur at 42 sites (NSW NPWS 2000w).

The total number of mature individuals is approximately 4300. Population sizes vary at sites from a few individuals to hundreds of plants, although the majority of populations support a low number of plants (NSW DEC 2006).

There are 30 known extant populations of P. spicata, including 25 within the Cumberland Plain and five within the Illawarra coastal region (NSW DEC 2006).

Pimelea spicata has been recorded from Sydney Regional Park. Some other sites occur on land managed by Commonwealth, State and local government authorities. Four are within the Prospect Reservoir catchment which is managed by the Sydney Catchment Authority, and one site is managed by the Mount Annan Botanic Garden (NSW NPWS 2000w).

The western Sydney/Cumberland Plain populations occur on undulating to hilly country in remnant bushland on Wiannamatta shales. Habitats include open woodlands and grasslands of Grey Box (Eucalyptus moluccana ), Narrow-leaved Ironbark (E. crebra), Forest Redgum (E. tereticornis ), Blackthorn (Bursaria spinosa ) and Kangaroo Grass (Themeda triandra ) (Groves & Willis 1999; Leigh & Briggs 1992; Nash & Matthes 1993; NSW NPWS 2000w). In the Illawarra, the species occurs on well-structured clay soils on coastal headlands in Themeda triandra grassland with low native shrubs such as Westringia fruticosa, Banksia integrifolia and Acacia sophorae (Leigh & Briggs 1992; Matarczyk 1999; Nash & Matthes 1993; NSW NPWS 2000w).

Adult Pimelea spicata plants flower and fruit prolifically throughout the year with peaks in spring and autumn (Benson cited in Leigh & Briggs 1992; Nash & Matthes 1993). Established plants can resprout from a substantial, carrot-like, tap root after disturbances such as fire, grazing or accidental herbicide spray (Benson cited in Leigh & Briggs 1992; Matarczyk 1999). It is estimated that Pimelea spicata requires more than three years to develop a taproot sufficient for vegetative regeneration (RTA 1999 cited in NSW NPWS 2000w). Regrowth following disturbance results in substantial depletion of the underground taproot and a reduced ability to recover from further disturbances (Matarczyk 1999). Vigorous resprouting and seed germination often occur after fire or other disturbance (NSW NPWS 2000w). Although seed germination levels are usually low (approximately 2%), studies indicate that smoke promotes the germination of Pimelea spicata up to a maximum of 30% (NSW NPWS 2000w; Willis et al. 2003).

Habitat Loss and Fragmentation

Pimelea spicata has suffered extensive habitat loss and fragmentation due to clearing for agricultural and urban development (Benson cited in Leigh & Briggs 1992; Nash & Matthes 1993).

Habitat Degradation

Habitat degradation may occur due to inappropriate fire regimes, activities such as mowing and grazing, increased urban runoff, rubbish dumping and weed invasion (NSW NPWS 2000w).

Weed Invasion

One large population on Camden golf course is being severely impacted by invasion of the weed Bridal Creeper (Asparagus asparagoides) (Willis et al. 2003). Most of the remaining populations of Pimelea spicata are currently threatened by competition from a variety of environmental weeds, including Bridal Creeper, Bitou Bush (Chrysanthemoides monilifera subsp. rotundata), Lantana (Lantana camara), Blackberry (Rubus fruiticosus), Olive (Olea europaea ssp. africana), and Kikuyu (Pennisetum clandestinum) (Matarczyk 1999; A.J. Willis 2001, pers. comm.).

Herbicide exposure

Populations on Minnamurra headland and in Shellharbour have been further threatened by accidental application of glyphosate herbicide which was sprayed aerially (from helicopters) throughout the area to control Bitou Bush (Matarczyk 1999; Nash & Matthes 1993). The species has a limited tolerance to the chemical, with some mature plants resprouting after initial application, though seedlings are killed outright by Glyphosate. This implies careful weed control planning is required for areas where Pimelea spicata occurs (Matarczyk et al. 2002).

A national recovery plan has been adopted to assist in the long-term protection of Pimelea spicata (NSW DEC 2006). Objectives of the recovery plan include:

  • Conserve P. spicata using land-use and conservation planning mechanisms.
  • Identify and minimise the operation of threats at sites where P. spicata occurs.
  • Develop and implement a survey and monitoring program that will provide information on the extent and viability of P. spicata.
  • Provide the community with information that assists in conserving the species.
  • Raise awareness of the species and involve the community in the recovery program.
  • Conduct research that will assist future management decisions.

Wilson Richardson Area Residents' Group (WRARG) (NSW) received $14 239 of funding through the Threatened Species Network Community Grants in 2004–05 for rubbish removal, revegetation, fencing and community training to protect this species and the Cumberland Plain Woodland. Introduction of the rust Puccinia myrsiphylli for the control of Bridal Creeper has shown positive benefits for the species (Willis et al 2004).

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:Livestock Farming and Grazing:Grazing pressures and associated habitat changes Recovery plan for Pimelea spicata (NSW Department of Environment and Conservation (NSW DEC), 2006e) [Recovery Plan].
Agriculture and Aquaculture:Livestock Farming and Grazing:Habitat alteration (vegetation, soil, hydrology) due to trampling and grazing by livestock Recovery plan for Pimelea spicata (NSW Department of Environment and Conservation (NSW DEC), 2006e) [Recovery Plan].
Climate Change and Severe Weather:Habitat Shifting and Alteration:Habitat modification with associated erosion Species threats data recorded on the SPRAT database between 1999-2002 (Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities (DSEWPaC), 2012i) [Database].
Ecosystem/Community Stresses:Ecosystem Degradation:Decline in habitat quality Recovery plan for Pimelea spicata (NSW Department of Environment and Conservation (NSW DEC), 2006e) [Recovery Plan].
Human Intrusions and Disturbance:Human Intrusions and Disturbance:Mechanical disturbance during construction, maintanance or recreational activities Recovery plan for Pimelea spicata (NSW Department of Environment and Conservation (NSW DEC), 2006e) [Recovery Plan].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive Non-Native/Alien Species:Competition and/or habitat degradation Chrysanthemoides monilifera (Bitou Bush, Boneseed) Weeds of National Significance Bitou Bush and Boneseed (Chrysanthemoides monilifera ssp. rotundata and monilifera) Strategic Plan (Agriculture & Resources Management Council of Australia & New Zealand, Australian & New Zealand Environment & Conservation Council and Forestry Ministers, 2000b) [Threat Abatement Plan].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive Non-Native/Alien Species:Competition and/or habitat degradation Asparagus asparagoides (Bridal Creeper, Bridal Veil Creeper, Smilax, Florist's Smilax, Smilax Asparagus) Weeds of National Significance Bridal Creeper (Asparagus asparagoides) Strategic Plan (Agriculture & Resources Management Council of Australia & New Zealand (ARMCANZ), 2001h) [Threat Abatement Plan].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive Non-Native/Alien Species:Competition and/or habitat degradation by weeds Species threats data recorded on the SPRAT database between 1999-2002 (Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities (DSEWPaC), 2012i) [Database].
Recovery plan for Pimelea spicata (NSW Department of Environment and Conservation (NSW DEC), 2006e) [Recovery Plan].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Slashing and herbicide application for weed control Recovery plan for Pimelea spicata (NSW Department of Environment and Conservation (NSW DEC), 2006e) [Recovery Plan].
Natural System Modifications:Fire and Fire Suppression:Inappropriate and/or changed fire regimes (frequency, timing, intensity) Recovery plan for Pimelea spicata (NSW Department of Environment and Conservation (NSW DEC), 2006e) [Recovery Plan].
Natural System Modifications:Fire and Fire Suppression:Inappropriate prescribed regimes and/or vegetation management to control fire regimes Species threats data recorded on the SPRAT database between 1999-2002 (Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities (DSEWPaC), 2012i) [Database].
Pollution:Garbage and Solid Waste:Dumping of household and industrial waste Recovery plan for Pimelea spicata (NSW Department of Environment and Conservation (NSW DEC), 2006e) [Recovery Plan].
Residential and Commercial Development:Housing and Urban Areas:Habitat loss, modification and fragmentation due to urban development Species threats data recorded on the SPRAT database between 1999-2002 (Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities (DSEWPaC), 2012i) [Database].
Residential and Commercial Development:Residential and Commercial Development:Habitat modification (clearance and degradation) due to urban development Recovery plan for Pimelea spicata (NSW Department of Environment and Conservation (NSW DEC), 2006e) [Recovery Plan].
Transportation and Service Corridors:Roads and Railroads:Development and/or maintenance of roads Recovery plan for Pimelea spicata (NSW Department of Environment and Conservation (NSW DEC), 2006e) [Recovery Plan].

Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria (CHAH) (2010). Australian Plant Census. [Online]. Australian National Herbarium, Australian National Botanic Gardens and Australian Biological Resources Study . Available from: http://www.anbg.gov.au/chah/apc/.

Groves, R.H. & A.J. Willis (1999). Weeds and loss of native plant biodiversity: some Australian examples. Australian Journal of Environmental Management. 6:156-163.

Harden, G.J. (ed) (1990). Flora of New South Wales. Volume One. Kensington, NSW: University of NSW Press.

Leigh, J.H. & J.D. Briggs (Eds) (1992). Threatened Australian Plants. Overview and Case Studies. New South Wales National Parks and Wildlife Service.

Matarczyk, J.A. (1999). Impacts of Environmental Weeds on Pimelea spicata R.Br. (Thymelaeaceae). Hons. Thesis.

Matarczyk, J.A., A.J. Willis, J.A. Vranjic & J.E. Ash (2002). Herbicides, weeds and endangered species: management of bitou bush (Chrysanthemoides monilifera ssp rotundata) with glyphosate and impacts on the endangered shrub, Pimelea spicata. Biological Conservation. 108(2):133-141.

Nash, S. & M. Matthes (1993). Conservation Research Statement Recovery Plan Pimelea spicata (Revised 1993). Hurstville: NSW NPWS.

NSW Department of Environment and Conservation (NSW DEC) (2006e). Recovery plan for Pimelea spicata. [Online]. Department of Environment and Conservation, NSW. Available from: http://www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/threatened/publications/p-spicata.html.

NSW National Parks & Wildlife Service (NPWS) (2000w). Threatened Species Information - Pimelea spicata. [Online]. NSW National Parks & Wildlife Service, Hurstville. NSW Department of Environment & Conservation. Available from: http://www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/PDFs/tsprofile_pimelea_spicata.pdf.

Rye, B.L. (1990). Thymelaeaceae. In: Flora of Australia. 18:122-215. Canberra: AGPS.

Willis, A.J. (2001). Personal Communication.

Willis, A.J., L. Morin, P.H.R. Moore & R.H. Groves (2004). Potential for population recovery of an endangered native plant by controlling Bridal Creeper with Rust. In: Cullen, J.M. , D.T. Briese, D.J. Kriticos, W.M. Lonsdale, L. Morin, & J.K. Scott, eds. Proceedings of the XI International Symposium on Biological Control of Weeds. Canberra: CSIRO Publishing.

Willis, A.J., McKay, R., Vranjic, J.A., Kilby, M.J. & Groves, R.H. (2003). Comparative seed ecology of the endangered shrub, Pimelea spicata and a threatening weed, bridal creeper: smoke, heat and other fire-related germination cues. Ecological Management and Restoration. 4:55-65. Blackwell.

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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). Pimelea spicata in Species Profile and Threats Database, Department of the Environment, Canberra. Available from: http://www.environment.gov.au/sprat. Accessed Tue, 2 Sep 2014 19:42:13 +1000.