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, included on the Commenced List (1/11/2009).
Adopted/Made Recovery Plans Calotis moorei Approved Recovery Plan (Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water, 2009) [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:A burr-daisy - profile (NSW Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water (NSW DECCW), 2005bf) [Internet].
State Listing Status
NSW: Listed as Endangered (Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995 (New South Wales): December 2013 list)
Scientific name Calotis moorei [55381]
Family Asteraceae:Asterales:Magnoliopsida:Magnoliophyta:Plantae
Species author P.S.Short
Infraspecies author  
Reference Muelleria 7(3) (1991) 405.
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: Calotis moorei

Common name: Moore's Burr-daisy

Moore's Burr-daisy was described in 1991 "with some reservations" (Short 1991). Moore's Burr-daisy may be a hybrid which produces asexually (Short 1991).

Moore's Burr-daisy generally grows among the very similar Calotis cymbacantha; in the field, these species appear to be identical. The only differences between the species appear to be the number of awns on the achene (seed). Calotis cymbacantha possesses two awns, whereas Moore's Burr-daisy has between four and eight awns. Few specimens have been found with three awns, and in these specimens only some achenes in each flower head are three-awned, possibly suggesting a single gene difference between the species (J. Everett pers. comm. cited in NSW DEC 2005). Further genetic study is required to resolve the status of this species in relation to others in the genus.

Moore's Burr-daisy is an erect to ascending perennial herb to 45 cm high. Basal leaves are not known; cauline (stem) leaves are usually spatulate (spoon-shaped) or oblanceolate to obovate, to 7 cm long and 2–14 mm wide. Leaf margins are coarsely toothed or lobed, sessile. The upper leaves are lanceolate to ovate, often entire and have septate hairs.

Moore's Burr-daisy flower-heads are 6–9 mm in diameter, solitary, and terminal (at the end of flower stems). Involucral bracts are ovate, septate-hairy and are also glandular hairy on margins. The receptacles are ovoid and have scales. Ray florets are yellow and the ligule is 4.5–5.8 mm long. The achenes are 1.3–2.2 mm long, tuberculate, glabrous and wingless. The pappus of 3–8 barbed awns, with equal or unequal length, are fused and are expanded at the base, and are hairy within the cup (Harden 1992).

All but one of the specimens of Moore's Burr-daisy have been collected from Mt Mulyah, west of Louth, NSW. The other collection was made in 1913 from Zara, near Deniliquin, in NSW. Calotis cymbacantha has only been collected a few times in the Riverina, which marks the very eastern edge of its range. It is unlikely that Moore's Burr-daisy will prove to be any more common than C. cymbacantha in the region (NSW DEC 2005).

There are eight collections from Mt Mulyah between 1967 and 1990 in the Australian National Herbarium in Canberra. There appear to be three different localities at Mt Mulyah. One of these was examined in 2003, near the homestead. Forty-five Moore's Burr-daisies were located in this area but this count was not exhaustive (NSW DEC 2005).

The Draft Recovery Plan (NSW DEC 2005) has two main collection points that give this species a range of occurrence of about 400 km².

The Australian Virtual Herbarium (CHAH 2008a) displays three main areas of collection that give this species a range of occurrence of about 80 000 km²; the extra data point is approximately 320 km southwest of the Mt Mulyah (Louth) population and is not mentioned in the Draft Recovery Plan (NSW DEC 2005).

The area of occupancy is for this species is difficult to estimate; however the area of Mt Mulyah is 49 000 ha (NSW DEC 2005).

Moore's Burr-daisy is known from two populations, the type locality at Mt Muyah, northwest of Louth, and an earlier record at Zara, near Deniliquin. At Mt Mulyah there are three different localities where this species occurs. A population estimate is unavailable; however, a non-exhaustive survey, in 2003, located 45 individuals (NSW DEC 2005).

Moore's Burr-daisy does not occur in reserves: Mt Mulyah is perpetual lease.

Moore's Burr-daisy occurs on red-brown fine sand in relatively flat areas on upper areas of low sandhills. Soils at the Zara locality are not known, however, Moore's Burr-daisy may occur in habitat similar to an enclosure Porteners (1993) describes as a sandhill.

Vegetation near the homestead at the Mt Mulyah site is predominantly a herbfield and grassland, with only a few shrubs. The original upper storey vegetation at Mt Mulyah was probably Acacia cambagei (Gidgee) woodland but stands that remain do not contain Moore's Burr-daisy as a component. This species has been found growing among a large population of the closely related species Calotis cymbacantha. Other populations of C. cymbacantha observed tended to occur in open areas away from stands of trees or shrubs. Currently, C. cymbacantha appears to be the best indicator of occurrence of Moore's Burr-daisy. When the various collections were gathered scattered plants of Dodonaea viscosa subsp. angustissima (Narrow-leaf Hop Bush), mostly in early stages of growth, were present (Short 1991). NSW DEC (2005) suggests that Narrow-leaf Hop Bush suppresses herb growth and may stifle Moore's Burr-daisy.

Moore's Burr-daisy flowers in September. It is a perennial which flowers in the first year of growth. The conspicuous yellow flowers indicate that this species commonly cross-pollinates. It has been observed that a full complement of fruit are set within each capitulum (Harden 1992; Short 1991).

Moore's Burr-daisy is described as a perennial herb. Some plants observed in September 2003 appeared to be drying out. Collected specimens did not exhibit the well developed root system normally associated with perennial herbs. Specimens have been collected from July to April, suggesting that plants may persist in good seasons. There is no specific information about the biology and ecology of this species. Short (1991) noted that conspicuous yellow ray florets are generally associated with cross pollination, and considered this likely with Moore's Burr-daisy. The closely related Calotis cymbacantha is said to be palatable to stock (Cunningham et al. 1992). This is only likely prior to flowering. Once the seed heads have developed, the plant becomes very spiny.

Moore's Burr-daisy is vegetatively similar to Calotis cymbacantha, differing in the number of awns on the fruit (four or more awns for Moore's Burr-daisy versus two awns for C. cymbacantha). Moore's Burr-daisy is also vegetatively similar to some forms of C. erinacea, but C. erinacea has glabrous branches and leaves, and the body of the fruit is smooth as opposed to tuberculate for Moore's Burr-daisy (Short 1991).

There are no obvious threats to Moore's Burr-daisy at Mt Mulyah and it may not be in decline; however, weed invasion, clearing, agricultural activity, and grazing may impact this species (NSW DEC 2005). A very small localised population is inherently at risk from chance events. If the species proves to be confined to Mt Mulyah, and the population is small, precautionary measures will be required. Small populations are also more susceptible to adverse genetic influences, such as inbreeding depression.

Australian National Herbarium staff (C.W.E. Moore pers. comm. in Short 1991) doubt that plants survive more than two years. It is suggested that this may be because of the invasion of Narrow-leaf Hop Bush, which tends to suppress herb growth. The area occupied by the extant population is very open and unlikely to become dominated by Narrow-leaf Hop Bush due to the proximity to the homestead. Elsewhere on the property there are extensive open areas where C. cymbacantha occurs, presumably indicative of appropriate habitat. Hop Bush regeneration could not be construed as a major threat.

Agricultural (ploughing and clearing) activity may threaten Moore's Burr-daisy. However, seeds are long lived in the soil and occasional substrate disturbance shouldn't suppress the long-term viability of this species. Australian National Herbarium staff (C.W.E. Moore pers. comm. in Short 1991) recorded that 'recently a portion of the area has been cleared using the blade plough' and suggested that 'perhaps there will be another population of Moore's Burr-daisy, if the seed remains viable long enough'.

Grazing is a potential threat to the populations at Mt Mulyah, though the extent of the threat is uncertain. In 2003, none of the plants appeared to have been grazed. When mature, the plant is unlikely to be palatable due to the sharp, woody awns on the seeds. In dry times, the plant persists as seed in the soil and so would be unaffected by even heavy grazing pressure. Impacts are most likely following emergence until maturity. At this time heavy stocking rates could be detrimental. The current stocking rate of 8.2 sheep/km² is less than half the average of 21/km² for the area between Wanaaring and Louth, as estimated by Landsberg and Stol (1996). This stocking rate does not appear to be affecting the population observed near the homestead, even though it is less than 500 m from an artesian bore. In the same study Landsberg and Stol found there were 24 goats/km² and 11 kangaroos/km². Both may contribute to grazing influence on Moore's Burr-daisy, either directly or indirectly by reducing other preferred forage, thereby transferring interest to herbs such as Moore's Burr-daisy.

There are a number of recovery actions outlined by NSW DEC (2005) for the recovery and conservation of Moore's Burr-daisy, including:

  • Prevent further clearing of potential habitat.
  • Instigate monitoring studies within known populations; focus on life history, fecundity and recruitment to determine the success of recovery actions and to guide future actions.
  • Conduct experimental studies on the effects of grazing disturbance; if found to be a threat, investigate fencing and other barriers for this species.
  • Survey for new populations.
  • Clarify taxonomy in collaboration with Botanic Garden Trust: conduct genetic analysis to determine whether Moore's Burr-daisy is genetically distinct from C. cymbacantha.

The Moore's Burr-daisy Draft Recovery Plan (NSW DEC 2005) has extensive information on the management of this species.

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 Calotis moorei Approved Recovery Plan (Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water, 2009) [Recovery Plan].
Ecosystem/Community Stresses:Indirect Ecosystem Effects:Restricted geographical distribution (area of occupancy and extent of occurrence) Calotis moorei in Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage, 2006el) [Internet].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Problematic Native Species:Competition and/or habitat degradation Dodonaea viscosa subsp. angustissima (Narrow-leaf Hop-bush, Desert Hopbush) Calotis moorei Approved Recovery Plan (Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water, 2009) [Recovery Plan].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Problematic Native Species:plant Calotis moorei in Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage, 2006el) [Internet].
Species Stresses:Indirect Species Effects:Poor recruitment (regeneration) and declining population numbers Calotis moorei in Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage, 2006el) [Internet].

Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria (CHAH) (2008a). Australia's Virtual Herbarium. [Online]. Canberra: Centre for Plant Biodiversity Research. Available from:

Cunningham, G.M., W.E. Mulham, P.L. Milthorpe & J.H. Leigh (1992). Plants of Western New South Wales. Melbourne: Inkata Press.

Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water (2009). Calotis moorei Approved Recovery Plan. [Online]. Sydney. New South Wales: DECCW. Available from:

Harden, G.J. (Ed.) (1992). Flora of New South Wales Volume 3. Kensington, NSW: University of NSW Press.

Landsberg, J. & J. Stol (1996). Spatial distribution of sheep, feral goats and kangaroos in woody rangeland paddocks. Rangeland Journal. 18:270-291.

NSW Department of Environment and Conservation (NSW DEC) (2005). Draft Recovery Plan: Calotis moorei Recovery Plan. [Online]. Currently known as NSW Department of Environment and Climate Change. Hurstville, NSW: NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service. Available from:

Porteners, M. (1993). The natural vegetation of the Hay Plain: Booligal-Hay and Deniliquin-Bendigo 1:250,000 maps. Cunninghamia. 3:1-122.

Short, P.S. (1991). A new species of Calotis R.Br. (Asteraceae: Astereae) from New South Wales. Muelleria. 7(3):405-410.

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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). Calotis moorei in Species Profile and Threats Database, Department of the Environment, Canberra. Available from: Accessed Fri, 19 Sep 2014 02:40:01 +1000.