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
Listing and Conservation Advices Commonwealth Conservation Advice on Plectranthus nitidus (Threatened Species Scientific Committee, 2008sw) [Conservation Advice].
 
Recovery Plan Decision Recovery Plan required, included on the Commenced List (1/11/2009).
 
Adopted/Made Recovery Plans Border Ranges Rainforest Biodiversity Management Plan - NSW & Queensland (NSW Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water (NSW DECCW), 2010o) [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:Nightcap Plectranthus - profile (NSW Department of Environment and Climate Change (NSW DECC), 2005n) [Internet].
NSW:Nightcap Plectranthus - profile (NSW Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water (NSW DECCW), 2005ji) [Internet].
NSW:Plectranthus nitidus Threatened Species Information (NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service (NSW NPWS), 1999br) [Information Sheet].
QLD:Survey of Threatened Plant Species in South-East Queensland Biographical Region (Halford, D., 1998) [Report].
State Listing Status
NSW: Listed as Endangered (Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995 (New South Wales): December 2013 list)
QLD: Listed as Endangered (Nature Conservation Act 1992 (Queensland): May 2014 list)
Scientific name Plectranthus nitidus [55742]
Family Lamiaceae:Lamiales:Magnoliopsida:Magnoliophyta:Plantae
Species author P.I.Forst.
Infraspecies author  
Reference Forster, P.I. (1992) Austrobaileya 3(4): 736
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
http://www.threatenedspecies.environment.nsw.gov.au/tsprofile/profile.aspx?id=10638

Scientific name: Plectranthus nitidus

Common name: Nightcap Plectranthus

Forster (1992a) reported some morphological variation between the Springbrook and Terania Creek populations with the former being less woody; having consistently thinner leaves with purple colouring and less pronounced venation below; virtually no sessile glands; and unbranched inflorescences. This variation was not considered worthy of formal taxonomic recognition at the time.

Nightcap Plectranthus is a small shrub that grows 30–150 cm tall. Its leaves are rounded, fleshy and have serrated edges. The upper surfaces of leaves are green with a lower surface that is a distinct purple hue. The branches are erect and sparsely covered with short hairs. The axis bracts are lance-shaped to triangular and 3.6–3.8 mm long and the corolla tube is bent at 25–30°. The flowers are tubular, mauve to blue and have a long lower lip. Flowering occurs from February–May (Forster 1992a; NSW DECC 2005n).

Nightcap Plectranthus is restricted to south-east Queensland and north-east NSW where it occurs from the Nightcap Range north to the McPherson Ranges. It has a distributional range of approximately 60 km.

New South Wales
In NSW, the species was previously known from pre-1945 collections from Nightcap National Park, near Terania Creek. Recent collections from Nullum State Forest and Richmond Range State Forest have been made by NSW National Parks and Wildlife Services staff (NSW NPWS 1999n).

Queensland
In Queensland, there are five known locations, one near the Mudgeeraba-Springbrook Road, in Springbrook National Park; one on the Chesters Road section of Springbrook National Park; one at Little Nerang Creek in the Hinze Dam catchment; one at an unnamed creek which runs north-west from the vicinity of the Nerang River Bridge at Numinbah; and the other from the Land Warfare Centre, near Canungra (Biodiversity Assessment and Management 2006; Hinze Dam Alliance 2007).

The Little Nerang Creek population has approximately 50 plants over an area of 1000 m² (Hinze Dam Alliance 2007).

Nightcap Plectranthus is recorded growing within Nightcap National Park, NSW, and Springbrook National Park, Queensland (Briggs & Leigh 1996).

Nightcap Plectranthus occurs on rocky cliff faces or amongst rocky outcrops and boulders. Sites are often damp and sheltered or may be shaded by adjacent canopy. Associated vegetation is usually subtropical rainforest or ecotones between open forest and rainforest to altitudes of 180 m (Forster 1992a; NSW DECC 2005n).

The species co-occurs with Flea Bush (Plectranthus graveolens) and Crofton Weed (Ageratina adenophora) (NSW NPWS 1999n).

Populations of this species are fragmented at the landscape scale. The species has species microhabitat requirements which are only met in rocky rainforest and wet sclerophyll forest streams. The resultant pattern of distribution is one of disjunct and widely separated populations (Hinze Dam Alliance 2007).

Nightcap Plectranthus may occur in association with the White Box-Yellow Box-Blakely's Red Gum Grassy Woodland and Derived Native Grassland ecological community, which is listed under the EPBC Act as critically endangered.

Little is known of the ecology of Nightcap Plectranthus. This species has been recorded flowering from between February and May (NSW DECC 2005n). Reproduction occurs by sexually produced seeds (Hinze Dam Alliance 2007). Fruits develop and mature soon after flowering. The fruit comprise 4 (1-seeded) nutlets which fall from the fruit after maturity. There is no information about seed viability and germination. This species can vegetatively reproduce by developing roots from branch nodes that are in contact with the soil surface (Queensland CRA/RFA Steering Committee 1998).

Nightcap Plectranthus is believed to be fire-sensitive and incapable of regenerating from underground organs following fire events (P.I. Forster cited in Queensland CRA/RFA Steering Committee 1998). This species has an unknown life span.

Nightcap Plectranthus is related to Plectranthus apreptus that occurs in northern Queensland but can be distinguished by its stems, leaves and racemes lacking glandular hairs and nearly always lacking sessile glands (Forster 1992a). The axis bracts of Nightcap Plectranthus are lance-shaped to triangular and 3.6–3.8 mm long rather than ovate and 1.2–1.8 mm long; and the corolla tube is bent at 25–30° rather than 90–120°. The flowers are tubular, mauve to blue and have a longer lower lip (Forster 1992a).

Although habitat clearing is a historical threat to this species, current threats include weed invasion, inappropriate fire regimes and habitat loss.

Fire
This species is suspected to be fire-sensitive and incapable of regenerating from underground organs. The continued exposure of this species to fire would require the regeneration of the species from seed (obligate seeder). If fires occurred too frequently for seed production to occur, localised extinction may occur (Hinze Dam Alliance 2007). Fire is a threat despite the rock outcrop habitat of this species providing some protection; also, there is greater risk for plants in open forest communities (Queensland CRA/RFA Steering Committee 1998).

Weeds
The introduced weeds Crofton Weed (Ageratina adenophora), Mistflower (Ageratina riparia) and Lantana (Lantana camara) are a potential problem to this species' preferred habitat. These weeds threaten the Nightcap Plectranthus through competition for habitat resources (Queensland CRA/RFA Steering Committee 1998).

Habitat Loss
Nightcap Plectranthus prefers shaded/sheltered sites and modification of canopy character may reduce habitat suitability. This is of particular importance at sites in state forest where forest operations may alter adjacent vegetation (NSW DECC 2005n). The clearing of forest edges on the periphery of known habitat is likely to adversely affect individual plants by increasing exposure to sunlight and dessicating winds (Hinze Dam Alliance 2007).

Road maintenance
The Mudgeeraba-Springbrook Road location may be subject to disturbance by landslips after periods of heavy rainfall. Habitat clearing and herbicide drift associated with road maintenance may also threaten this species (Forster 1992a).

The NSW Department of Environment and Climate Change highlights the following recovery actions for Nightcap Plectranthus (NSW DECC 2005n):

  • ensure land managers are aware of the species and that appropriate measures are taken to protect habitat
  • undertake surveys for the species at any site prior to logging operations
  • control introduced weeds in potential habitat areas
  • formally protect known habitat
  • assess known and potential threats at all known sites
  • ensure fire plans mitigate threats to this species
  • map habitat, map populations, asses habitat condition and estimate population extent.

An EPBC Act referral associated with Hinze Dam in south-east Queensland led to a 'Propogation and Translocation Program' to mitigate habitat loss. Plant species involved in the program include the endangered Nightcap Plectranthus and Spiny Gardenia (Randia moorei), and the vulnerable Onion Weed (Owenia cepiodora), Rough-shelled Bush Nut (Macadamia integrifolia) and Macadamia Nut (Macadamia tetraphylla (EPBC Referral 2006/3211).

EPBC Referral 2006/3211 - Hinze Dam Upgrade
The action to increase the dam wall crest height of Hinze Dam (near the Gold Coast, Queensland) by up to 15 m was approved on the condition that a Propagation and Translocation Progam was undertaken on five species, listed under the EPBC Act, at the site (EPBC Referral 2006/3211). The species in this program included the endangered Nightcap Plectranthus and Spiny Gardenia (Randia moorei), and the vulnerable Onion Weed (Owenia cepiodora), Rough-shelled Bush Nut (Macadamia integrifolia) and Macadamia Nut (Macadamia tetraphylla).

The program aims to achieve a two to one replacement ratio sourced from individual specimens located at the impact area and translocated to compensatory habitat. Compensatory habitat must be in close proximity to the current site, and consist of similar site and vegetation character. This program must report back to the Commonwealth to indicate the survival rate of plantings, plant health and size, plant sexual development and the implementation of any site remedial actions (EPBC Referral 2006/3211). Desired compensatory habitat of this species during impact mitigation translocation is specialised as it requires full sun on steep rock with permanent seepage from above with little to no overhead canopy or shade (Hinze Dam Alliance 2007).

Management documentation that may assist in the recovery of Nightcap Plectranthus includes the Lantana Strategic Plan (ARMCANZ et al. 2001a).

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
Climate Change and Severe Weather:Climate Change and Severe Weather:Climate change altering atmosphere/hydrosphere temperatures, rainfall patterns and/or frequency of severe weather events Border Ranges Rainforest Biodiversity Management Plan - NSW & Queensland (NSW Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water (NSW DECCW), 2010n) [State Recovery Plan].
Climate Change and Severe Weather:Habitat Shifting and Alteration:Habitat loss, modification and/or degradation Border Ranges Rainforest Biodiversity Management Plan - NSW & Queensland (NSW Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water (NSW DECCW), 2010n) [State Recovery Plan].
Ecosystem/Community Stresses:Ecosystem Degradation:Decline in habitat quality Border Ranges Rainforest Biodiversity Management Plan - NSW & Queensland (NSW Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water (NSW DECCW), 2010n) [State Recovery Plan].
Ecosystem/Community Stresses:Indirect Ecosystem Effects:Loss and/or fragmentation of habitat and/or subpopulations Border Ranges Rainforest Biodiversity Management Plan - NSW & Queensland (NSW Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water (NSW DECCW), 2010n) [State Recovery Plan].
Geological Events:Avalanches/Landslides:Habitat modification due to landslides Plectranthus nitidus in Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage (DEH), 2006rl) [Internet].
Human Intrusions and Disturbance:Human Intrusions and Disturbance:Human induced disturbance due to unspecified activities Border Ranges Rainforest Biodiversity Management Plan - NSW & Queensland (NSW Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water (NSW DECCW), 2010n) [State Recovery Plan].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive Non-Native/Alien Species:Competition and/or habitat degradation Ageratina riparia (Mistflower, Mist Flower, Creeping Croftonweed, River Eupatorium, Spreading Mistflower) Plectranthus nitidus in Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage (DEH), 2006rl) [Internet].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive Non-Native/Alien Species:Competition and/or habitat degradation Ageratina adenophora (Crofton Weed, Catweed, Hemp Agrimony, Mexican Devil, Sticky Agrimony, Sticky Eupatorium) Plectranthus nitidus in Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage (DEH), 2006rl) [Internet].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive Non-Native/Alien Species:Competition and/or habitat degradation Lantana camara (Lantana, Common Lantana, Kamara Lantana, Large-leaf Lantana, Pink Flowered Lantana, Red Flowered Lantana, Red-Flowered Sage, White Sage, Wild Sage) Plectranthus nitidus in Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage (DEH), 2006rl) [Internet].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive Non-Native/Alien Species:Competition and/or habitat degradation by weeds Border Ranges Rainforest Biodiversity Management Plan - NSW & Queensland (NSW Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water (NSW DECCW), 2010n) [State 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 Border Ranges Rainforest Biodiversity Management Plan - NSW & Queensland (NSW Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water (NSW DECCW), 2010n) [State Recovery Plan].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Presence of pathogens and resulting disease Border Ranges Rainforest Biodiversity Management Plan - NSW & Queensland (NSW Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water (NSW DECCW), 2010n) [State Recovery Plan].
Natural System Modifications:Dams and Water Management/Use:Alteration of hydrological regimes including flooding Commonwealth Conservation Advice on Plectranthus nitidus (Threatened Species Scientific Committee, 2008sw) [Conservation Advice].
Natural System Modifications:Fire and Fire Suppression:Inappropriate and/or changed fire regimes (frequency, timing, intensity) Plectranthus nitidus in Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage (DEH), 2006rl) [Internet].
Border Ranges Rainforest Biodiversity Management Plan - NSW & Queensland (NSW Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water (NSW DECCW), 2010n) [State Recovery Plan].
Transportation and Service Corridors:Roads and Railroads:Development and/or maintenance of roads Plectranthus nitidus in Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage (DEH), 2006rl) [Internet].

Agriculture and Resource Management Council of Australia and New Zealand (ARMCANZ), Australia and New Zealand Environment and Conservation Council and Forestry Ministers (2001a). Weeds of National Significance: Lantana (Lantana camara) Strategic Plan. [Online]. Available from: http://www.dpi.qld.gov.au/cps/rde/xbcr/dpi/IPA-Lantana-Nsplan.pdf.

Biodiversity Assessment and Management (2006). Conservation Values & Management Recommendations - Main Report. [Online]. Report prepared for the Gold Coast City Council. Available from: http://www.goldcoast.qld.gov.au/t_standard.aspx?pid=7070.

Briggs, J.D. & J.H. Leigh (1996). Rare or Threatened Australian Plants - Revised Edition. Collingwood: CSIRO Publishing.

EPBC Referral 2006/3211 (2006). Queensland Bulk Water Supply Authority/Water management and use/Nerang/QLD/Hinze Dam Upgrade. [Online]. Available from: http://www.environment.gov.au/cgi-bin/epbc/epbc_ap.pl?name=current_referral_detail&proposal_id=3211.

Forster, P.I. (1992a). Five New Species of Plectranthus L. Herit (Lamiaceae) from Queensland. Austrobaileya. 3(4):729-740.

Hinze Dam Alliance (2007). Hinze Dam Stage 3: Environmental Impace Statement. [Online]. Report prepared for the Gold Coast City Council. Available from: http://www.hinzedamstage3.com/public_notices_publications.php#5.

NSW Department of Environment and Climate Change (NSW DECC) (2005n). Nightcap Plectranthus - profile. [Online]. Available from: http://www.threatenedspecies.environment.nsw.gov.au/tsprofile/profile.aspx?id=10638.

NSW Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water (NSW DECCW) (2010o). Border Ranges Rainforest Biodiversity Management Plan - NSW & Queensland. [Online]. Sydney South, New South Wales: Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water. Available from: http://www.environment.gov.au/resource/border-ranges-rainforest-biodiversity-management-plan.

NSW National Parks & Wildlife Service (NSW NPWS) (1999n). Threatened Species Information. Plectranthus nitidus. [Online]. Hurstville: NSW NPWS. Available from: http://www.npws.nsw.gov.au/wildlife/thr_profiles/plenit.pdf.

Queensland CRA/RFA Steering Committee (1998). Survey of Threatened Plant Species in South East Queensland Biogeographical Region. [Online]. Available from: http://www.daff.gov.au/rfa/regions/qld/environment/threatened-plant.

EPBC Act email updates can be received via the Communities for Communities newsletter and the EPBC Act newsletter.

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). Plectranthus nitidus in Species Profile and Threats Database, Department of the Environment, Canberra. Available from: http://www.environment.gov.au/sprat. Accessed Sat, 30 Aug 2014 11:07:21 +1000.