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 as Grevillea wilkinsonii
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 the Tumut Grevillea (Grevillea wilkinsonii) (NSW National Parks & Wildlife Service, 2001d) [Recovery Plan] as Grevillea wilkinsonii.
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] as Grevillea wilkinsonii.
State Government
    Documents and Websites
NSW:Review of the Threatened Species Conservation Act Flora Schedules: Recommendations to the Scientific Committee: Final Summary Report December 2002 (Hogbin, P., 2002) [Report].
NSW:Threatened Species Information: Grevillea wilkinsonii (NSW National Parks & Wildlife Service, 1999j) [Internet].
NSW:Tumut Grevillea - profile (NSW Office of Environment and Heritage (NSW OEH), 2013i) [Internet].
State Listing Status
NSW: Listed as Endangered (Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995 (New South Wales): December 2013) as Grevillea wilkinsonii
Scientific name Grevillea wilkinsonii [56396]
Family Proteaceae:Proteales:Magnoliopsida:Magnoliophyta:Plantae
Species author Makinson
Infraspecies author  
Reference Telopea 5(2) (1993) 351.
Other names Grevillea wilkinsonii Makinson ms. [67246]
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: Grevillea wilkinsonii

Common name: Tumut Grevillea

The Tumut Grevillea occurs in two disjunct sub-populations and, although clearly of the same species, the upstream 'Goobarragandra' and the downstream 'Lacmalac' sub-populations show differences in certain morphological characteristics, which are probably genetically fixed. The most obvious differences between the two sub-populations are leaf length (8—12.5 cm in the Goobarragandra sub-population, as against 9.5—17 cm in the Lacmalac sub-population); number of serrations (5—11 teeth per side as against 13—15 per side); leaf-serration size (up to 2 mm length as against up to 4 mm), and conflorescence deflexion in flowering stage (normally 90—120° as against <90°). A less consistent characteristic is conflorescence length where the rachis is 40—55 mm long in the 'Goobarragandra' sub-population, against 20—50 mm in the 'Lacmalac' sub-population (Makinson 1993).

The Tumut Grevillea is an ascending to erect shrub when young, which becomes denser and more spreading with age or when growing under a dense canopy. The species grows to 2 m tall and wide or, rarely, sprawling to 4 m wide. The flowers are purple-pink, with a lilac-pink style with a pale yellow tip (Makinson 1993, 2000b; NSW National Parks & Wildlife Service 2001d; Olde & Marriott 1995a).

The Tumut Grevillea occurs primarily in south-east NSW where it is restricted to a 20 km stretch of the Goobarragandra River, 18 km south-east of Tumut (Briggs & Wright 1998; Makinson 2000b). There is also a small colony of approximately seven plants known to occur near Gundagai (Taws 2011). The species' distribution lies in Tumut Shire Local Government Area (LGA) and the South West Slopes Region of the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS). It is uncertain whether the species formerly had a wider distribution along the Goobarragandra River, or elsewhere, as there are no historic records of the species from other localities.

It appears that within the known distribution, the original population suffered some fragmentation, primarily due to land clearing and grazing by domestic stock. Nine small sections of riparian habitat along the Goobarragandra River supported the Tumut Grevillea. In 2001, seven sites supported 80% of the population and occurred on private freehold land. The remaining two sites are on Crown land. The private land close to the populations on the riverbank has been extensively cleared and is used for stock grazing. The Crown Land sites are largely uncleared but have been accessible to domestic stock in the past (Briggs & Wright 1998; NSW National Parks & Wildlife Service 2001d).

The species was discovered in 1982, described in 1993 and initial surveys were carried out in this period to measure the size and structure of the population (Taws 2011). A survey was carried out in 1998 to assess the total population size. Planting of tubestock under agreements with private landholders was carried out as an identified recovery action after the 1998 survey. The small colony near Gundagai was found shortly after the 1998 survey. The total population was again measured in 2008 surveys (Taws 2011).

A 2008 found that the total 'natural' Tumut Grevillea population was 514, with 56% adults. Including the planted individuals, the population was estimated to be 805 (Taws 2011). Populations are characterised by the presence of a wide range of size classes, indicating that recruitment is reasonably frequent (Briggs & Wright 1998; NSW NPWS 2001d).

The Tumut Grevillea grows on river banks and nearby slopes in rocky, loamy soils over granitic and ultrabasic substrates (Makinson 2000b). It occurs in alluvial pockets and crevices on granodiorite and serpentinite at two sites, and alluvial and sandy soils at another site on coarse grained granitic rock. All other sites are on ultrabasic rock types (such as basalt), which occur along the middle reaches of the Goobarragandra River between Lacmalac and Goobarragandra. The altitude of habitat for the species is between 310 m and 340 m above sea-level.

Most individuals grow close to the edge of the river, well within the flood zone, and a few occur up to 40 m from the river, well outside the flood zone. At all sites the native vegetation includes remnant, riverine shrub communities adjacent to open-forest. The most common tree species in these communities are Eucalyptus blakelyi, E. macrorhyncha, E. bridgesiana and E. melliodora. Brachychiton populneus grows in nearby paddocks. Taller shrubs of the lower slopes and riverbanks include Lomatia myricoides, Hakea microcarpa, Leptospermum brevipes, L. obovatum, Kunzea ericoides, Acacia melanoxylon, A. pravissima, Bursaria lasiophylla, Callistemon sieberi, Pomaderris angustifolia, Dodonaea viscosa subsp. spatulata and Xanthorrhoea glauca subsp. angustifolia. Smaller shrubs include Grevillea lanigera, Calytrix tetragona, Correa reflexa and Crowea exalata (Briggs & Wright 1998; NSW NPWS 2001d).

Flowering of the Tumut Grevillea is prolific between October and November, which is considered to be an unusually narrow flowering period for a Grevillea species. However, a weak second flowering period often occurs in autumn (Makinson 1993, 2000b). The fruit produced following the main flowering event matures during December and early January and dehisces to release one seed (sometimes two) (Briggs & Wright 1998; NSW National Parks & Wildlife Service 2001d). The rate of fruit set is high, though there also appears to be a fairly high predation of the ripening fruits and fallen seed. Ants may have a role in seed dispersal, as in one instance numerous seedlings were found emerging from an ant's nest (Butler & Makinson 1993)

Most species in the 'toothbrush-flowered' group of grevilleas are adapted to bird pollination, but the Tumut Grevillea has small flowers and they are believed to be insect pollinated. Native bees and ants have been collected from flowering plants, and a variety of flies, beetles and introduced honey bees have been noted as visitors. The flower has a strong and rather unpleasant perfume, not unlike the smell of mice (Makinson 1993; Briggs & Wright 1998; NSW NPWS 2001d).

Individual growth rates and longevity have not been monitored in the field, but the growth rates of cultivated plants have been moderate and some individuals have been known to survive for at least 15 years. It is thought that individuals probably live up to 30 years in the wild. All known sites contain individuals of varying ages. Numerous seedlings have been observed at some sites in the wild, and seedlings have also been observed to become established under planted trees. Most healthy, adult plants occur in open areas and the species thus seems to prefer full sun to partial shade and is rarely found under the canopy of dense vegetation. It is to be noted that Gleeson (1994) found the species capable of inbreeding and outbreeding (Briggs & Wright 1998; NSW NPWS 2001d).

The response of the Tumut Grevillea to fire is not well known. Observations of an ex-situ population at the Tumut Ecological Reserve Trust Reserve in early December 1998 noted the death of adult plants and the subsequent germination of seedlings after a low intensity wildfire. Closely related Grevillea species are known to be fire sensitive and function as obligate seeders (produce a seed bank which responds to fire). Such species can be threatened by burning at too frequent intervals. In addition, field observations of the Tumut Grevillea have found only limited resprouting from stem bases and no signs of resprouting from lignotubers or root suckers after physical damage to adult plants. Numerous seedlings of this species have established in the absence of fire, both in natural populations and near cultivated plants, indicating that recruitment is not fire dependent, but may be improved by fire (Briggs & Wright 1998; NSW NPWS 2001d).

The most distinctive features of the Tumut Grevillea, as compared with its close south-eastern Australian relatives, are the oblong-shaped leaves with regular, small serrations on the margins and the small lilac-pink flowers in toothbrush-like heads. It may be confused with the Fern-leaf Grevillea (Grevillea longifolia) and is distantly related to G. sericea, a native of the Hawkesbury sandstones around Sydney, has similar-coloured flowers (Briggs & Wright 1998; NSW NPWS  2001d). G. longifolia has longer leaves, from 7—22 cm (compared to 5—17 cm in the Tumut Grevillea), longer pistils of 21—24 mm (compared to 14—15 mm long for the Tumut Grevillea) and erect conflorescences (deflexed or decurved in the Tumut Grevillea) (Olde & Marriott 1995a; NSW NPWS 1999j).

Known threats


Seven of the nine natural sub-populations of the Tumut Grevillea along the Goobarragandra River occur on private land and most of these are subject to varying degrees of direct grazing damage and associated habitat degradation by stock, particularly cattle. Grazing has an impact on all size classes of the species and probably inhibits regeneration. Vigorous growth of juvenile plants has been observed following the exclusion of stock with fencing. This suggests that cattle grazing has a substantial impact on the regeneration of the species. Continued monitoring of treatment and control sites is likely to assist in determining the actual extent of the impact of grazing on the species (Briggs & Wright 1998; NSW NPWS 2001d).

Weed infestation

There are two highly invasive, introduced weed species, Blackberry (Rubus fruticosus complex) and Willow (Salix sp.) at several sites where the Tumut Grevillea occurs. Blackberry poses the most immediate threat, as large patches have colonised the river bank in parts of Tumut Grevillea habitat. Uncontrolled Blackberry plants will smother and kill adult Tumut Grevillea plants and prevent seedling establishment. Willows, if uncontrolled, are likely to increase in density along the river banks and create high levels of shading believed to also be unfavourable for the survival of the Tumut Grevillea. Other weed species that are present at some sites and may need future management include Paspalum (Paspalum dilatatum), Phalaris (Phalaris aquatica), Briar Rose (Rosa rubiginosa), Purple Top (Verbena sp.) and wildling fruit trees (Malus spp. and Prunus spp.) (Briggs & Wright 1998; NSW NPWS 2001d).

Competition from native species

At some sites dense stands of Slender Tea Tree (Leptospermum brevipes) and Blunt-leaved Tea Tree (L. obovatum) pose a threat through direct competition and shading. The invasion of Leptospermum spp. into Tumut Grevillea habitat should be monitored to determine if there is a need to control the spread of these species (Briggs & Wright 1998; NSW NPWS 2001d).


Much of the land surrounding the Goobarragandra River has been extensively cleared for grazing and in some areas this clearing has extended nearly to the edge of the river. Clearing of the riparian zone in the past has almost certainly destroyed Tumut Grevillea individuals and their habitat. Monitoring should be undertaken in the future to ensure that no further clearing takes place (Briggs & Wright 1998; NSW NPWS 2001d).

Potential Threats


Until the response of the species to fire is known, a precautionary approach should be taken and fire excluded from sites with known Tumut Grevillea occurrence. If any of the known sites are accidentally burnt and it is demonstrated that the Tumut Grevillea is fire sensitive, then particular fire exclusion strategies may need to be developed. The need for such strategies will depend on the extent of successful seedling regeneration following a fire event and an assessment of the potential frequency of future fire events. Because of the low numbers of mature plants, it is not considered appropriate to experimentally burn natural occurrences of Grevillea wilkinsonii (Briggs & Wright 1998; NSW NPWS 2001d).


Because of clearing in the upper parts of the Goobarragandra River catchment, flooding intensities may have increased since European settlement. It was recorded that six large adult and 10 medium-sized Tumut Grevillea inidividuals were destroyed during a flood event in winter 1993. Flooding may also now have a more significant impact on the overall population because a larger percentage of the surviving plants are within the flood zone. However, the positive ecological role that flooding may have by creating new sites for recruitment via the removal of competing vegetation remains unassessed (Briggs & Wright 1998; NSW NPWS 2001d).

Planting of Tumut Grevillea tubestock has occurred on numerous private properties adjacent to the Goobarragandra River as a recovery action for the species. To date, the planting work has resulted in the addition of approximately 500 individuals to the overall population of the species.

The plantings have been largely successful in establishment and subsequent reproduction, indicating that the planting of tubestock is a viable means of establishing new colonies and promoting further recovery of the species (Taws 2011).

Documents relevant to the management of the Tumut Grevillea can be found 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
Agriculture and Aquaculture:Agriculture and Aquaculture:Land clearing, habitat fragmentation and/or habitat degradation Recovery Plan for the Tumut Grevillea (Grevillea wilkinsonii) (NSW National Parks & Wildlife Service, 2001d) [Recovery Plan].
Agriculture and Aquaculture:Livestock Farming and Grazing:Grazing pressures and associated habitat changes Recovery Plan for the Tumut Grevillea (Grevillea wilkinsonii) (NSW National Parks & Wildlife Service, 2001d) [Recovery Plan].
Climate Change and Severe Weather:Storms and Flooding:flooding Recovery Plan for the Tumut Grevillea (Grevillea wilkinsonii) (NSW National Parks & Wildlife Service, 2001d) [Recovery Plan].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive Non-Native/Alien Species:Competition and/or habitat degradation Rubus fruticosus aggregate (Blackberry, European Blackberry) Recovery Plan for the Tumut Grevillea (Grevillea wilkinsonii) (NSW National Parks & Wildlife Service, 2001d) [Recovery Plan].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive Non-Native/Alien Species:Competition and/or habitat degradation Salix spp. except S.babylonica, S.x calodendron & S.x reichardtii (Willows except Weeping Willow, Pussy Willow and Sterile Pussy Willow) Recovery Plan for the Tumut Grevillea (Grevillea wilkinsonii) (NSW National Parks & Wildlife Service, 2001d) [Recovery 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].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive Non-Native/Alien Species:Grazing, tramping, competition and/or habitat degradation Bos taurus (Domestic Cattle) Species threats data recorded on the SPRAT database between 1999-2002 (Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities (DSEWPaC), 2012i) [Database].
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 Species threats data recorded on the SPRAT database between 1999-2002 (Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities (DSEWPaC), 2012i) [Database].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Problematic Native Species:Invasion and competition from native plant species Recovery Plan for the Tumut Grevillea (Grevillea wilkinsonii) (NSW National Parks & Wildlife Service, 2001d) [Recovery Plan].
Natural System Modifications:Dams and Water Management/Use:Alteration of hydrological regimes including flooding Species threats data recorded on the SPRAT database between 1999-2002 (Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities (DSEWPaC), 2012i) [Database].
Natural System Modifications:Fire and Fire Suppression:Inappropriate and/or changed fire regimes (frequency, timing, intensity) 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 the Tumut Grevillea (Grevillea wilkinsonii) (NSW National Parks & Wildlife Service, 2001d) [Recovery Plan].

Briggs, J.D. & G.T. Wright (1998). Grevillea wilkinsonii (Tumut Grevillea) Draft NSW and National Recovery Plan. Hurstville: NSW NPWS.

Butler, G. (1995). Species Recovery Plan for Grevillea wilkinsonii: previously Grevillea sp. nov. (Tumut) (Tumut Grevillea). Canberra: Aust. Nat. Bot. Gardens.

Butler, G. & Makinson, R. (1993). Species Recovery Plan for Grevillea wilkinsonii (Tumut Grevillea). Canberra: Aust. Nat. Bot. Gardens.

Gleeson, T. (1994). Patterns of genetic variation in Grevillea wilkinsonii, G. acanthifolia and G. ramosissima. Hons. Thesis. Canberra: Aust. Nat. University.

Makinson, R.O. (1993). Grevillea wilkinsonii (Proteaceae) a new species from southern New South Wales. Telopea. 5(2):351-358.

Makinson, R.O. (2000b). Proteaceae 2 - Grevillea. In: Flora of Australia. 17A:1-524. Melbourne: ABRS/CSIRO.

NSW National Parks & Wildlife Service (1999j). Threatened Species Information: Grevillea wilkinsonii. [Online]. Hurstville: NSW NPWS. Available from:

NSW National Parks & Wildlife Service (2001d). Recovery Plan for the Tumut Grevillea (Grevillea wilkinsonii). [Online]. Hurstville: NSW NPWS. Available from:

Olde, P.M. & N.R. Marriott (1995a). The Grevillea Book; Volume 3. Kenthurst, NSW: Kangaroo Press.

Taws, N. (1994). Survey for the Tumut Grevillea Grevillea wilkinsonii R.O. Makinson.

Taws, N. (1999). Re-survey of the Tumut Grevillea, Grevillea wilkinsonii. Canberra: Taws Botanical Research.

Taws, N. (2011). Monitoring the endangered Tumut Grevillea (Grevillea Wilkinsonii R.O. Makinson). Australiasian Plant Conservation. 20 (3):10-12.

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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). Grevillea wilkinsonii in Species Profile and Threats Database, Department of the Environment, Canberra. Available from: Accessed Thu, 24 Apr 2014 10:12:52 +1000.