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 Zieria formosa
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 Zieria formosa, Zieria buxijugum and Zieria parrisiae (NSW National Parks & Wildlife Service, 2002f) [Recovery Plan] as Zieria formosa.
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 Zieria formosa.
Amendment to the list of threatened species under section 178 of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (11/04/2007) (Commonwealth of Australia, 2007f) [Legislative Instrument] as Zieria formosa.
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:Shapely Zieria (NSW Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water (NSW DECCW), 2005nh) [Internet].
NSW:Review of the Threatened Species Conservation Act Schedules 2007-2009 (NSW Scientific Committee (NSW SC), 2009b) [State Species Management Plan].
State Listing Status
NSW: Listed as Critically Endangered (Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995 (New South Wales): December 2013 list) as Zieria formosa
Scientific name Zieria formosa [56733]
Family Rutaceae:Sapindales:Magnoliopsida:Magnoliophyta:Plantae
Species author J.D.Briggs & J.A.Armstrong
Infraspecies author  
Reference Australian Systematic Botany 15(3): 347, figs. 44-45, map fig. 46 (2002).
Other names Zieria sp. 7 (sp. 'O'; Lochiel) [24554]
Zieria formosa Briggs & Armstrong ms. [67256]
Zieria formosa J.Briggs & J.A.Armstrong ms. [67359]
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

A dense rounded shrub up to 2 m high and 1 m diameter (Briggs & Leigh 1990; NSW NPWS 2002f; Armstrong 2002) with pale pink flowers 6-9 mm in diameter, occasionally fading to white (Armstrong 2002).

This species is known from a single population at Lochiel, 6 km south-west of Pambula on the far south coast of NSW. The population is spread over approx. 1 ha on private property (NSW NPWS 2002f; Armstrong 2002).

In 1987 there were 125 'adult' plants of more than 1 m in height in the population, and no seedlings (Briggs & Leigh 1990). The 1997/8 drought caused the death of 70% of the 125 plants counted in 1987. A resurvey of the population in April 2001 found that the adult population had fallen to 38 plants, but there were also another 700 smaller plants (NSW NPWS 2002f; Armstrong 2002).

Synonyms include Zieria sp. 7 Z. sp. H and Z. sp. O,(Briggs & Leigh 1990; Harden 1991).

This species occurs on the north-easterly aspect of an upper, moderately steep slope of a breakaway area above a small valley. The soil is a skeletal, grey, sandy loam. The site is strewn with broken ignimbrite rocks and boulders and there is much exposed surface rock (Briggs & Leigh 1990; NSW NPWS 2002f; Armstrong 2002).

The vegetation is a shrub-dominated heath community that includes Acacia mearnsii, Commersonia fraseri, Dodonaea triquetra, Prostanthera nivea, Pittosporum undulatum, Kunzea ambigua, Leptospermum flavescens, Stypandra glauca, Plectranthus parviflorus, Dendrobium speciosum, Cheilanthes tenuifolia, Platysace lanceolata and Hymenanthera dentata (Briggs & Leigh 1990; NSW NPWS 2002f; Armstrong 2002; Harden 2002).

The plants grow mainly in full sun and conditions on the site during summer would be extremely hot and often very dry. Heavy frosts are uncommon at the site and the driest conditions normally occur during winter (NSW NPWS 2002f). Competition of seedlings and young plants with other understorey species appears relatively low, as there is much exposed rock at the site and there are few other sub-shrubs or herbaceous species present (NSW NPWS 2002f).

Following the 1997/8 drought there has been substantial death of the co-dominant shrubs (mainly Leptospermum flavescens and Kunzea ambigua) at the site leaving few remaining live shrubs on that part of the slope which supports this species (NSW NPWS 2002f).

Flowers occur from Sept. to Nov. (Briggs & Leigh 1990; Harden 1991; NSW NPWS 2002f; Armstrong 2002). The species is almost certainly insect pollinated, and native bees, hover flies and blowflies have been observed visiting the flowers. Fruit at all stages through to maturity can be found on plants still producing flowers in Oct. The fruits develop and ripen rapidly, and seed shed appears to be almost complete by the end of Dec. (NSW NPWS 2002f; Armstrong 2002).

The mature plants flower prolifically and high levels of fruit set were observed in 1986/87 (Briggs in NSW NPWS 2002f). Seedlings of varying size are present at the site, suggesting some recruitment probably would occur in most years (NSW NPWS 2002f).

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 Zieria formosa in Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage (DEH), 2006xd) [Internet].
Climate Change and Severe Weather:Droughts:Drought Zieria formosa in Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage (DEH), 2006xd) [Internet].
Ecosystem/Community Stresses:Indirect Ecosystem Effects:Restricted geographical distribution (area of occupancy and extent of occurrence) Zieria formosa in Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage (DEH), 2006xd) [Internet].
Natural System Modifications:Fire and Fire Suppression:Inappropriate and/or changed fire regimes (frequency, timing, intensity) Zieria formosa in Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage (DEH), 2006xd) [Internet].
Species Stresses:Indirect Species Effects:Low numbers of individuals Zieria formosa in Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage (DEH), 2006xd) [Internet].

Armstrong, J.A. (2002). Zieria (Rutaceae): a systematic and evolutionary study. Australian Systematic Botany. 15:277-463.

Briggs, J.D. & J.H. Leigh (1990). Delineation of Important Habitats of Threatened Plant Species in South-Eastern New South Wales. Canberra: Australian Heritage Commission.

Harden, G.J. (ed.) (1991). Flora of New South Wales, Volume Two. Kensington, NSW: University of NSW Press.

Harden, G.J. (ed.) (2002). Flora of New South Wales, Volume Two - rev. edn. University of New South Wales Press, Sydney.

NSW National Parks & Wildlife Service (2002f). Recovery plan for Zieria formosa, Zieria buxijugum and Zieria parrisiae. [Online]. Hurstville, NSW: NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service. Available from:

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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). Zieria formosa in Species Profile and Threats Database, Department of the Environment, Canberra. Available from: Accessed Fri, 19 Sep 2014 09:45:48 +1000.