CPBR logo

Australian National Herbarium
Centre for Plant Biodiversity Research

New distributions of
Leptospermum namadgiensis and Olearia rhizomatica
on Yaouk Peak (Southern Tablelands, NSW)

Bernard Pfeil

John Ray Herbarium, Macleay Building A12, University of Sydney, NSW 2006

with contributions from: M. Ballantine, S. Boulton, L. Buza, D. Cunningham, L. Halasz, M.Humphreys, I. Ermayanti, C. Keller, F. Knight, N. Lam, R. Last, N. Leist, J. Matarczyk, B. Mitchell, B. Mumbuila, S. Smith, G. Toohey, V. Torrisi, T. Wardill, R Wilkey.


Yaouk Peak (3551'S 14852'E) is c. 65 km SSW from Canberra and lies south of the A.C.T. border in N.S.W. The peak rises to 1725 m above sea level from a broad rocky ridge top. This ridge top is treeless and shrub dominated from about 1700 m up to the peak. The substrate is composed of porphyritic leucogranite, with muscovite leucogranite to the west of the peak (Snelling 1960). Humic skeletal soil occurs on the ridge top, but is often quite shallow. Deeper loams occur at the woodland margins.

A field trip to Yaouk Peak was undertaken by students participating in the Australian National Herbarium's (CANB) Botanical Internship Programme. The twenty interns assisted by Herbarium staff visited the Peak on the 9th January 1996 to make collections. The range of habitats on the treeless ridge-top was sampled haphazardly in order to find as much floristic diversity as possible. As such, the species list in Table 1 must be considered a preliminary one. Most of the collections were made on the treeless ridge top above 1700 m, although some collections were from the lower, woodland margins.

Heath vegetation, predominantly Leptospermum namadgiensis Lyne, L. micromyrtus Miq. and Kunzea muelleri Benth. partially covers the ridge top area, between many exposed rocky surfaces. The surrounding woodland is dominated by Eucalyptus pauciflora Sieber ex Sprengel with E. debeuzevillei Maiden also present. Eucalyptus pauciflora and Hakea lissosperma R.Br. are occasionally emergent on the higher areas. The flora of this peak was previously poorly known, as only a few collections had been made there (Table 1).

Leptospermum namadgiensis and Olearia rhizomatica Lander ms were found on Yaouk Peak. These collections increase the known geographic ranges of both species (Fig. 1). As very few collections have been made of both of these species, the distributions may still be incomplete.

The collections made on the trip have been determined, databased and incorporated into the CANB collection. The flora known to date of Yaouk Peak is listed in Table 1, and predominantly reflects the flora of the treeless ridge top.

Table 1: Species present on Yaouk Peak

Known flora of Yaouk Peak. New records in bold type. Existing records from ANHSIR and IBIS.

F - frequent; O - occasional; U - uncommon; R - rare; * - Observed but not collected.

Species Local
Species Local
Cryptogams: Myrtaceae
Cladonia sp. O Eucalyptus debeuzevillei Maiden* U
Filicopsida: E. pauciflora Sieber ex Spreng. F
Aspleniaceae Kunzea ericoides (A.Rich.) J.Thompson R
Asplenium flabellifolium Cav. R K. muelleri Benth. F
Dryopteridaceae Leptospermum micromyrtus Miq. F
Polystichum proliferum (R. Br.) Presl R L. namadgiensis Lyne F
Magnoliopsida-Magnoliideae: Proteaceae
Asteraceae Grevillea lanigera Cunn. ex R. Br. O
Celmisia sp. nov. a O Hakea lissosperma R. Br. O
C. sp. nov. b F Rutaceae
Lagenifera stipitata subsp. stipitata (Labill.) Druce O Phebalium squamulosum subsp. ozothamnoides (F. Muell.) Paul G. Wilson R
Olearia rhizomatica Lander ms O Scrophulariaceae
Ozothamnus thyrsoideus DC. R Derwentia perfoliata (R. Br.) B. Briggs & Ehrend. F
Pratia puberula Benth. O Thymelaeaceae
Caryophyllaceae Pimelea linifolia subsp. linifolia Smith O
Stellaria pungens Brongn. F Violaceae
Clusiaceae Viola betonicifolia subsp. betonicifolia Smith O
Hypericum japonicum Thunb. O Magnoliopsida - Liliideae:
Euphorbiaceae Anthericaceae
Poranthera microphylia Brongn. O Arthropodium milleflorum (DC.) J.F. Macbr. O
Geranium antrorsum Carolin R Juncaceae
Goodeniaceae Luzula flaccida (Buchenau) Edgar O
Goodenia hederacea subsp. alpestris (K. Krause) Carolin F Orchidaceae
Fabaceae Chilogiottis valida D.L. Jones U
Acacia alpina F. Muell. F Poaceae
Oxylobium alpestre F Muell. F Poa labillardieri var. labillardieri Steud. F
Oxylobium ellipticum (Labill.) R. Br.* O Deyeuxia monticola var. monticola (Roem. & Shult.) Vickery R
Westringia lucida B. Boivin O


Yaouk Peak vegetation can be described as a mixture of predominantly subalpine (sensu Thompson 1981) and rocky heath species (sensu Helman & Gilmour 1985).

BIOCLIM generates climate estimates based on meteorological data and topographical information (Busby 1991). User input of the distribution of taxa is used to create climatic profiles, which can subsequently allow predictions of further distributions of these taxa (Busby 1991). BIOCLIM requires precipitation and temperature information, but does not take substrate into account. Leptospermum namadgiensis has only been found on a limited number of substrates, namely porphyritic and muscovitic leucogranite (Yaouk Peak), undifferentiated leucogranite (Scabby Range) and granodiorite (The Sentry Box and Mt Namadgi). As L. namadgiensis has not been found on nearby peaks of similar climate and altitude (Mt Morgan-as predicted by BIOCLIM), it appears that L. namadgiensis may be restricted to certain substrates. Further experimentation would be needed to properly test this hypothesis.


Fig. 1. Distribution of Leptospermum namadgiensis Lyne O
and Olearia rhizomatica Lander ms X

Olearia rhizomatica is found on the same substrates as Leptospermum namadgiensis but in addition it is found on Mt Morgan (adamellite and granodiorite). Olearia rhizomatica appears not to be as restricted by substrate as L. namadgiensis.

Conservation implications

Leptospermum namadgiensis is known from populations within Namadgi National Park and Scabby Range Nature Reserve. Lyne (1993) considered that a conservation code of 2RCat was appropriate for this taxon according to the criteria outlined by Briggs & Leigh (1996). As Yaouk Peak does not lie within a conservation reserve, this code should be amended to 2RCa.

Olearia rhizomatica has been recorded from Namadgi and Kosciuszko National Parks, and Scabby Range Nature Reserve. Olearia rhizomatica is listed by Briggs & Leigh (1996) and has been given a conservation code of 2RCit. Again, this should be amended to 2RCi. The citation of 0. rhizomatica in the Tinderry Nature Reserve (Briggs & Leigh 1996) is incorrect, as the specimen from there is not conspecific (I.R. Telford pers. comm.) The populations of Leptospermum namadgiensis and Olearia rhizomatica on Yaouk Peak do not appear to be threatened, as the area is unsuitable for agricultural purposes.


I would like to thank the following organisations and people: the Centre for Plant Biodiversity Research (CPBR) for the opportunities provided by the Botanical Internship Programme; H. Hewson, I. Telford, A. Lyne and J. Palmer for their help, time and patience; P. Hohnen and S. York for their help with database queries; CBG for the use of their library; the administration staff at the Herbarium for use of their computer; and M. Henwood (SYD) for his assistance with the final drafts.


Briggs, J.D. & Leigh J.H. (1996) Rare or threatened Australian plants. CSIRO, Canberra.

Busby, J.R. (1991) BIOCLIM - A bioclimatic analysis and prediction system. In: Margules, C.R. & Austin, M.P. (eds.), Nature conservation: cost effective biolgical surveys and data analysis. CSIRO, Australia.

Helman, C.E. & Gilmour, P.M. (1985) Treeless vegetation above 1000 metres altitude in the A.C.T. Conservation Council, Canberra.

Lyne, A.M. (1993) Leptospermum namadgiensis (Myrtaceae), a new species from the Australian Capital Territory-New South Wales border area. Telopea 5 (2): 319-324.

Snelling, N.J. (1960) The geology and petrology of the Murrumbidgee batholith. The Quarterly Journal of the Geological Society of London 116 (2): 187-217.

Thompson, J. (1981) A key to the plants of the subalpine and alpine zones of the Kosciusko region. Telopea 2 (3): 219-297.

Manuscript accepted 16 April 1997

Return to the
Student Botanical Internship Program
Publications Page

Placed here by Andrew Lyne (al@anbg.gov.au)
Australia map