Dungowan Starbush  |  

Asterolasia beckersii

Status: Critically Endangered on the EPBC Act list

Asterolasia beckersii was formerly known as Asterolosia sp. ‘Dungowan Creek’ Beckers. A. beckersii is an erect shrub, 3 m tall. Stems with a dense stellate indumentum, stellae rusty to orange-brown in colour. Leaves mostly shortly petiolate; petiole (0.5)1.5–5.5(–9.5) mm long; lamina oblanceolate to obovate or elliptic, (6–)15–45(–55) mm long, (4–)616(–22) mm wide, apex obtuse or rounded, base cuneate to obtuse, margins entire, undulate; abaxial surface with densely overlapping hyaline stellate hairs, stellae 0.35–0.75 mm diameter, with larger rusty coloured rays; adaxial surface with a short indumentum of hyaline stellate hairs, stellae 13–25 per mm2, 0.2–0.3 mm diameter. Inflorescence a terminal (occasionally axillary) umbel of 1–3 flowers, usually with one or two flowers opening at one time, occasionally with 3 flowers open at once; pedicel 5–8(–10) mm long in flower, lengthening slightly as fruit develops. Calyx inconspicuous. Petals 6–7 mm long, cream to white; abaxial surface with hyaline stellate hairs, rays free; adaxial surface glabrous. Stamens: filaments glabrous; anthers 1.2–2.0 mm long. Carpels 5; ovary densely hairy with coarse stellate hairs; style glabrous. Cocci with stellate hairs in 2 layers, a lower obscured layer of smaller hairs with an upper layer of larger rusty coloured hairs; cocci beaked to 2.5–3.5 mm long. Seed 2.0–2.5 mm long, dark grey-brown, glabrous, reniform.

Government evidence of impact of climate change:

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  • Australian Government, Conservation Advice, Asterolasia beckersii

    Germination in Rutaceae; in fire prone habitats of eastern Australia; may be promoted by fire related factors such as heat and smoke or their interaction (Mackenzie et al. 2016).

    Other threats that may have been present in the past include inappropriate fire regimes (particularly too infrequent fire).

    Auld et al (2019) suggest that there is a risk to recovery of A. beckersii after the 2019 2020 fires based on a large proportion of the species is now likely to be present as juvenile plants (post fire seedlings) and is at risk of a future fire occurring before these plants can mature and replenish the soil seed bank.

    There is now also the risk to post fire recovery at two sites (Dungowan Creek and Back River NR) from herbivores and a future fire before plants have had time to matures and replenish their soil seed banks. c) Extreme fluctuations.