Many-flowered Commersonia  |  

Commersonia apella

Status: Critically Endangered on the EPBC Act list

Shrub erect, spreading, 1.5Ð2_x 1Ð2.5 m, stellate hairy. Mature leaf petiole 2.8Ð4 mm long;
blade scarcely discolorous, greyish-green above paler greyish-green, ovate, entires, 8Ð30 x 4Ð
14 mm; both surfaces densely stellate hairy. Margin irregularly serrulate, apex acute or obtuse.
Juvenile leaf trilobed and ~ 3 x adult size. Inflorescence leaf-opposed along flowering branch,
7.5Ð23.5mm long, flowers 3Ð15 per inflorescence. Bud base obtuse; apex rounded, strongly
ribbed. Calyx green towards base, lobes white; total length 3.3Ð4.5 mm; tube 0.6Ð1.2mm long;
lobes ovate, 2.6Ð3.8 x 1.9Ð2.2 mm, 70Ð84% of total length, apex acute; both surfaces stellate
hairy. Petals creamy-yellow throughout, 2.2Ð2.7 x 1.1Ð1.6 mm; base scarcely gibbous (cupped)
above point of attachment, apical ligule narrowly oblong to narrowly spathulate, 1.4Ð1.8 x 0.4Ð
0.45 mm, with scattered, white, stellate hairs on inner surface of ligule and outer surface of
base, apex not recurved and just longer than calyx tube. Staminal tube present. Staminodes 1
between each stamen, white, ovate to narrowly ovate, 1.3Ð1.4 x 0.55Ð0.6 mm; outer surface
densely stellate hairy. Filaments 0.4Ð0.5 x 0.15Ð0.25 mm, glabrous. Anthers yellowish-cream
and dark red towards centre, 0.3Ð0.5 x 0.4Ð0.5 mm; pollen yellow. Ovary 5-loculate, globose,
0.5Ð0.6 x 0.6Ð0.7 mm, outer surface with pre-setae (bristle) outgrowths. Ovules 2 per locule.
Styles free, 0.5Ð0.8mm long, fused at stigmas. Fruit ellipsoid, ~2.3_4.5 mm, wings on
dehiscence lines ~0.4mm long, outer surface with dense, soft, white stellate hairs beneath hairy
setae up to 0.4 mm long, on the wing and towards apex of fruit; seed ellipsoid, 1.5 x 0.8Ð0.9
mm; exotesta black, smooth, glossy; aril a white, translucent lobe ~0.5 x 0.7mm (Wilkins and
Whitlock 2011).

Government evidence of impact of climate change:

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  • Australian Government, Conservation Advice, Commersonia apella

    Valley of the Tourism threat Tourism threat; Tourism threat; Giants Inappropriate fire inappropriate fire weeds; regimes regimes.

    Wilkins; pers. comm.) Potential threats to the New Island Bay population includes possible future infrastructure developments; weed invasion and habitat degradation; frequent fire; potential increases in severity of hot; dry weather and drought; and dieback (we are unsure as to how C. apella is affected by dieback disease; but Phytophthora which will at least impact the plant community in which this species occurs).