Nightcap Plectranthus is a small shrub that grows 30-150 cm tall. Its leaves are rounded, fleshy and have serrated edges. The upper surfaces of leaves are green with a lower surface that is a distinct purple hue. The branches are erect and sparsely covered with short hairs. The axis bracts are lance-shaped to triangular and 3.6-3.8 mm long and the corolla tube is bent at 25-30°. The flowers are tubular, mauve to blue and have a long lower lip. Flowering occurs from February-May.
Nightcap Plectranthus |
Status: Endangered on the EPBC Act list
Government evidence of impact of climate change:
Australian Government, Conservation Advice, Plectranthus nitidus
The main potential threats to the species include competition from introduced weed species; especially Crofton Weed (Ageratina adenophora); Mistflower (Ageratina riparia); and Lantana (Lantana camara) roadside clearing and maintenance in Numinbah State Forest habitat modification and inappropriate fire regimes (Halford; 1998 DEC; 2005).
Inappropriate fire regimes may also affect P. nitidus which is suspected of being fire sensitive; although its habitat may provide some protection from fire (Halford; 1998).