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Fluffy groundsel

Current Status

[Photo of Fullfy groundsel quoll by R. Hale.]

The Fluffy groundsel (Senecio macrocarpus) is listed as an extinct plant in Tasmania in the Threatened Species Protection Act 1995. This means it has not been recorded in the wild in Tasmania for at least 50 years. It is listed as vulnerable under the Federal Act as it still occurs on the mainland although in low numbers.

What we know about this plant?

It is a perennial herb with clusters of yellow flowers. It was only recorded in Tasmania twice. Only two specimens were collected, both last century and both from northern Tasmania. Since then there have been no records of this plant in Tasmania despite searches. So it is classified as extinct here. The plant occurs in Victoria and South Australia, mainly on private land or within railway reserves. On the mainland it is classified as vulnerable. It is named fluffy groundsel because it has a cobweb like appearance around its basal stem (near the ground).

Often it is hard to find many of our rare plants because they are so small and easily overlooked. Like many of our threatened plants, fluffy groundsel is a small herb. This means they were often overlooked in the past and often less is known of their ecology. To quote J. Kirkpatrick "Our lack of knowledge on the ecology and management of a species increases with decreasing stature and woodiness".

Suggested further reading

Kirkpatrick J., L. Gilfedder and R. Hale 1988. City Parks and Cemeteries. Tasmanian Conservation Trust.

Kirkpatrick J.B. 1991. Tasmanian Native Bush: A Management Handbook. Tasmanian Environment Centre.

[List of Threatened Plants]