Button Wrinklewort (Rutidosis leptorrhynchoides) - An endangered species
The Button Wrinklewort ( Rutidosis leptorrynchoides ) is a slender perennial wildflower that grows to about 30 cm in height, branching mainly at the base. The leaves are narrow, dark green ageing to yellow-green and up to 2.5 cm long, with rolled edges concealing the undersides. The stems usually die back in late summer or autumn and the new basal leaves appear by early winter. The species has yellow button flowers (2 cm wide) from October to April.
The Button Wrinklewort appears to have been widespread across the western plains of Victoria, and south-eastern NSW. It is now only known from 25 populations (16 in the ACT region and nine in Victoria). The largest known population is near Goulburn, NSW and numbers 95,000 plants.
Of the nine sites known in the ACT, two have large populations-Stirling Park in Yarralumla (70,000 plants) and a site in the Majura Field Firing Range (30,000 plants).
In the ACT, the Button Wrinklewort occurs on the margins of open stands of Yellow Box/Red Gum Grassy Woodland with a ground layer of various native grasses and other forbs, or in Natural Temperate Grassland. Soils are usually shallow and stony red-brown clay loams. It prefers an open habitat and is a poor competitor amongst tall, dense sward-forming grasses.
The Button Wrinklewort is at risk of extinction throughout its range from habitat loss due to agricultural and urban development, and weed invasion. Competition from other plants, heavy grazing and, in small populations, loss of genetic diversity are also threats.
The major conservation objective is to maintain viable populations of the Button Wrinklewort in functional native grassland and grassy woodland habitat in the known sites across the geographic range of the species in the ACT.
Both of these habitats have been declared in the ACT as endangered ecological communities and management prescriptions for each are set out in the respective Action Plans. The principal management focus will be on managing and maintaining the Button Wrinklewort as a component of these communities.
Parks and City Services (PACS)
13 22 81
GPO Box 158 Canberra ACT 2601
(02) 6207 5366 (Head Office)
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