Overview

Distribution

Range Description

Crotalaria cunninghamii is endemic to Australia, distributed in the states of New South Wales, South Australia, Western Australia and Queensland, also in the Northern Territory.
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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
A perennial shrub that grows in sandy soils in shrubland, grassland or savanna woodland; usually on desert dunes, sandplains and drainage lines. Associated with Mulga communities or on unstable sand dunes. It is not grazed by stock and there are no reports of toxicity (Moore 2005).

Systems
  • Terrestrial
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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Statistics of barcoding coverage: Crotalaria cunninghamii

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 0
Specimens with Barcodes: 1
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
LC
Least Concern

Red List Criteria

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2012

Assessor/s
Malcolm, P.

Reviewer/s
Hilton-Taylor, C.

Contributor/s

Justification
Crotalaria cunninghami is a widespread shrub in inland Australia distributed in sandy soils. Grazing and habitat degradation might threaten some subpopulations of this species. However, this species is listed here as Least Concern because it is widespread in its natural range, it occurs in protected areas and its seeds are stored in three seed banks across the world.
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Population

Population
This plant is a moderately common species widespread in inland areas of Australia, extending into desert regions. Total population size is not known, but a recent survey in 2005 suggests 50 seeding plants from a population in Queensland (MSBP 2010).

Population Trend
Stable
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Threats

Major Threats
There are no major threats known to this species, however, the area where this species occurs is threatened by habitat degradation (sites with deep sandy soils are susceptible to erosion by rabbits) and grazing (possibly by stock in some areas but may not be a threat; grazed by goats in central Australia).
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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
It has been classified as Endangered (NSW Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995) in the state of New South Wales where it reaches the southern most point of its range. However, it is widely distributed in other parts of the country occurring in some protected areas. Most notably known from Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Ngaaryatjarra Lands Indigenous Protected Area and Innamicka Regional Reserve. Its seeds have been collected for the Millennium Seed Bank Project, with seed collections stored at: Wakehurst Place, Royal Botanic Gardens Kew (UK); Kings Park & Botanic Garden, Perth and Brisbane Botanic Garden, Queensland (Australia).
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Wikipedia

Crotalaria cunninghamii

Crotalaria cunninghamii - this form has distinctive green flowers in axillary clusters.
The green bird flower resembles a hummingbird.

Crotalaria cunninghamii, also known as Green Birdflower or Regal Birdflower, is a plant of the legume family Fabaceae. It is native to, and widespread in, inland northern Australia. It is named after early 19th century botanist Allan Cunningham. It is a coloniser of unstable sand dunes, along beaches and in Mulga communities. It is pollinated by large bees and by honeyeaters.

Description[edit]

Green Birdflower is a perennial shrub that grows to about 1–3 m in height. It has hairy or woolly branches and dull green foliage. The oval leaves are about 30 mm long, the large and greenish pea flowers are streaked with fine black lines, and the club-shaped seed pods are up to 50 mm long. The plant’s flowers grow on long spikes at the ends of its branches.[1] The flower resembles a bird attached by its beak to the central stalk of the flowerhead.[2]

Uses and cultivation[edit]

The sap from the leaves was used by Aboriginal people to treat eye infections.[1][2]

Green Birdflower can be grown in warm areas. It needs well-drained soils and a position in full sun. It is not suited to cold climates or where there are frosts. Propagation is from seed, which readily germinates after boiling water treatment, or from cuttings.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Australian Native Plants Society.
  2. ^ a b Australian Arid Lands Botanic Garden.


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