Changes made to wildlife categories (flora species) – September 2019

27 September 2019


Conservation status and taxonomic changes were recently made to a number of Queensland flora species.

Cowslip Orchid

Cowslip Orchid © Tourism Australia

The Species Technical Committee (STC) recently recommended the reclassification of 2 flora species to reflect current scientific knowledge as well as changes to the scientific names of 16 flora species.

The STC assesses native species (plants and animals) that occur in Queensland to determine their listing status under the Nature Conservation Act 1992 (NC Act).

These changes came into effect on 19 September 2019 (see tables below).

Reclassification of flora species

Taxon Common name Former Qld status New Qld status
Rhodamnia rubescens Scrub turpentine Least Concern Endangered
Rhodomyrtus psidioides Native guava Least Concern Endangered


It is quite alarming to learn the introduced myrtle rust has struck and the conservation status of both Rhodamnia rubescens, scrub turpentine and Rhodomyrtus psidioides, native guava has been downgraded from Least Concern to Endangered.

The devastation of these species in the Bryon Bay area of New South Wales has spurred Queensland authorities into action. Extinction of these species in Queensland is a major concern.

Flora species scientific name changes

Current scientific name Common name Amended scientific name
Genoplesium tectum Cardwell midge orchid Corunastylis tecta
Dipodium pictum Brittle climbing orchid Dipodium pandanum
Kunzea sp. (Dicks Tableland A.R.Bean 3672) Kunzea seriothrix
Kunzea sp. (Herbert River R.J.Cumming 11309) Kunzea truncata
Phalaenopsis amabilis subsp. Rosenstromii moth orchid Phalaenopsis rosenstromii
Eria dischorense spotted urchin orchid Bryobium dischorense
Eria irukandjiana small urchin orchid Bryobium irukandjianum
Genoplesium alticola Tableland midge orchid Corunastylis alticola
Genoplesium cranei Blackall Range midge orchid Corunastylis cranei
Genoplesium pedersonii Pederson’s midge orchid Corunastylis pedersonii
Genoplesium validum Blackdown midge orchid Corunastylis valida
Liparis condylobulbon Tapered sphinx orchid Cestichis condylobulbon
Genoplesium sigmoideum Dave’s creek midge orchid Corunastylis sigmoidea
Liparis simmondsii Coastal sprite orchid Diteilis simmondsii
Oenotrichia dissecta Lastreopsis dissecta
Chrysophyllum roxburghii star apple Donella lanceolata


Ongoing taxonomic activities impact the scientific names of plants. Advances in technology are certainly enhancing tools to assist the taxonomist. Change in well-known scientific names appears to be inevitable.

Taxonomic revisions are one way new scientific names appear in the Census of the Queensland Flora. The other reason is the location and description of a new species to science.

It is reported that over 20 new species to science are reported annually. Two recent additions are:

  • Kunzea seriothrix
  • Kunzea truncata.

More changes on the way!

The taxonomists have not run out of steam yet. More changes are on the way. We hope you are not tied too closely to the genus Plectranthus and can get used to Coleus in the near future!

Census of the Queensland Flora

Work has commenced on the Census of the Queensland Flora 2019.

If you’re interested in plant statistics, the Census of the Queensland Flora 2018 provided a published list of all the known native and introduced species of plants, algae, fungi, and lichens in the State. There are 14,385 known native species across all groups.

The Introduction to the Census of the Queensland Flora 2018 provides additional interesting information and is well worth a read. Links are provided below.


Author’s note: The term ‘wildlife’ applies to both animals and plants that grow independently of people, usually in natural conditions.

Related articles


  • Bostock PD & Holland AE. 2018. Introduction to the Census of the Queensland Flora 2018. Queensland Department of Environment and Science, Queensland Government. []. Accessed  27 September 2019.
  • Queensland Department of Environment and Science, Queensland Government. 2018. Census of the Queensland Flora 2018. []. Accessed  27 September 2019.


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