NT declared vulnerable perennial herb Typhonium praetermissum will be searched for by Friends of Mitchell Creek at their Gunn Escarpment Landcare site during the peak annual flowering period in late December.
Typhonium praetermissum is a perennial herb with aerial parts emerging annually from a bulbous corm.
The herb is endemic to the Northern Territory (NT) and has been recorded at the Palmerston escarpment prior to land clearing for The Chase, Gunn housing development;
A solitary and apparently unpleasant-smelling inflorescence appears either before or with the leaves,
The lance-shaped spathe is 4 cm long, grey-brown outside and maroon to black inside.
The tubular base of the spathe is constricted where it meets the ground. The spike-like spadix is about 4.5cm long, succulent and comprised of a long dark purple sterile tip above a reddish male zone, a purple naked zone, a pale red sterile zone and a pale greenish female zone at the base. Small fruit occur
at or partially below ground level and have been recorded in November and December.
Typhonium praetermissum occurs within Darwin residential and rural areas, and as such is under threat of habitat loss due to clearing for residential expansion and rural subdivision. At least one documented population (Maluka Street, Palmerston) has been cleared for residential development.
Thus this species qualifies as Vulnerable in the NT (under criteria B1ab(iv)+ 2ab(iv)) due to this decline through habitat loss.
Sub-populations are severely fragmented and known from less than ten locations; and
there is continuing decline in the number of mature individuals.
A.Hay for photos (http://www.aroidpictures.fr/GENRES/typhonium.html)
Complied by John Westaway & Ian Cowie
References : Hay, A. (1997). Two new species and a new combination in
Australian Typhonium (Araceae Tribe Areae)
Edinburgh Journal of Botany 54, 329-336.
HOLTZE (2010) NT Herbarium collection database.