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Epacris sparsa R.Br.
Family Ericaceae
Subfamily Epacridoideae
Epacris sparsa R.Br. APNI*

Description: Small erect shrub, 60–90 cm high; stems with prominent, broad, cup-shaped leaf scars; branchlets finely pubescent.

Leaves ± erect, elliptic to ovate, 11.2–17.0 mm long, 3.0–3.8 mm wide, apex acute, base cuneate, margins thickened slightly; lamina flat, ± thin; entire; petiole 1.5–2 mm long, scabrous.

Flowers few, near end of branches, 4–5 mm diam., cream; peduncle 3.5–4.5 mm long; bracts acute. Sepals 3–3.6 mm long. Corolla tube 14.8–19.2 mm long; lobes 3.3–4.0 mm long. Anthers hidden in tube.

Capsule not seen.

Photo J. Plaza

Photo J. Plaza

Flowering: May.

Distribution and occurrence: Grows in sandy soil among rocks beside Grose R.
NSW subdivisions: CC

Threatened species: NSW BCA: Vulnerable; Commonwealth EPBC: Vulnerable
AVH map***

Text by J. M. Powell, except for groups with contributors listed
Taxon concept: Flora of NSW 3 (1992)


Life History
Flowers Cream, May--September, peak May.

Fruit/seed Capsule, 1.4--1.8 mm high, seeds 0.8 mm long (Powell & James 1993), mature September.

Dispersal, establishment and growth Diaspore: seed.

Fire response Young plants growing from woody rootstock reported, suggesting capacity to resprout after fire or flooding.

Habitat Base of rock faces or on rock platforms in the riparian flood zone.

Altitude 0--1000 m                                      Annual rainfall 800--900 mm

Typical local abundance Occasional--rare.

Vegetation Shady ground cover e.g. with Sticherus, Lomandra montana, Lomandra fluviatilis with canopy of Tristaniopsis laurina, Backhousia myrtifolia, Ceratopetalum apetalum.

Substrate Damp low nutrient, sandy/clay soil derived from exposed shale lenses between Hawkesbury Sandstone beds. Sites frequently subject to high moisture from wind-driven spray and would be inundated during periods of high rainfall (Powell & James 1993).

Exposure Mid--deep shade.

APNI* Provides a link to the Australian Plant Name Index (hosted by the Australian National Botanic Gardens) for comprehensive bibliographic data
***The AVH map option provides a detailed interactive Australia wide distribution map drawn from collections held by all major Australian herbaria participating in the Australian Virtual Herbarium project.
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