Species Profile and Threats Database

For information to assist proponents in referral, environmental assessments and compliance issues, refer to the Policy Statements and Guidelines (where available), the Conservation Advice (where available) or the Listing Advice (where available).
In addition, proponents and land managers should refer to the Recovery Plan (where available) or the Conservation Advice (where available) for recovery, mitigation and conservation information.

EPBC Act Listing Status Not listed under EPBC Act
Listing and Conservation Advices Commonwealth Listing Advice on Epacris acuminata (Coral Heath) (Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC), 2013en) [Listing Advice].
Recovery Plan Decision Recovery Plan not required, species delisted from the EPBC Act (14/12/2013).
Adopted/Made Recovery Plans
Other EPBC Act Plans Flora Recovery Plan: Threatened Tasmanian Forest Epacrids (Tasmania Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment (Tas. DPIPWE), 2011) [Recovery Plan].
Federal Register of
    Legislative Instruments
Declaration under s178, s181, and s183 of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 - List of threatened species, List of threatened ecological communities and List of threatening processes (Commonwealth of Australia, 2000) [Legislative Instrument].
Inclusion of species in the list of threatened species under section 178 of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (02/09/2005) (Commonwealth of Australia, 2005c) [Legislative Instrument].
Amendment to the list of threatened species under section 178 of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (150) (Commonwealth of Australia, 2013ac) [Legislative Instrument].
State Government
    Documents and Websites
TAS:Recovery Plan - Tasmanian Forest Epacrids 1999-2004 (Keith, D., 1997) [State Recovery Plan].
TAS:Note Sheet for Epacris acuminata (Claspleaf heath) (Threatened Species Section (Tas. TSS), 2011) [Information Sheet].
Scientific name Epacris acuminata [16257]
Family Epacridaceae:Ericales:Magnoliopsida:Magnoliophyta:Plantae
Species author Benth.
Infraspecies author  
Reference Flora Australiensis 4: 240 (16 Dec. 1868).
Distribution map Species Distribution Map not available for this taxon.
Illustrations Google Images

Epacris acuminata was removed from the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 list of threatened species on 14 December 2013.

The Coral Heath is an erect, perennial shrub, usually branching near the base and growing up to 1.5 m tall. It has slender branches bearing thin concave leaves that are small and oval with the bases partly folded around the stem. There are 5–7 conspicuous veins on the lower surface of the leaf. The flowers are white and densely clustered along the terminal branches (Kirkpatrick 2000). The fruit is a small capsule about 2 mm long and containing numerous tiny seeds (Curtis 1963).

The Coral Heath is endemic to Tasmania, occurring in the Channel district in the south-east, the Midlands and the eastern edge of the Central Plateau (Keith 1997).

The current extent of occurrence is estimated at 8730 km2 and the area of occupancy is around 1.6 km2 (Tas. TSS 2011).

In 1997 the Coral Heath was known from only 27 populations and had an estimated total population of around 16 100 mature plants (Keith 1997). Since then, another 31 populations have been discovered through pre-logging and infrastructure development surveys, Bushcare surveys, assessment of mis-identified herbarium collections and opportunistic surveys by botanical enthusiasts. The Coral Heath is now known from at least 56 populations and its total population size is estimated to be 500 000 mature plants (Tas. TSS 2011).

The total populations size estimated above is conservative, as seventeen of the recorded sites lack quantitative data (Tas. TSS 2011).

The following table provides more detailed population information for the Coral Heath (Tas. TSS 2011):

  Population (tenure) Year last (first) seen Number of mature plants
1 Grey Mountain, Snug Tiers (Snug Tiers Nature Recreation Area) 1996 (1982) 1869
2 Hill at head of Nicholls Rivulet (Snug Tiers Nature Recreation Area) 1996 (1987) 2831
3 Pelverata Falls, Snug Tiers (Snug Tiers Nature Recreation Area) 2004 (1979) 139 498
4 North West Bay River, Margate (private land) 2003 (1981) 2219
5 Cathedral Rock (Wellington Park) 2010 (1996) 4000
6 Vincents Rivulet (private land)

1996 (1975)

7a Glenorchy Reservoir (Wellington Park) 2005 (1918) 111
7b Humphreys Rivulet (Wellington Park) 2010 (1999) 1000s
8 Goat Hills (Wellington Park) 2010 (1931) 200 000+
9 Knight Creek (Wellington Park) 2005 (1996) 600
10 Molesworth (private land) 1996 (1986) 16
11 Mt Lloyd (State forest) 1996 (1985) 2454
12a Glenleith, Plenty River (private land) 2008 (1839) 100
12b Feilton, Plenty River (private land) 2008 (2008) 250
13 Mt Dromedary (Mt Dromedary Forest Reserve) 1996 (1989) 210
14a Platform Peak (State forest) 2010 (1984) 100s
14b Big Marsh (State forest) 2010 (2001) 100s
15a Barren Rock Falls (Devils Den Conservation Area) 1996 (1988) 53
15b East Bagdad (Devils Den Conservation Area, private land) 2004 (1998) 50 925
16 Ashton Sugarloaf (private land) 1996 (1985) 1
17 Derwent River, Wayatinah (Hydro Electric Corporation, HEC) 1996 (1989) 299
18 Serat Property (private land) 2006 (1952?) 12 278
19 Nive River (Marlborough) (private land) 1996 (1841) 1
20 River Ouse, Bashan Bridge (River Reserve) 2007 (1988) 414
21 1.5 km West of Norths Hill (private land) 1996 (1984) 1
22 Snowy Knob (State forest) 2005 (1990) 710
23a Lake River, Little Den (private land and State forest) 2002 (1987) 1320
23b Scrubby Den Riveulet (Great Western Tioers Conservation Area/private land) 1988 (1988) Unknown
24 Lake River, Caseyville (private land) 1996 (1992) 128
25a Elizabeth River, Duckhole point (private land) 1996 (1981) 150
25b Elizabeth River, East of Chimney Hill (private land) 2009 (1981) 73 500
26 Nive River below Clarence River (private land) 1986 (1986) Unknown
27 Derwent River (Conservation Area/State forest?) 1987 (1987) Unknown
28 Victoria Valley Falls (state forest) 2010 (1988) 25
29 River Ouse (Ouse River Forest Reserve/private land?) 1989 (1989) 'Fairly common'
30 Broad River, near Cluny Lagoon (private land) 1989 (1989) 'Fairly common'
31 Derwent River, Repulse Dam (HEC) 2010 (1989) 10s
32 Macguires Marsh Road, 3 km north of Osterley (private land) 2009 (1989) 1000
33 Fehlbergs Road, Collinsvale (private land)

2001 (1996)

34 Mt Ponsonby (Mt Ponsonby Forest Reserve) 1996 (1996 'Locally abundant'
35 Kundes Creek, Molesworth Road (private land) 2005 (1996) 11 959
36 Shannon River, Hermitage (private land) 1997 (1997) Unknown
37 Arthurs Lake (private land) 1998 (1998) Unknown
38 Billy Browns Falls (state forest) 2000 (1999) 585
39a Mt Connection (Wellington Park) 2010 (1999) 530
39b Tom Thumb (Wellington Park) 2010 (2000) 2000
40 Mt Montagu (Wellington Park) 2000 (2000) 1000s
41 Perrins Ridge (Snug Tiers Nature Recreation Area) 2000 (2000) 500
42 Snake Point, Arthurs Lake (private land/HEC) 2000 (2000) 500
43 Herringback (private land) 2000 (2000) 20
44 Nive River below Pine Tier Lagoon (private land) 2000 (2000) Unknown
45 Shannon River near Blackburn Creek (Public Reserve/private land) 2001 (2001) Unknown
46 Derwent River, 4 km south of Plenty (private land) 2001 (2001) Unknown
47a River Clyde, Dead Mans Hill (private land) 2002 (2002) 3
47b River Clyde, near Half Moon Marsh (private land) 2003 (2003) 500
48 Mountain River (private land)

2002 (2002)

49 Mikes Hill, Lachlan (private land) 2003 (2003) 300
50 Mangalore Tier (private land) 2003 (2003) 750
51 Macquarie River, near Maloneys Hill (private land) 2003 (2003) 'Occasional'
52 Lanes Tier (State forest) 2004 (2004) Unknown
53 Mt Dismal (private land) 2005 (2005) 100
54 Nutshell property, Bagdad (private land) 2005 (2005) 1
55 Derwent River, Catagunyah (HEC/State forest) 2007 (2006) 205
56 Flat Rock Reserve, Chauncy Vale (private land) 2007 (2007) 'Sizeable population'


The Coral Heath is reserved in the Central Plateau Conservation Area, Cradle Mountain–Lake St Clair National Park, Great Western Tiers Conservation Area, Liffey Forest Reserve, Millers Bluff Forest Reserve, Mount Dromedary Forest Reserve, Mount Faulkner Conservation Area, Port Arthur Historic Site, Snug Tiers Nature Recreation Area, Swan River Forest Reserve, Table Mountain Conservation Area, the Lea Conservation Area, Wayatinah Conservation Area and Wellington Park. An ex situ collection is held at the Royal Tasmanian Botanic Gardens in Hobart for display purposes and the species is in cultivation at the Australian National Botanic Gardens in Canberra (CoA 1999).

The Coral Heath grows in low shrubland or shrub patches around rocky mountain summits, occurring in three main vegetation communities; subalpine heathy woodland/forest, 'moist' dry sclerophyll forests and riparian scrub. The species occurs exclusively on Jurassic dolerite, with a recorded altitude range of 30–1100 m above sea level (Keith 1997; Tas. TSS 2011).

The maximum life span of individual shrubs has been estimated at 30–40 years (Keith 1997).

Peak flowering occurs in spring and seed is released in late summer, with floral initiation beginning immediately afterwards (Keith 1997).

The known pollinators of Epacris species include a variety of large adult carrion flies from the Tabanidae, Muscidae and Calliphoridae families. Species of flies directly observed pollinating Epacris taxa include: Dasybasis spp., Halina sp., Calliphora sp. and the Yellow Tessellated Golden Blowfly (Calliphora hilli) (McQuillan, pers. comm. cited in Keith 1997). It seems likely that other species of large flies would also function as pollinators (Keith 1997).

The Coral Heath requires fire at appropriate intervals to recruit seedlings from the soil seed bank with ‘post-fire’ rainfall being vital in ensuring seedling establishment. Fruit production may be reduced for several years after fire, even from those individuals which survive the fire event (Keith 1997). Decreased fruit production may also result from predation, browsing herbivores, mechanical damage and high rates of abortion of developing fruits on shaded plants  (Tas. TSS 2011).

No threats data available.

Commonwealth of Australia (CoA) (1999d). Tasmania-Commonwealth Regional Forest Agreement: Summary of Life history and population dynamics for vascular forest flora. [Online]. Available from:

Curtis, W.M. (1963). The Student's flora of Tasmania. Part 2. Angiospermae: Lythraceae to Epacridaceae. Hobart: Government Printer.

Keith, D. (1997). Recovery Plan - Tasmanian Forest Epacrids 1999-2004. [Online]. Hobart: Tasmanian Parks & Wildlife. Available from:

Kirkpatrick, J. (2000). Threatened Flora -plants listed as extinct, endangered or vulnerable. [Online]. Created by Bushcare Technical Extension (Tasmania). Available from:

Threatened Species Scientific Committee (2005bj). NON-CURRENT Commonwealth Listing Advice on Coral Heath (Epacris acuminata). [Online]. Available from:

Threatened Species Section (Tas. TSS) (2011). Note Sheet for Epacris acuminata (Claspleaf heath). [Online]. Tasmania Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment. Available from:$FILE/Epacris%20acuminata.pdf.

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This database is designed to provide statutory, biological and ecological information on species and ecological communities, migratory species, marine species, and species and species products subject to international trade and commercial use protected under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (the EPBC Act). It has been compiled from a range of sources including listing advice, recovery plans, published literature and individual experts. While reasonable efforts have been made to ensure the accuracy of the information, no guarantee is given, nor responsibility taken, by the Commonwealth for its accuracy, currency or completeness. The Commonwealth does not accept any responsibility for any loss or damage that may be occasioned directly or indirectly through the use of, or reliance on, the information contained in this database. The information contained in this database does not necessarily represent the views of the Commonwealth. This database is not intended to be a complete source of information on the matters it deals with. Individuals and organisations should consider all the available information, including that available from other sources, in deciding whether there is a need to make a referral or apply for a permit or exemption under the EPBC Act.

Citation: Department of the Environment (2014). Epacris acuminata in Species Profile and Threats Database, Department of the Environment, Canberra. Available from: Accessed Sat, 30 Aug 2014 16:41:56 +1000.