Biodiversity

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 Listed as Endangered
Recovery Plan Decision Recovery Plan required, included on the Commenced List (1/11/2009).
 
Adopted/Made Recovery Plans National Recovery Plan for the Basalt Peppercress Lepidium hyssopifolium (Tumino, M., 2010) [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].
 
State Government
    Documents and Websites
NSW:Aromatic Peppercress - profile (NSW Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water (NSW DECCW), 2005gt) [Internet].
TAS:Threatened Species Notesheet - Lepidium hyssopifolium (Tasmanian Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment (Tas. DPIPWE), 2003h) [Information Sheet].
TAS:Lepidium hyssopifolium (Basalt Pepper-cress, Peppercress, Rubble Pepper-cress, Pepperweed): Species Management Profile for Tasmania's Threatened Species Link (Threatened Species Section (TSS), 2014dc) [State Action Plan].
State Listing Status
NSW: Listed as Endangered (Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995 (New South Wales): December 2013 list)
TAS: Listed as Endangered (Threatened Species Protection Act 1995 (Tasmania): September 2012 list)
VIC: Listed as Threatened (Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988 (Victoria): February 2014 list)
Non-statutory Listing Status
VIC: Listed as Endangered (Advisory List of Rare or Threatened Plants in Victoria: 2005)
Scientific name Lepidium hyssopifolium [16542]
Family Brassicaceae:Capparales:Magnoliopsida:Magnoliophyta:Plantae
Species author Desv.
Infraspecies author  
Reference Desvaux, N.A., (1815) Descriptions de plusiers especes nouvelles de Siliculeuses. Journal de Botanique, Appliquee l'Agriculture, a la Pharmacie, a la Medicine et aux Arts 3(4): 179 [tax. nov.]
Distribution map Species Distribution Map

This is an indicative distribution map of the present distribution of the species based on best available knowledge. See map caveat for more information.

Illustrations Google Images

Scientific name: Lepidium hyssopifolium

Common
name: Basalt Pepper-cress

Other names: Aromatic Peppercress, Small Pepper-cress, Soft Peppercress

The Basalt Pepper-cress is an erect, multi-branched perennial herb that grows up to 1 m in height, with stems and stem leaves covered in fine short needle-shaped hairs (Leigh et al. 1984; Tumino 2010). Leaves have hairy serrated margins, and an ear-like appendage at their base. Basal leaves are toothed or pinnately lobed and stem leaves linear-lanceolate, toothed or entire and grow to 1–4 cm in length and 1–3 mm in width (Tumino 2010). The inflorescence (flower cluster) is borne on a raceme (an unbranched inflorescence made up of flowers each on a short stalk), and the flowers themselves are very small, greenish in colour and inconspiculous. Sepals are 0.8 mm long, and petals are either reduced or absent. There are, however, two stamens. Fruit are borne on hairy, terete pedicels (3–5 mm in length) and are sometimes hairy with narrow wings (Tumino 2010).

The Basalt Pepper-cress is found in an extensive, but patchy distribution from south-eastern NSW, through Victoria to eastern parts of Tasmania (Tumino 2010).

NSW

Currently, the species is known from near Bathurst and Bungendore, in the South Eastern Highlands Bioregion (Tumino 2010).

Historically, the Basalt Pepper-cress has been recorded from the Northern and Central Tablelands, with an atypical specimen from Cooma on the Southern Tablelands (Harden 2000). The Central Tablelands records are from the Bathurst area; the Northern Tablelands collections are from Gostwyck, near Armidale, and there was an 1884 record from 'near Maryland', though this record may have been from either NSW or Queensland, as the Maryland Station once extended over the border (Quinn et al. 1995). Most other records have been found to be misidentifications (Scarlett & Parsons 2000 pers. comm.).

Victoria

The Basalt Pepper-cress is found mostly west of Melbourne in the Victorian Midlands and Victorian Volcanic Plain Bioregions (Tumino 2010).

Tasmania

Currently, the Basalt Pepper-cress is confined to the east of Tasmania; being known from the Tasmanian South East, Tasmanian Northern Midlands, Ben Lomond and Flinders Bioregions. The species was also previously known from the Freycinet and Tasmanian Midlands Bioregions (Tumino 2010). In 2003, the species was described as occurring from Falmouth on the east coast, through the northern Midlands, southern Midlands and Derwent Valley, as well as on Preservation Island in the Furneaux Group (Tas. DPIPWE 2003).

Historically, the species has been recorded from Salmon Ponds and Granton, north-west and north-east of New Norfolk, and Bagdad (all south-central Tasmania near Hobart), Preservation Islands (Furneaux Group) in Bass Strait, and Longford (north-central). The species was known to occur on roadsides and in Township Lagoon Nature Reserve (Johnson & Barker 1998). In 1998, there were 35 known sites; 32 on public land and three on private land (Barker & Johnson 1998). However, a report on management prescriptions for threatened species on public land released the same year (Johnson & Barker 1998) stated that it is known from one site in its natural habitat on private land. There is a historical record of the species from South Arm, and an unconfirmed record from Dunalley in the south-east of the state.

Other Locations

Although a number of authors reported this species' occurrence in the Murray lands of South Australia (Hewson 1982b; Peacock 1996; Quinn et al. 1995), there are no supporting records, and it is likely to have been confused with Lepidium africanum (Peppercress) (Hewson 1982c; Leigh et al. 1984). This species is naturalised in New Zealand (Webb et al. 1988).

The Basalt Pepper-cress is known from approximately 35 populations, mainly in Tasmania, and most recent estimates (Tumino 2010) indicate a total population size of 1700 plants. The following is a table of known population information for the species (Tumino 2010):

Location Year  Abundance Tenure Threats Additional comments
New South Wales
Bathurst 2004 14 Private Weed invasion, dieback of Eucalypt woodland and grazing by domestic stock Site fenced to exclude stock, although pasture grass (especially Phalaris) and weed growth threaten plants
2008 3
Travelling Stock Route, Bungendore 2008 5 Livestock Health and Pest Authority Grazing by domestic stock  
Bungendore 2008 30 Private Habitat disturbance and destruction Plants in a garden bed; seed likely to have been in soil for at least several years
Victoria
Moorabool Resevoir, Bolwarrah 2000 220 Central Highlands Water, Department of Sustainability and Environment (DSE) Weed invasion and grazing by the Rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus) Most important site in Victoria; adult plants robust, fecund and producing seed; site actively managed for species
Bolwarrah Flora Reserve, Bolwarrah 2000 180 Parks Victoria Weed invasion and grazing by kangaroos (Macropod spp.) and the Rabbit  
Roadside, Lagoon Road, Trentham 1995 50 Shire of Hepburn Soil slippage, erosion and weed invasion Plants occur on a steep road cutting
Roadside, Spargo Creek Road 1986 375 Shire of Moorabool, DSE Weed invasion  
2000 63
Roadside and private property, Bolwarrah 2003 A 'few' plants Shire of Moorabool, Private Unknown  
Private property, Bolwarrah 2003 A 'few' plants Private Unknown  
River bank, Winchelsea 2003 1 Unknown Unknown  
Tasmania
Private land Tunbridge 2003 500 Private Unknown  
Private land and roadside, Conara (Wyldes Plain) 2003 200+ Private (?) Unknown  
Reserve, Oatlands 2003 130 Unknown Unknown  

Generally, the Basalt Pepper-cress is known to establish on open, bare ground with limited competition from other plants. The Basalt Pepper-cress was previously recorded from Eucalypt woodland with a grassy ground cover, low open Casuarina woodland with a grassy ground cover and tussock grassland (Leigh et al. 1984). Recently recorded localities have predominantly been in weed-infested areas of heavy modification, high degradation and high soil disturbance such as road and rail verges, on the fringes of developed agricultural land or within small reserves in agricultural land. Many populations are now generally found amongst exotic pasture grasses and beneath exotic trees such as the Radiata Pine (Pinus radiata) and Monterey Cypress (Cupressus macrocarpus), often associated with other species of Lepidium (Ayers et al. 1996; MEL collection records; Tumino 2010). The lack of competition from other shade-tolerant species allows the Basalt Pepper-cress to persist (Tumino 2010).

Establishment of the species is thought to be disturbance-driven, as opposed to habitat specific, and soil-stored seed may require disturbance in combination with other factors (such as open ground and favourable moisture conditions) for seed germination (Tumino 2010). Soils at known sites are light to heavy clay loams that are often friable (can be reduced to smaller pieces with ease) and the species is known to tolerate a range of environmental conditions (Tumino 2010).

The Basalt Pepper-cress usually flowers from December to February with large quantities of seeds being produced between January and June (Leigh et al. 1984). Seeds germinate on bare soil, and most likely require disturbance for seed recruitment and germination (Leigh et al. 1984; Tumino 2010). Seeds are known to remain viable in the soil for at least two years (perhaps longer) (Tumino 2010).

Threats to the Basalt Pepper-cress include grazing by domestic stock and rabbits, together with land clearing (Leigh et al. 1984), and suppression by exotic species. Plants at Bagdad (Tasmania) were growing in a 'mown road verge dominated by introduced grasses'. One population at Trentham (Victoria) occurred with Blackberry (Rubus fruticosus spp. agg.), with the recorder's note 'population possibly now destroyed'. At Bolwarrah (Victoria), dominant species at the site were the introduced grasses Bromus diandrus and Dactylis glomerata (MEL collection records). The Basalt Pepper-cress requires periodic disturbance but excessive soil disturbance prevents seedling establishment. It is also threatened by herbicide application as land managers are likely to mistake it for the introduced species Lepidium africanum (Cropper 1987; Davies 1987; SAC 1991b).

Glenorchy Precinct Committees (Tasmania) received $5000 of funding through the Threatened Species Network Community Grants in 2001—02, part of which was for on-ground protection of nationally listed species; assisting with development of management plans for threatened species habitat (including Basalt Pepper-cress) to integrate protection and community action with council development and approval processes.

Management documents relevant to the Basalt Pepper-cress are at the start of the profile.

The following table lists known and perceived threats to this species. Threats are based on the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) threat classification version 1.1.

Threat Class Threatening Species References
Agriculture and Aquaculture:Agriculture and Aquaculture:Land clearing, habitat fragmentation and/or habitat degradation Lepidium hyssopifolium in Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage, 2006pa) [Internet].
Agriculture and Aquaculture:Livestock Farming and Grazing:Grazing pressures and associated habitat changes Lepidium hyssopifolium in Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage, 2006pa) [Internet].
National Recovery Plan for the Basalt Peppercress Lepidium hyssopifolium (Tumino, M., 2010) [Recovery Plan].
Agriculture and Aquaculture:Mixed farms:Habitat modification and destruction due to cropping National Recovery Plan for the Basalt Peppercress Lepidium hyssopifolium (Tumino, M., 2010) [Recovery Plan].
Ecosystem/Community Stresses:Ecosystem Degradation:Habitat deterioration due to soil degradation and erosion National Recovery Plan for the Basalt Peppercress Lepidium hyssopifolium (Tumino, M., 2010) [Recovery Plan].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive Non-Native/Alien Species:Competition and/or habitat degradation Oryctolagus cuniculus (Rabbit, European Rabbit) Lepidium hyssopifolium in Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage, 2006pa) [Internet].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive Non-Native/Alien Species:Competition and/or habitat degradation by weeds National Recovery Plan for the Basalt Peppercress Lepidium hyssopifolium (Tumino, M., 2010) [Recovery Plan].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive Non-Native/Alien Species:Competition and/or habitat degradation caused by exotic pasture species National Recovery Plan for the Basalt Peppercress Lepidium hyssopifolium (Tumino, M., 2010) [Recovery Plan].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Predation, competition, habitat degradation and/or spread of pathogens by introduced species Species threats data recorded on the SPRAT database between 1999-2002 (Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities (DSEWPaC), 2012i) [Database].
Northern Rivers Regional Biodiversity Management Plan (NSW Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water (NSW DECCW), 2010p) [State Recovery Plan].
Natural System Modifications:Fire and Fire Suppression:Inappropriate prescribed regimes and/or vegetation management to control fire regimes Species threats data recorded on the SPRAT database between 1999-2002 (Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities (DSEWPaC), 2012i) [Database].
Natural System Modifications:Other Ecosystem Modifications:Reduced habitat shading National Recovery Plan for the Basalt Peppercress Lepidium hyssopifolium (Tumino, M., 2010) [Recovery Plan].
Pollution:Agricultural Effluents:Herbicide application Lepidium hyssopifolium in Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage, 2006pa) [Internet].
Transportation and Service Corridors:Roads and Railroads:Development and/or maintenance of roads National Recovery Plan for the Basalt Peppercress Lepidium hyssopifolium (Tumino, M., 2010) [Recovery Plan].

Ayers, D., S. Nash & K. Baggett (Eds) (1996). Threatened Species of Western New South Wales. Hurstville: NSW NPWS.

Barker, P.C.J. & K.A. Johnson (1998). Recovery Plan - Selected Tasmanian Forest Associated Plants. Hobart, Tasmania: Tasmanian Forestry.

Cropper, S.C. (1987). Ecological notes and suggestions for conservation of a recently discovered site of Lepidium hyssopifolium Desv. (Brassicaceae) at Bolwarrah, Victoria, Australia. Biological Conservation. 41:268-278.

Davies, R. (1987). Preservation of species of native plants - Lepidium hyssopifolium Desv. - Management Plan. Dept Conservation, Forests and Lands, Melbourne.

Flora & Fauna Guarantee - Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC) (1991b). Final recommendation on a nomination for listing: Lepidium hyssopifolium Desv. - Small Pepper-cress (nomination no 22). Dept Natural Resources & Environment, Vic.

Harden, G.J. (ed.) (2000). Flora of New South Wales, Volume One. Kensington, NSW: University of NSW Press.

Hewson, H.J. (1982b). Brassicaceae. In: Flora of Australia. 8:231-357. Canberra: AGPS.

Hewson, H.J. (1982c). The genus Lepidium L. (Brassicaceae) in Australia. In: Brunonia. 4{2}. Melbourne: CSIRO.

Johnson, K.A. & P.J.C. Barker (1998). Management Prescriptions for Threatened Species on Public Land. Hobart, Tasmania: Forestry Tasmania.

Leigh, J., R. Boden & J. Briggs (1984). Extinct and Endangered Plants of Australia. Melbourne, Victoria: Macmillan.

Parsons, R.F. (2000). Personal Communication.

Peacock, R.J. (1996). ROTAP Species of the Walcha/Nundle and Styx River Management Area.

Quinn, F., J.B. Williams, C.L. Gross & J. Bruhl (1995). Report on rare and threatened plants of north-eastern New South Wales. Armidale: University of New England.

Scarlett, N.H. & R.F. Parsons (2000). Personal communication.

Tasmanian Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment (Tas. DPIPWE) (2003h). Threatened Species Notesheet - Lepidium hyssopifolium. [Online]. Available from: http://www.dpiw.tas.gov.au/inter.nsf/Attachments/SSKA-7565NS/$FILE/Lepidium%20hyssopifolium.pdf.

Tumino, M. (2010). National Recovery Plan for the Basalt Peppercress Lepidium hyssopifolium. [Online]. Melbourne, Victoria: DSE. Available from: http://www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/threatened/publications/recovery/lepidium-hyssopifolium.html.

Webb, C.J., W.R. Sykes & P.J. Garnock-Jones (1988). Flora of New Zealand; Volume Four. Naturalised Pteridophytes, Gymnosperms, Dicotyledons. Botany Division, DSIR, Christchurch, New Zealand.

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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). Lepidium hyssopifolium in Species Profile and Threats Database, Department of the Environment, Canberra. Available from: http://www.environment.gov.au/sprat. Accessed Fri, 25 Jul 2014 01:28:01 +1000.