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 Vulnerable as Tecticornia bulbosa
Listing and Conservation Advices Commonwealth Conservation Advice on Halosarcia bulbosa (Threatened Species Scientific Committee, 2008abb) [Conservation Advice].
Commonwealth Listing Advice on Tecticornia bulbosa (Large-articled Samphire) (Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC), 2012bm) [Listing Advice].
Recovery Plan Decision Recovery Plan not required, included on the Not Commenced List (1/11/2009).
Adopted/Made Recovery Plans
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] as Halosarcia bulbosa.
Amendment to the list of threatened species under section 178 of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (72) (15/12/2008) (Commonwealth of Australia, 2008k) [Legislative Instrument] as Tecticornia bulbosa.
State Government
    Documents and Websites
WA:Declared Rare or Poorly Known Flora in the Geraldton District (Patrick, S.J., 2001) [State Species Management Plan].
State Listing Status
WA: Listed as Vulnerable (Wildlife Conservation Act 1950 (Western Australia): September 2013 list) as Tecticornia bulbosa
Scientific name Tecticornia bulbosa [82741]
Family Chenopodiaceae:Caryophyllales:Magnoliopsida:Magnoliophyta:Plantae
Species author (Paul G.Wilson) K.A.Sheph. & Paul G.Wilson
Infraspecies author  
Reference Shepherd, K.A. & Wilson, Paul G. (2007) Australian Systematic Botany 20(4): 325 [comb. nov.]
Other names Halosarcia bulbosa [16598]
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: Tecticornia bulbosa

Common name: Large-articled Samphire

This species was formerly known as Halosarcia bulbosa.

The Large-articled Samphire is a low sprawling shrub growing to 1 m tall by 1-3 m in diameter. The spreading branches consist of barrel-shaped segments (known as 'articles') about 15 mm long and 12 mm wide, which are coated with a thick waxy powder. The articles are hairless and pale blue or pink. The lateral flowering spikes, which are up to 20 mm long, are stalkless with opposite bracts that are united and have wavy edges. The hermaphroditic flowers are arranged in groups of three. The outer floral whorl is united and has succulent side walls, but is otherwise thin, hard and brittle. The tip is flattened and divided into two lateral lobes. The fruiting spike is dark brown and persistent. Enclosing the fruitlets are cup-shaped leathery bracts. The fruitlets are partially spiny and eventually become free from one another and from the bracts. The seeds produced by this shrub are smooth and pale brown (Brown et al. 1998; DEC 2008c; Patrick 2001).

The Large-Articled Samphire is endemic to the Avon Wheatbelt region of Western Australia, about 300 km north of Perth. The species is known to occur at only one location on a private property and an adjacent road verge about 10 km east of Morowa (DEC 2008c).

Area of occupancy is less than 1 square kilometre (DEC 2009b).

In 1995, only one Large-articled Samphire population was known. This population was on a shire road reserve and private land to the east of Morawa and consisted of more than 1000 healthy individuals (Brown et al. 1998; Patrick 2001).

During surveys conducted in 2008 over the known range of the species, the mature plant population was recorded as 47 000 individual plants (DEC 2008c). This number is less than half the total recorded in 2006, but is likely to reflect differences in surveying methods. Plant numbers have remained steady for a number of years (DEC 2008c).

The species is not known to occur in any conservation reserves (Briggs & Leigh 1996).

The Large-articled Samphire grows along a drainage line in low open-heath dominated by Acacia and Melaleuca species. The vegetation contains several other samphires and saltbushes, including Halosarcia halocnemoides subsp. halocnemoides, Blackseed Samphire (H. pergranulata subsp. pergranulata), H. pruinosa and Atriplex species, and occurs on yellow-brown sandy clay soils on saline flats (Brown et al. 1998; DEC 2008c; Hopper et al. 1990; Patrick 2001; Wilson 1984).

Large-articled Samphire flowers are borne in April. The smooth, pale brown seeds are released only after the bracts and flowers have decayed (Brown et al. 1998; DEC 2008c; Patrick 2001).

Detectability of the species

The large-articled Samphire is most closely related to Halosarcia pruinosa and H. undulata, which have similar fruits, but is easily distinguished by the large, wax-coated branch segments (Brown et al. 1998; Patrick 2001).

Survey methods

Surveys conducted for the Large-articled Samphire, prior to 2008, used estimates to obtain population numbers whereas records from 2008 were actual counts (DEC 2008c).

Known threats

A past threat to the single Large-articled Samphire population was habitat degradation due to grazing from sheep and road works (DEC 2009b).

Roadworks have directly affected part of the population, located on the road verge through, clearing and road maintenance, and indirectly through changes to hydrology (DEC 2009b; TSSC 2008abb).

Potential threats

Potential threats include increased salinity resulting from changes in water table levels (DEC 2009b; TSSC 2008abb). This species cannot survive in an extremely saline environment (DEC 2009b).

The response of the species to fire, disease and weed invasion is unknown (Patrick 2001).

Given the species is subject to the ongoing threat of roadworks, it may undergo a future decline in numbers. However, there are insufficient data to indicate whether this decline will be substantial (DEC 2008c).

Research priorities

Research priorities that would inform future regional and local priority actions include (TSSC 2008abb):

  • undertaking survey work in potential habitat to locate any additional populations
  • assessing more precisely the population size, distribution, ecological requirements and the relative impacts of threatening processes
  • designing and implementing a monitoring program or, if appropriate, supporting and enhancing existing programs, and
  • undertaking seed germination and/or vegetative propagation trials to determine the requirements for successful establishment.

Regional & Local Priority Actions

The following priority recovery and threat abatement actions aimto support the recovery of the Large-articled Samphire (TSSC 2008abb).

Habitat Loss, Disturbance and Modification

  • Monitor known populations to identify key threats.
  • Monitor the progress of recovery, including the effectiveness of management actions and the need to adapt them if necessary.
  • Ensure road widening and maintenance activities, involving substrate or vegetation disturbance in the area where the Large-articled Samphire occurs, do not adversely impact on the known population.
  • Manage any changes to hydrology that may result in changes to water table levels and salinity.
  • Investigate further formal conservation arrangements, management agreements and/or covenants on private land, and, for crown and private land, investigate inclusion of the Large-articled Samphire population in reserve tenure.
  • Minimise adverse impacts from land use at the site where the single population is known to occur.

Trampling, Browsing or Grazing

  • Where appropriate, manage total grazing pressure at the site through exclusion fencing or other barriers.

Conservation Information

  • Ensure that Rare Flora markers are in place to indicate the extent of the population along the road verges.
  • Raise awareness of Large-articled Samphire within the local community: fact sheets and field days may benefit the species.
  • Maintain liaison with the landowner and the local goverment.

Enable Recovery of Additional Sites and/or Populations

  • Undertake appropriate seed collection and storage.
  • Investigate options for linking, enhancing or establishing additional populations.
  • Implement national translocation protocols (Vallee et al. 2004) if establishing additional populations is considered necessary and feasible.

Management documents

General management documents relevant to the species are listed 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:Livestock Farming and Grazing:Grazing pressures and associated habitat changes Commonwealth Conservation Advice on Halosarcia bulbosa (Threatened Species Scientific Committee, 2008abb) [Conservation Advice].
Natural System Modifications:Dams and Water Management/Use:Alteration of hydrological regimes and water quality Commonwealth Conservation Advice on Halosarcia bulbosa (Threatened Species Scientific Committee, 2008abb) [Conservation Advice].
Natural System Modifications:Dams and Water Management/Use:Salinity Commonwealth Conservation Advice on Halosarcia bulbosa (Threatened Species Scientific Committee, 2008abb) [Conservation Advice].
Transportation and Service Corridors:Roads and Railroads:Development and/or maintenance of roads Commonwealth Conservation Advice on Halosarcia bulbosa (Threatened Species Scientific Committee, 2008abb) [Conservation Advice].

Briggs, J.D. & J.H. Leigh (1996). Rare or Threatened Australian Plants - Revised Edition. Collingwood: CSIRO Publishing.

Brown, A., C. Thomson-Dans & N. Marchant, eds. (1998). Western Australia's Threatened Flora. Como, Western Australia: Department of Conservation and Land Management.

Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC) (2008c). Records held in DEC's declared rare flora database and rare flora files. Western Australia.

Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC) (2009b). Records held in DEC's Declared Rare Flora Database and rare flora files. Department of Environment and Conservation, Western Australia (DEC).

Hopper, S.D., S. van Leeuwen, A.P. Brown & S.J. Patrick (1990). Western Australia's Endangered Flora and other plants under consideration for declaration. Perth, Western Australia: Department of Consrvation and Land Management.

Patrick, S.J. (2001). Declared Rare or Poorly Known Flora in the Geraldton District. [Online]. Wildlife Management Program No 26. Perth, Western Australia: Department of Conservation and Land Management. Available from:

Threatened Species Scientific Committee (2008abb). Commonwealth Conservation Advice on Halosarcia bulbosa. [Online]. Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts. Available from:

Vallee, L., T. Hogbin, L. Monks, B. Makinson, M. Matthes & M. Rossetto (2004). Guidelines for the translocation of threatened plants in Australia - Second Edition. Canberra, ACT: Australian Network for Plant Conservation.

Wilson, P.G. (1984). Chenopodiaceae. In: Flora of Australia. 4:81-316. Canberra: AGPS.

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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). Tecticornia bulbosa in Species Profile and Threats Database, Department of the Environment, Canberra. Available from: Accessed Sat, 20 Sep 2014 17:54:53 +1000.