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
Recovery Plan Decision Recovery Plan required, this species had a recovery plan in force at the time the legislation provided for the Minister to decide whether or not to have a recovery plan (19/2/2007).
Adopted/Made Recovery Plans Tasmanian lowland Euphrasia species Flora Recovery Plan (Tasmanian Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment (Tas. DPIPWE), 2011g) [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
TAS:Threatened Species Listing Statement - Hairy cliff eyebright, Euphrasia phragmostoma (Tasmanian Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment (TAS DIPWE), 2001d) [Information Sheet].
TAS:Euphrasia phragmostoma (Buftons Eyebright, Hairy Cliff Eyebright): Species Management Profile for Tasmania's Threatened Species Link (Threatened Species Section (TSS), 2014gc) [State Action Plan].
State Listing Status
TAS: Listed as Vulnerable (Threatened Species Protection Act 1995 (Tasmania): September 2012 list)
Scientific name Euphrasia phragmostoma [7720]
Family Scrophulariaceae:Scrophulariales:Magnoliopsida:Magnoliophyta:Plantae
Species author W.R.Barker
Infraspecies author  
Reference Journal of the Adelaide Botanic Gardens 5: 103, fig. 29 (29 Sep. 1982).
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

The Buftons Eyebright is a short-lived perennial herb growing to 40 cm high, with creamy white flowers (Barker 1987; Threatened Species Unit 1997b)

The species is only known at Dolomieu Point, Bivouac Bay (within Abel Tasman Forest Reserve), on the Tasman Peninsula, eastern Tas. (Barker 1987; Threatened Species Unit 1997b; W.Potts, Tasmanian DPIWE 2000, pers. comm.). The only population is found on coastal cliffs between Dolomieu Point and an unnamed point before Thumbs Point, and occupies less than 10 ha (Threatened Species Unit 1997b).

In 1995 the population was estimated as 1000-2500 individuals, with less than 1000 mature individuals (Potts 1997a in Threatened Species Unit 1997b). Suitable habitat potentially supporting this species occurs on the Tasman Peninsula, the Forestier Peninsula and the E Coast of Tas. Difficulty of access has precluded a thorough search of potential habitat (Threatened Species Unit 1997b).

Euphrasia phragmostoma is contained within the close-knit Euphrasia phragmostoma, E. amphisysepala, E. fabula group (Potts & Barker in prep). It is thought that variation in this group has arisen through hybridisation (Threatened Species Unit 1997b).

The species is generally restricted to dolerite cliff faces, tending to be found on ledges, rock crevices and patches of bare ground, extending from the base to the tops of coastal cliffs. The species has a preference for relatively moist and shady areas, where the vegetation is not too dense. It may extend away from the cliff edges after fire due to the increased openness, but will retreat to cliff faces as the vegetation thickens (Threatened Species Unit 1997b).

Flowering probably occurs from late Oct. to Jan. (Barker 1982).

Populations of Euphrasia species are transient. The persistence of populations is reliant upon the successful recruitment of seedlings. Patches of open ground are required for germination, and adequate moisture levels are required for seedling survival. Seed production is copious and the soil seed bank probably survives for decades. Profuse germination occurs after fire (Potts 1999).

Euphrasia species are non-host specific semi-parasites. The growth rate and reproductive output is reduced in the absence of hosts (Potts 1999).

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
Climate Change and Severe Weather:Droughts:Drought Recovery Plans for Threatened Tasmanian Lowland Euphrasia Species - 1997-2001 (Potts, W.C., 1999) [State Recovery Plan].
Climate Change and Severe Weather:Storms and Flooding:Storm damage Recovery Plans for Threatened Tasmanian Lowland Euphrasia Species - 1997-2001 (Potts, W.C., 1999) [State Recovery Plan].
Geological Events:Avalanches/Landslides:Habitat modification due to landslides Recovery Plans for Threatened Tasmanian Lowland Euphrasia Species - 1997-2001 (Potts, W.C., 1999) [State Recovery Plan].
Species Stresses:Indirect Species Effects:Low numbers of individuals Recovery Plans for Threatened Tasmanian Lowland Euphrasia Species - 1997-2001 (Potts, W.C., 1999) [State Recovery Plan].

Ball, P.S. (1994). Four threatened Euphrasia Sp. Hobart: Tasmanian Parks & Wildlife.

Barker, W R (1987). Taxonomic Studies in Euphrasia L. (Scrophulariaceae). V. New and rediscovered taxa, typifications and other notes on the genus in Australia. J. Adel. Bot. Gard. 10(2):201-221.

Barker, W.R. (1982). Taxonomic studies in Euphrasia L. (Scrophulariaceae). A revised infrageneric classification, and a revision of the genus in Australia. Journal of the Adelaide Botanic Gardens. 5:1-304.

Council of Heads of Australian Botanic Gardens (CHABG) (1994). Census of plants in botanic gardens. [Online]. Canberra: Australian National Botanic Gardens. Available from:

Potts W & Barker, W (inprep). Variation in Euphrasia , Section Phragmostoma (Scrophulariaceae). unpublished.

Potts, W.C. (1999). Recovery Plans for Threatened Tasmanian Lowland Euphrasia Species - 1997-2001. [Online]. TAS DPIWE. Available from:

Tasmanian DPIWE (2000). Personal communication.

Threatened Species Unit (1997b). Listing Statement No. 7 - Euphrasia phragmostoma W R Barker, Button's Eyebright. Dept Primary Industries, Water & Environment, Tas. Dept Primary Industries, Water & Environment, Tas.

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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). Euphrasia phragmostoma in Species Profile and Threats Database, Department of the Environment, Canberra. Available from: Accessed Thu, 2 Oct 2014 21:19:34 +1000.