Thesium australe R.Br.

Austral Toad-flax

Prodr. 353 (1810) APNI

Taxonomic status:Accepted

Occurrence status:Present

Establishment means:Native

Threat status:EPBC: vulnerable (VU); Victoria: vulnerable (v); listed in Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988

Perennial herb (but stems mostly annual from woody rootstock) to c. 40 cm high, glabrous, pale green or yellow-green; stems 1–several, little-branched, wiry, striate. Leaves alternate, linear, mostly 1–4 cm long, 0.5–1.5 mm wide, rather lax, acute, midrib decurrent, margins entire, sessile; lowest leaves scale-like. Inflorescences axillary; peduncle 1–3 mm long, united with leaf-base; bracteoles 2, opposite, linear, mostly 2–5 mm long, inserted on leaf 1–3 mm above axis; pedicel very short. Receptacle cupular-globose, c. 1 mm long; tepals oblong, c. 1.5 mm long, united at base, finely keeled, tips incurved, green with white margins; stamens inserted c. halfway on tepals; style c. 1 mm long, stigma globular. Fruit globose, c. 2 mm diam., reticulate-striate. Flowers mostly spring and summer.

CVU, DunT, EGU, GipP, Gold, HNF, MonT, NIS, SnM, VRiv, VVP. Also Qld, NSW, ACT, Tas. East Asia. Once widespread across Victoria, but all recent collections are from highland areas in the vicinity of Wulgulmerang and it is believed to have become extinct across most of its Australian range due to loss of habitat and grazing. Grows in grasslands, woodlands and herbfields, usually in damp situations.

Source: Jeanes, J.A. (1999). Thesium. In: Walsh, N.G.; Entwisle, T.J. (eds), Flora of Victoria Vol. 4, Cornaceae to Asteraceae. Inkata Press, Melbourne.
Hero image
Distribution map
life Life
kingdom Plantae
phylum Tracheophyta
superorder Santalanae
order Santalales
family Santalaceae
genus Thesium
Higher taxa


Source: AVH (2014). Australia's Virtual Herbarium, Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria, <>. Find Thesium australe in AVH ; Victorian Biodiversity Atlas, © The State of Victoria, Department of Environment and Primary Industries (published Dec. 2014) Find Thesium australe in Victorian Biodiversity Atlas
  Bioregion Occurrence status Establishment means
Victorian Volcanic Plain present native
Victorian Riverina present native
Gippsland Plain present native
Goldfields present native
Central Victorian Uplands present native
Dundas Tablelands present native
Northern Inland Slopes present native
East Gippsland Uplands present native
Highlands-Northern Fall present native
Monaro Tablelands present native
Snowy Mountains present native

State distribution

Distribution map
New South Wales
Australian Capital Territory