"Shrub 2-3 m; branchlets striate." (Flora of Australia)
Striate refers to grooves in the stems of the branchlets. This feature is demonstrated in photography below.
We have described the taxon here as a tree or shrub since some natural specimens are recorded to 5m in height.
Denhamia parvifolia is included here because it is a taxon of local interest and should be used in local rehabilitation works. It is listed as Vulnerable under the Queensland Nature Conservation Act 1992, Nature Conservation (Wildlife)Regulation 2006 and also under the Federal Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.
Plants of this nature should be used by councils and private citizens replanting natives around degraded bushland. Dry rainforest plants are amazingly adapted to dry soils and experience extreme competition for moisture much of the time. If planted at the time of seasonal rain they will quickly become self-reliant. Please investigate the link below to "Toowoomba Plants" covering this subject in some detail.
The use of such taxa as garden plants also aids conservation efforts. From gardens, seed may disperse, and of course general awareness of threatened species can be increased. Native fauna associated with native plants used in this way can also benefit.
Denhamia parvifolia may be difficult to find where it naturally occurs, and much study and patience will be required. The very small trees blend in effectively with surrounding vegetation. The fruits, though colourful are relatively small, as are the leaves. Sixteen locations known to the herbariums were visited around the South Burnett in aid of this webpage. It was discovered that a fair number of plants previously observed and recorded are now missing, or imminently endangered by more recent clearing, burning and other works.
A special mention is made here about the detailed botanical illustrations of the late Sylvia Seiler whose depiction of Denhamia parvifolia can be viewed below. The descriptions available for this taxon (date of writing, March 2021) are quite limited and Sylvia's obvious depiction steered our identifications in the correct direction. Some of her other illustrations are utilised on this website. Her work was compiled into a book (citation below) by Ross and Wilma Tait for the Chinchilla Field Naturalists’ Club in 2014 with the help of the Queensland Herbarium and the Bunya Mountains Natural History Association.
This page is motivated by passion for ecological conservation and it is this author’s deep sentiment that people, and the works of people such as those mentioned above, with their love of natural things, for the earth, for life and lifeforms are extremely valuable.
Finally, the case of Denhamia parvifolia demonstrates the value of roadside vegetation which remains neglected, in serious decline from weeds, fires which are fuelled by hot burning exotic grasses, legal and illegal clearing and herbicide poisoning. These plants could be protected, nurtured, and elevated in status.
"Occurs in microphyll vine thickets from Eidsvold to Chinchilla and E to Kingaroy, Qld." (Flora of Australia)
Several collections are also recorded from a very small area at Rockhampton, Qld, in 1986, (National Herbarium of Victoria).
Botanical Illustrations by Sylvia Seiler. Compiled by Ross and Wilma Tait for the Chinchilla Field Naturalists’ Club, 2014.