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Discaria pubescens


Discaria pubescensspiky anchorplant

Group:Magnoliophyta (flowering plants), Magnoliopsida (dicots), Rhamnales, Rhamnaceae
Status:Threatened Species Protection Act 1995: endangered
Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999: Not listed
Found in Tasmania and elsewhere
Click to enlarge
Discaria pubescens (spiky anchorplant) is a shrub which, in Tasmania, has become restricted to the central highlands (its stronghold), the southern Midlands and the Launceston/Perth area. Much of its grassland and woodland habitat has long been converted for agriculture, with plants now mostly restricted to riparian areas protected by inaccessibility and rockiness. Only 1,000 to 2,000 plants remain, sometimes scattered in low numbers over large areas. Despite the ferocious spines of the species when mature, seedlings are highly palatable to native and introduced animals, stock and insects, resulting in small over mature subpopulations. Because of this, the species is subject to ongoing decline and is also at risk from agricultural, irrigation and power generation developments, roadside maintenance, chance events due to low numbers and fragmentation, and impacts of climate change. Small occurrences would benefit from periodic browsing protection to provide opportunities for the recruitment of seedlings.

A complete species management profile is not currently available for this species. Check for further information on this page and any relevant Activity Advice.

Key Points

  • Important: Is this species in your area? Do you need a permit? Ensure you’ve covered all the issues by checking the Planning Ahead page.
  • Important: Different threatened species may have different requirements. For any activity you are considering, read the Activity Advice pages for background information and important advice about managing around the needs of multiple threatened species.


Key Survey reliability more info
M Best time to survey
M Potential time to survey
M Poor time to survey
M Non-survey period

To ensure you follow the law - check whether your survey requires a permit. Always report any new records to the Natural Values Atlas, or send the information direct to the Threatened Species Section. Refer to the Activity Advice: Surveying page for background information.

Discaria pubescens Spring Summer Autumn Winter
spiky anchorplant S S O O N N D D J J F F M M A A M M J J J J A A

  • This thorny shrub can be identified throughout the year. Flowering is from October to December (Flora of Victoria).
  • Habitat in Tasmania includes grassy banks/ roadsides, sandy or gravelly soil in basalt talus slopes and clefts amongst fractured dolerite rocks and flood channels.

Helping the species

Cutting or clearing trees or vegetation






Changing water flow / quality

Use of chemicals


Further information

​Check also for listing statement or notesheet pdf above (below the species image)​.

​​Cite as: Threatened Species Section (). (): Species Management Profile for Tasmania's Threatened Species Link. ​ ​Department of Natural Resources and Environment Tasmania. Accessed on .

Contact details: Threatened Species Section, Department of Natural Resources and Environment Tasmania​, GPO Box 44, Hobart, Tasmania, Australia, 7001. Phone (1300 368 550).

Permit: A permit is required under the Tasmanian Threatened Species Protection Act 1995 to 'take' (which includes kill, injure, catch, damage, destroy and collect), keep, trade in or process any specimen or products of a listed species. Additional permits may also be required under other Acts or regulations to take, disturb or interfere with any form of wildlife or its products, (e.g. dens, nests, bones). This may also depend on the tenure of the land and other agreements relating to its management. ​​​​​