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Eryngium ovinum


Eryngium ovinumblue devil

Group:Magnoliophyta (flowering plants), Magnoliopsida (dicots), Apiales, Apiaceae
Status:Threatened Species Protection Act 1995: vulnerable
Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999: Not listed
Found in Tasmania and elsewhere
Click to enlarge
​​Eryngium ovinum (blue devil) is a perennial herb in the Apiaceae (carrot) family with distinctive spiny foliage and metallic-blue flower-heads. It is known in Tasmania from about 24 sites in the State’s southeast and east, usually growing in fertile heavy soils in grasslands and grassy woodlands below about 350 m elevation. The species is poorly reserved, with the majority of sites on unsecured private land and most subpopulations are thought to be small, making them subject to inadvertent or chance events. The risk is exacerbated as the species may become confined to rootstock or the soil seed store during unfavourable periods. Eryngium ovinum is subject to a range of threatening processes, including historical and contemporary depletion and modification of habitat, competition by weeds, and inappropriate disturbance regimes (e.g. grazing, fire and mechanical disturbance). ​​​​​

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.

Spring Summer Autumn Winter
blue devil S S O O N N D D J J F F M M A A M M J J J J A A

  • As flowers are required to confirm the identity of this short-lived perennial herb and flowers will aid detection, surveys are best conducted during the flowering period, November to January. However, the other species in the genus in Tasmania, Eryngium vesticulosum, occurs in salty, swampy habitats as opposed to the dry forest and grassland habitat of Eryngium ovinum allowing surveys to be conducted at any time, except in dry years when plants may largely die back.
  • In Tasmania, Eryngium ovinum occurs in gullies, roadsides, Themeda grassland and open grassy woodlands, often in damp clays in the south east of the State.

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. ​​​​​