The Button Wrinklewort (Rutidosis leptorrynchoides) is a threatened perennial wildflower. It is approximately 30 cm tall with yellow button flowers approximately 2 cm wide. Flowering occurs from October to April. It branches mainly from the base, and has narrow, dark-green leaves up to 3.5 cm long with rolled edges.
It is thought that the Button Wrinklewort was once widespread across grassy ecosystems south of the Great Dividing Range in Victoria, and in south-east New South Wales. It is now restricted to three geographically disjunct areas in south-eastern Australia: the Southern Tablelands of NSW and the ACT, the Gippsland Plains of eastern Victoria, and the volcanic plains of western Victoria.
In the ACT, Button Wrinklewort occurs on the edges of open stands of Yellow Box and Red Gum Grassy Woodland with a grassy understorey, and in Natural Temperate Grasslands.
There are seventeen populations in the greater ACT region, 10 within the ACT itself, six near Queanbeyan and Cooma, and one near Goulburn. Populations range in size from five to 95,000 plants. The biggest populations in the ACT are at Stirling Ridge and the Majura Field Firing Range. Smaller populations are often located on road margins, railway easements and cemeteries.
Button Wrinklewort is listed as endangered under the federal Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 and vulnerable under the ACT's Nature Conservation Act 2014. It is also listed under legislation in both Victoria and New South Wales.
The major threats to Button Wrinklewort are thought to be habitat loss or degradation, competition with weeds, inappropriate fire practises, heavy grazing, use of some fertilisers, and reduced genetic diversity leading to increased inbreeding. Priority conservation actions in the ACT include surveying appropriate habitat to find additional populations, monitoring known populations, improving understanding of the species' genetic diversity, and developing and implementing management guidelines for each site to control key threats.
Some of the information on this page has been referenced from Environment ACT's Button Wrinklewort brochure
- Briggs, J.D., Corrigan, V.T., and Smith, W.J.S., 1998. Rutidosis leptorrhynchoides (Button Wrinklewort) revised national recovery plan, 3rd ed. NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service.
- Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities, 2010. Rutidosis leptorrhynchoides in Species Profile and Threats Database, Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities, Canberra - 22 October 2010.
- Environment ACT. Button Wrinklewort (Rutidosis leptorrhynchoides): An endangered species. Canberra, ACT: Arts, Heritage and Environment - 15 August 2015.
- NSW Department of Environment and Climate Change, 2005. NSW threatened species - Button Wrinklewort - profile - 22 October 2010.