Prepared by Marion Saunders
Rainforest Ecotone Recovery Team (RERT)
The genus Corchorus belongs to the family Tilaceae and includes approximately 100 individual species of herbs and sub-shrubs which are distributed world-wide, primarily in tropical and sub-tropical regions. Twenty-six species belonging to the genus Corchorus are found in Australia, twenty one of which are considered to be endemic.
C. cunninghamii F. Muell. is an endemic, perennial, flowering herbaceous shrub with small yellow flowers and soft leaves with serrated margins. The species was first described in 1862 from material collected from south-east Queensland by Baron Ferdinand von Mueller. More recently the species was thought to be extinct as it had not been collected in the wild for almost forty years (1944 to 1983). However, since 1983 populations of C. cunninghamii have been located in a limited area around south-east Queensland and north-eastern New South Wales.
In 1995 a conservation statement and draft recovery plan for C. cunninghamii was prepared by David Halford (1995a). This original plan provided the basis for the current plan and as such is acknowledged here.