Anthocercis gracilis Benth. in DC., Prodr. 10: 192 (1846)

T: Swan River, W.A., Drummond s.n.; holo: K; iso: BM, K.


Rounded shrublet to 60 cm, almost leafless in flowering state, mostly glabrous or with scattered glandular and non-glandular hairs.

Leaves narrowly elliptic or obovate, sessile, 3–27 mm long, 1–2 mm wide, entire to minutely toothed.

Flowers in small groups; pedicels 5–8 mm long. Calyx 3.5–4 mm long. Corolla 15–21 mm long, pale yellow-green, striations purplish; lobes linear, 10–15 mm long. Stamens 3.5–4 mm long.

Capsule ellipsoid, acute, 6.5–10 mm long. Seeds 1.5 mm long.

Distribution and ecology

A rare species of the escarpment and plains of the Darling Range near Perth, W.A.

Occurs in granite-derived soil in open-forest.

Common name

Slender Tailflower


The conservation advice prepared for A. gracilis in 2008 contains more up to date information about this species in its environment - see

Phylogenetic studies by Garcia & Olmstead (2003) on the Tribe Anthocercideae using two chloroplast DNA regions included this species. The studies indicated that Anthocercis is monophyletic.

Reference: V.F.Garcia & R.G.Olmstead (2003). Phylogenetics of Tribe Anthocercideaea (Solanaceae) based on ndhF and trnL/F sequence data. Systematic Botany 28: 609-615.


Selected specimens

W.A.: 22 km ESE of Perth, L. Haegi 1161 (AD, BIRM, BRI, CANB, MO, NSW, PERTH); 22 km E of Perth, K.F. Kenneally 4714 (PERTH).

Derivation of epithet

From gracilis, Latin for elegant or graceful.

Images and information on web

Images of A. gracilis can be seen on the Western Australia Herbarium Florabase website at

Pharmacology: A discussion of the tropane alkaloids which occur in Anthocercis and other Anthocercideae can be found in Griffith & Lin (2000).

Ref: W.J. Griffin & G.D. Lin (2000). Chemotaxonomy and geographical distribution of tropane alkaloids. Phytochemistry 53: 627–628.

References to the possible toxic properties of Anthocercis species can be found with a search in the FDA Poisonous Plant Database

Plant status (if any)

Previously classified as Risk Code 2EC-  (Briggs & Leigh, Rare or Threatened Australian Plants, 1995).

Declared as  R = Declared Rare Flora - extant based on Atkins (2008). See

Atkins, K.J. (2008). Declared Rare and Priority Flora List for Western Australia , 26 February 2008. (Dept of Environment and Conservation: Como , W.A.).

Listed as Vulnerable under the Commonwealth EPBC Act - see There are links here to a conservation advice prepared for this species in 2008 - see