Ptilotus caespitulosus F.Muell., 1868:232

Salt lake mulla-mulla



Taxonomy & Nomenclature



Conservation Status

Missing (Silcock et al., 2019:SM:3 [as 'possibly extinct']) or Extinct (Albani Rocchetti et al., 2022; Whitby, 2023:3408) or Rediscovered (Humphreys et al., 2019:SD1) (see below)

Last record: pre-1900 (Silcock et al., 2019:SM:3); November 1906 (ALA)


"The Fitzgerald’s Mulla-mulla [i.e. Ptilotus fasciculatus] was thought to be extinct until collections made in 1987 that had been misidentified as Ptilotus caespitulosus were correctly identified as Ptilotus fasciculatus in 2000."

(TSSC, 2005)


Last definitely recorded around the turn of the 20th century, several records (1981, 1987, 1991) since the 1980's have either been re-identified [viz. 1987] as belonging to P. fasciculatus (1987; TSSC, 2005) or may belong to this species [viz. 1981, 1991] (ALA but see Humphreys et al., 2019:SD1).



Western Australia, Australia


Biology & Ecology










Abell, Peter and Oates, John. (1996). Identification of Ptilotus species (Mulla Mulla) suitable for domestication and breeding for the cut and dried flower trade. Ptilotus Final Report. Australian Flora Foundation Inc.

Albani Rocchetti, Giulia, Carta, Angelino, Mondoni, Andrea, Godefroid, Sandrine, Davis, Charles C., Caneva, Giulia, Albrecht, Matthew A., Alvarado, Karla, Bijmoer, Roxali, Borosova, Renata, Bräuchler, Christian, Breman, Elinor, Briggs, Marie, Buord, Stephane, Cave, Lynette H., Da Silva, Nílber Gonçalves, Davey, Alexandra H., Davies, Rachael M., Dickie, John B., Fabillo, Melodina, Fleischmann, Andreas, Franks, Andrew, Hall, Geoffrey, Kantvilas, Gintaras, Klak, Cornelia, Liu, Udayangani, Medina, Leopoldo, Reinhammar, Lars Gunnar, Sebola, Ramagwai J., Schönberger, Ines, Sweeney, Patrick, Voglmayr, Hermann, White, Adam, Wieringa, Jan J., Zippel, Elke Zippel and Abeli, Thomas. (2022). Selecting the best candidates for resurrecting extinct-in-the-wild plants from herbaria. Nature Plants 8: 1385-1393. [Supplementary Tables S1-S6]

Hearn, Roger W., Meissner, Rachel, Brown, Andrew P., Macfarlane, Terry D. and Annels, Tony R. (2006). Declared Rare and Poorly Known Flora in the Warren Region. Western Australian Wildlife Management Program No. 40. Jointly published by Australian Government Department of Environment and Heritage (Canberra) & Western Australian Department of Conservation and Land Management (Bentley DC). x + 305 pp.

Hnatiuk, R. J. (1990). Census of Australian vascular plants. Australian Flora and Fauna Series 11: 1-650.

Humphreys, Aelys M., Govaerts, Rafaël, Ficinski, Sarah Z., Lughadha, Eimear Nic and Vorontsova, Maria S. (2019). Global dataset shows geography and life form predict modern plant extinction and rediscovery. Nature Ecology & Evolution 3: 1043-1047. [Supplementary Dataset 1]

Marchant, N. G. and Keighery, G. J. (1979). Poorly collected and presumably rare vascular plants of Western Australia. Kings Park Research Notes No. 5. West Perth: Kings Park and Botanic Garden. 103 pp.

Silcock, Jen L., Field, Ashley R., Walsh, Neville G. and Fensham, Roderick J. (2019). To name those lost: assessing extinction likelihood in the Australian vascular flora. Oryx 54(2): 167-177. [Supplementary Material]

TSSC (Threatened Species Scientific Committee). (2005). [Advice to the Minister for the Environment and Heritage regarding Ptilotus fasciculatus (Fitzgerald’s Mulla-mulla)]. Canberra: Department of the Environment.

Whitby, Reece. (2023). Biodiversity Conservation (Listing of Native Species) (Fauna) Order 2023. Government Gazette (WA) 135: 3393-3408.

Woinarski, John C. Z., Braby, M. F., Burbidge, A. A., Coates, D., Garnett, S. T., Fensham, R. J., Legge, S. M., McKenzie, N. L., Silcock, J L. and Murphy, B. P. (2019). Reading the black book: The number, timing, distribution and causes of listed extinctions in Australia. Biological Conservation 239: 108261.


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