The Australian Botanic Gardens, Shepparton received a delivery of several hundred rare plants propagated at Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria, as part of its Care for the Rare program, which protects some of the state’s rarest and threatened plants.
With over one third of Victoria’s 3,600 plant species are registered as ‘threatened’, Care for the Rare aims to increase populations of rare and threatened plants in environments they are best suited to and where they will thrive.
It also distributes plants to regional botanic gardens with varied climates to create insurance populations and protect these plants against climate change and potential disasters.
‘This is another wonderful milestone in the life of the Care for the Rare program, and I am so pleased to see these plants arrive safely to their new homes,’ said John Arnott, Manager Horticulture, Cranbourne Gardens, Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria.
Species that were delivered included Eucalyptus froggattii (Kamarooka mallee), Maireana microphylla (Small-leaf Bluebush), Senna artemisioides (Narrow Leaf Desert Cassia), Ptilotus exaltatus (Mulla Mulla), Podolepis linearifolia (Basalt Podolepis), Ptilotus erubescens (Hairy Tails), Senecio behrianus (Stiff Goundsell), Swainsona murrayana (Slender Darling Pea), Viola betonicifolia subsp. novaguineensis (Wild Violet), Dianella longifolia var. grandis (Pale Flax Lily), Dianella tarda (Late-flower Flax Lily), Rytidosperma richardsonii (Straw Wallaby-grass).
Colac Botanic Gardens, Dandenong Ranges Botanic Gardens, Ballarat, Sale, and Wilson Botanic Park in Berwick are also part of the project, which is expected to continue growing. Gardens are selected because they are either near to the species’ native home or they have similar soil and climatic conditions.
With support from the Helen MacPherson Smith Trust and in collaboration with the Botanic Gardens Australia and New Zealand (BGANZ) Victoria network, the program first assesses the potential of botanic gardens across the state to nurture rare and threatened plants. The plants are then propagated in Cranbourne Garden’s nursery and donated to these regional botanic gardens for planting.
‘The success of this program shows what can be achieved when gardens work together, as well as the highly appreciated support of the Helen McPherson Smith Trust,’ says Mr Arnott.