'Tis the season

Date posted: 31 July 2017

The SA Seed Bank is currently planning fieldwork the upcoming season (2017/2018) and the focus will be obtaining provenance collections for some of South Australia’s regionally threatened flora, including one endangered plant you can spot now at Adelaide Botanic Garden.

There are a number of rare plant populations that are quite disjunct from the predominant SA distribution, which have declined over recent years.

These small disjunct populations represent an important part of a species genome, which will be important to conserve with the prospect of rapid changing climate.

The regions that of particular interest this season are the Eyre Peninsula, Flinders Ranges and the Murray regions.

The first field trip will be to the Marne Valley region near Sanderston. We’ll be searching for a number of species but of particular interest is the endangered Superb groundsel (Senecio megaglossus).

The SA Seed Bank first collected and banked seeds for this SA endemic daisy from near Dutchmans Stern in the Flinders Ranges in 2005.

Past student Todd Erickson has very fond memories of this daisy, which was the focus of his honours project in 2006. Dr Todd Erickson now works as a restoration scientist at the University of Western Australia, but we still catch up from time to time in the world of seeds.

The status of the population at Marne Gorge is currently unknown. Only three plants were observed during a field search a number of years ago. Rick Davies has provided some slides of plants observed during monitoring in the 1980s, which can be viewed on our webpage.

Although past experience suggests we’ll need to search for this daisy in August when it's flowering, the plant is currently in full flower in the Whipstick Mallee - in front of the State Herbarium building on Hackney Road - here at Adelaide Botanic Garden, providing a great reminder of this endangered SA plant.

Next month on the blog, we'll let you know about another species of interest for the upcoming season - one that a Botanic Gardens trainee managed to find while camping in 2015 (the first time since the 1920s!).