Rare plants added to Botanic Gardens collection

Published: 28 Oct 2021

Mackay Regional Botanic Gardens have added eight rare plant species to their collection.

The plants, which originate from as far north as Cape York, to as far west as Esperance in Western Australia, bring the Botanic Gardens total collection to 1107 species.

The eight new species will be on display in the Botanic Gardens and were donated as part of a voluntary program run by James Cook University (JCU) to encourage sharing of Endangered and Vulnerable species between botanic institutes.

Mackay Regional Botanic Gardens is one of two facilities involved in the program, with Bundaberg Botanic Gardens being the other participant.

Selection into the program is contingent on being able to provide accessibility to the public as well as having desirable growing conditions related to weather and rainfall.

Parks and Environment Manager, Andrew Davidson said the new species would add to the significance of the botanic collection held in Mackay.

“We are very lucky to be involved in this program and are looking forward to studying the plants that were donated to us from JCU Townsville’s campus nursery,” he said.

“One of the specimens we received is Backhousia tetraptera, Mount Stuart Backhousia, which was collected from Mount Stuart, just outside of Townsville,” he said.

“It is a new species, first described in 2012 and published in Volume 25 of the Australian Systematic Botany.”

Mayor Greg Williamson said the specimen would be put on display in the Botanic Gardens and staff would research and record how it adapts to a horticulturally managed site.

“The Botanic Gardens is proud to be part of this program, which provides staff with a terrific opportunity to actively aid in the conservation and cultivation of some truly amazing and rare flora located on Australia’s northeast coast,” Mayor Williamson said.

The eight new species that form part of the Mackay Regional Botanic Gardens’ collection include:

  1. Backhousia tetraptera - Mount Stuart Backhousia
  2. Aldrovanda vesiculosa - Waterwheel plant
  3. Melaleuca arcana - No common name
  4. Nepenthes mirabilis - Swamp Pitcherplant
  5. Asteromyrtus lysicephala - Cape York Heath Plant
  6. Xanthostemon verticillatus - Bloomfield Penda
  7. Syzygium wilsonii - Powderpuff Lilly-Pilly
  8. Acacia wickhamii - Wickham's Wattle