Some very rare and unusual plants have found a new home in the Bundaberg Botanic Gardens.
Bundaberg Regional Council’s Parks and Gardens spokesperson Cr Wayne Honor last week planted one of 13 species which are new additions to the region’s plant collection.
The trees, shrubs and herbs were donated by the Tondoon Botanic Gardens in Gladstone as part of a collaboration within the Queensland network of botanic gardens.
Cr Honor said the new plants included species that were found in just a single location between Bundaberg and Gladstone.
“Botanists have found a small tree growing in rainforest at Bulburin, which is north-west of Gin Gin,” he said.
“It is called Bulburin Medicosma and it is the only place in the world where it is found.
“At the same location there is a small shrub called Bulburin Phyllanthus which also only grows there.
“Having these plants growing and labelled in the Botanic Gardens means that people can admire them without having to travel to remote areas.”
Both of these species are officially listed as vulnerable to extinction.
Some of the recently planted trees have medicinal properties, while others such as Brush Senna attract butterflies and bees.
Cr Honor said the Botanic Gardens was a living museum that provided a safety net for plant species.
“Our Botanic Gardens maintain plants away from their natural habitat and remind us that plants are vital for human life.
“The gardens also bring people together – to relax, walk, meet friends and attend events.
“They offer a retreat from busy, modern-day life and have a rich natural and cultural heritage.”
Botanic Gardens rare plants
The 13 new plants are listed below.
They have been planted in various locations around the Botanic Gardens, depending on their soil and light requirements.
|Botanic name||Common name||Details|
|Acalypha sp. ‘Dan Dan'||Targinnie Acalypha||A spreading shrub to 1m high, growing in dry rainforest confined to the Dan Dan and Targinnie district (near Gladstone).|
|Geniostoma rupestre var. australianum||Geniostoma||A rainforest shrub or small tree to 10m high. The Bundaberg Region (Bulburin) is the southern limit of this species. Occasionally grows into a small tree but usually flowers and fruits as a single-stemmed shrub 2-4m tall. This species may have medicinal properties.|
|Beilschmiedia obtusifolia||Blush Walnut||A large rainforest tree. Produces black berries which are eaten by rainforest birds. Timber from this tree is marketed as Ivory Walnut, is close-grained and easy to work.|
|Senna acclinis||Brush Senna||A shrub to 3m tall. Endangered in NSW. Grows on the edges of rainforest and vine thickets. Produces showy, yellow-coloured flowers. It is a host plant for two species of butterfly and attracts bees.|
|Macropteranthes leiocaulis||Southern Bonewood||Shrub to medium sized tree found in dry rainforest and vine thickets north from the Binjour Plateau (south west of Bundaberg). Deciduous. New leaf growth is reddish in colour. Produces small white flowers. Sometimes has unusual prostrate leafy branches at the base of the trunk.|
|Decaspermum humile||Silky Myrtle||Shrub to medium sized tree growing in rainforest. The glossy leaves are aromatic when crushed. New leaves are coloured pink and have silvery hairs. It has attractive furrowed bark and fragrant white or mauve flowers. It has great horticultural potential and is suitable as an indoor plant. Produces small black fruit which are edible.|
|Pomaderris sp ‘Mt Larcom’||A shrub growing to 2m high, only known from the top of Mount Larcom, west of Gladstone. Grows on a rocky ridge.|
|Dansiea elliptica||Dansiea||A medium sized rainforest tree only found in Queensland. In Central Qld it is only found in 5 localities. It is considered to be “Near Threatened” due to loss of habitat.|
|Medicosma elliptica||Bulburin Medicosma||A shrub or small tree growing to 4m high. Confined to rainforest at Bulburin, north-west of Bundaberg. Classed as vulnerable by the Queensland Government. In 1998, this species was estimated to have a total population of 100 to 250 individuals, over a range of approximately 20km. The main threats are fire and weed invasion.|
|Fontainea venosa||Queensland Fontainea||Small tree growing to 18m tall. Produces white flowers, with male and female flowers growing on separate trees. The fruit are fleshy, orange coloured and about 20 – 26mm diameter. The species is considered to be vulnerable to extinction, due to clearing, fire and exotic weeds. It is found near Gympie, Brisbane, and the Boyne Valley north-west of Bundaberg.|
|Marsdenia brevifolia||A small, erect woody shrub growing to 1m high. It has small, dark green leaves and tiny yellow flowers. It only grows in northern and central Queensland and is listed as Vulnerable by the Queensland and Australian Governments. Threats include habitat loss, heavy grazing and too frequent burning.|
|Phyllanthus sp ‘Bulburin'||Bulburin Phyllanthus||A rainforest shrub growing to 1m high. Confined to rainforest at Bulburin, north-west of Bundaberg. Classed as vulnerable by the Queensland Government. Flowers are either male or female flowers, and are born on the same plant. New leaf growth is reddish in colour.|
|Scleromitrion gibsonii||An intricately branched herb that grows to 1m in height. It grows only in dry rainforest in a national park west of Miriam Vale and is classed as endangered. It was first described in 1999. It produces small cream coloured flowers with a tinge of lilac.|