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Search is on for disappearing plant species - Kangarooby Landcare

The Kangarooby Catchment Landcare Group is on a mission to repopulate colonies of unique    and unusual plants in the Gooloogong region between Cowra and Forbes to ensure these special species aren’t lost to the local community.

“There are native plants in this area that are in danger of disappearing. They still grow in other parts of the country but it would be a shame if they could no longer be found here,” said Kangarooby Catchment Landcare volunteer and Gooloogong farmer, Ruth Workman.

Ruth and fellow Landcarer, Tracee Burke, have both been involved in previous native seedling propagation and replanting projects with partners such as the Weddin Community Nursery and the Roads and Maritime Service.

They are now sharing their skills and knowledge with other volunteers in the Gooloogong area, with assistance from Central Tablelands Local Land Services through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Programme and NSW Catchment Action.

“The Weddin Community nursery in Grenfell has been working hard at propagating all sorts of local species and they have taught us a great deal about propagation. Now is our chance to work on species we have noticed are only present in small numbers in our region,” said Tracee.

Ruth and Tracee have led several seed collection days in recent weeks targeting uncommon species such as Grevillea ramosissima, a small spiky bush with a pointy yellow flower head.

“The ramosissima seed pops out of a pod in hot weather, and we were holding our last workshop at just the right time so we were able to collect about 40 seeds. Next we’ll prepare these seeds for planting by soaking them in boiling water and then nicking with nail clippers so that they will germinate,” explained Ruth Workman.

They have also been collecting Goodenia ovata (Hop Goodenia), a multi stemmed shrub that grows along ephemeral water ways and flowers continuously all summer.

“Our experience of seed collecting over the last three years alerted us to the fact that there are some really interesting plants growing in this area which are not readily available in nurseries, and are becoming harder to find,” said Ruth.

“We’ve been out searching for these species on the properties of Landcare members and it's amazing what you can find in such a good growing season as this one.”

“We’ve recently been collecting seed from Dodonaea truncatiales (Propellor Hopbush) and as summer progresses we will try to collect Dillwynia sericea which is one of the ‘Egg and Bacon’ shrubs.”

“We’re also after Acacia genistifolia (Early Wattle), a very spiky wattle which provides fabulous protection for small birds and also Eucalyptus conica (Fuzzy Box), a type of Eucalypt not commonly sold in our local nurseries.”

“Some of these plants are probably very palatable and are quickly grazed out by livestock. You can find the species in flora books and records but they are not very widespread, and locally they tend to grow only in restricted areas.”

“We’d like to encourage local people to grow more of these plants, to ensure they aren’t lost. However we don’t have greenhouses or any special equipment so we are looking for volunteers willing to take care of some of the seedlings for us over the summer.”

People who can assist with seed collection or propagation can contact Kangarooby Catchment Landcare Group Secretary Tracee Burke on 0417 799 425.

Media enquiries: Kylie Krause | 0439608370