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Australian Plants online

On the Brink - 3

A series on Australian Plants at risk in their natural habitat.

Isopogon fletcheri

Isopogon is a genus in the protea family (Proteaceae). The genus comprises about 35 species occurring on both eastern and western sides of the continent. The majority of species are found in south Western Australia.

Isopogons are usually small to medium shrubs with conspicuous flower clusters. A few species are widely cultivated and others are well known to native plant enthsiasts.

Isopogon fletcheri   

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Isopogon fletcheri has a restricted distribution in the upper Blue Mountains west of Sydney where it occurs on damp cliff ledges. Under the ROTAP* coding system it is classified as "2VCat" meaning that it occurs over a range of less than 100 km and is at risk of disappearing from the wild in 20-50 years if current land use patterns continue - it is considered to be adequately reserved and the entire known population occurs within a dedicated reserve (Blue Mountains National Park). The species is listed as "Vulnerable" under the Australian Government's Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.

I.fletcheri is a small to medium shrub with elongated, oval-shaped leaves (oblanceolate) to about 75 mm long and entire (ie. not divided or toothed). The small flowers are creamy white and occur in globular-shaped clusters at the ends of the branches (terminal). This species has recently been introduced into cultivation under the name 'Mountain Mist'. Early indications are that it is reasonably hardy (even at low elevations) in moist, well drained soils in sun or semi-shade.

* ROTAP: Rare or Threatened Australian Plants (1988). J.D.Briggs and J.H.Leigh, CSIRO Division of Plant Industry (Australian National Parks and Wildlife Service, Special Publication No.14).


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Australian Plants online - September 2002
Association of Societies for Growing Australian Plants