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Australian Plants online

On the Brink - 8

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

Grevillea iaspicula

Grevillea iaspicula is a relatively recent discovery and was first described botanically in 1986. It is known from only a few populations (possibly about 100 plants in total) around the Lake Burrinjuck - Wee Jasper area of the southern tablelands of New South Wales. It is commonly known as the Wee Jasper grevillea.

Grevillea iaspicula   

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The species is listed as endangered under the Australian Government's Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999. This listing means that the species faces "a very high risk of extinction in the wild in the near future, as determined in accordance with the prescribed criteria". Under the ROTAP* coding system it is classified as "2E".

Grevillea iaspicula is a small to medium shrub reaching 1-2 metres. Leaves are oblong to about 25 mm and end in a fine point. The leave margins are recurved (curve inwards). Flowers occur in pendulous "spider flower" clusters and are white with reddish areas and with red styles. They are well displayed at the ends of short branchlets and occur in winter and spring.

As reported in the Sydney Morning Herald (20 September 2003), populations of the species are known to have been destroyed by wild fires. In particular, many adult plants of the largest known population were killed by the devestating bushfires in January 2003. Efforts are being made to reintroduce plants into the wild with initial plantings being carried out in the Lake Burrinjuck area in September this year.

The newspaper also reported on concerns that cultivated grevilleas on a property near the wild populations readily hybridise with them. This threatens to pollute the genetic integrity of the wild species. However, an agreement has apparently been reached with the property owner for the removal of the cultivated plants.

* 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 - December 2003
Association of Societies for Growing Australian Plants