Dr Brendon Lepschi - 'The new ACT plant census'

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Monday, 6 August 2012 - 10:30am

The census is the work of the Australian National Herbarium (which is jointly managed by the Australian National Botanic Gardens and CSIRO) in association with ACT Territory and Municipal Services

Brendan will talk about the science that goes into it and some of the stories behind entries in the Census.

A thumbnail sketch about the new census taken from a recent article in The Canberra Times follows:

The new census provides the scientific community and general public with quick, easy-to-access information about native and introduced plants growing in the wild in the ACT.

It finds that we have about 1645 different species of ''vascular plants'' (most of the trees and shrubs and small herby plants we notice). In addition we have three kinds of hornworts, 77 sorts of liverworts and are rich in slime moulds.

Of these 1645 “vascular plants” almost 600 are weeds and about 45 of these trespassers are Australian plants, eg the Cootamundra Wattle (Acacia baileyana) that never used to occur here. The ACT is ''remarkably rich'' in native, naturally-occurring plants with for example about 119 orchid species, 36 eucalyptus species, 24 acacias, 12 kinds of pomaderris, 11 pimeleas, 11 leptospermums (tea-trees), six grevilleas, three boronias and much, much more. However, the ACT has only one of our continent’s 170 species of Banksia.

This talk is in the monthly series of talks for volunteers in the Botanical Resource Centre, but members of the Friends are welcome to attend. Venue is the Crosbie Morrison Building.