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Community rallies together to save endangered plant

Efforts to restore the endangered Tumut grevillea, Grevillea wilkinsonii, are continuing with the community coming together to collect seed for this rare plant.

With funding from the Environmental Trusts Save Our Species program, Riverina Local Land Services, NSW Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH) and Landcare are working together to carry out the long term project.

The Tumut Grevillea is a large spreading shrub, up to 2.5 m tall and 2 m wide. The leaves are more or less oblong with scalloped edges.  The leaves are green and flowers form toothbrush-like clusters which have pinkish to purple petals.

The plant is only found in two locations with the main population being along a 6km section of the Goobarragandra River.  The species was discovered in 1982 by a local naturalist, Mr Tom Wilkinson and the first significant efforts to conserve the Tumut Grevillea commenced in 1991.

Riverina Local Land Services Project Manager Cherie White said whilst the major threats for the plant are grazing and trampling by stock and invasion of native and exotic weeds, recent flood events are believed to have contributed to only a few hundred now remaining in the Goobarragandra Valley.

Volunteers from the Landcare Nursery along with staff from Riverina Local Land Services, OEH and the Green Army Team have begun the process of collecting Tumut Grevillea seed from the Goobarragandra population by placing mesh bags on the plants.

“The bags are placed over the developing fruit to prevent them from being eaten by birds, especially parrots” said Cherie.

In the coming weeks as the seed dries it will be released from its capsule and held in the bag.  The bags will then be removed, the seed collected and then taken back to the Landcare Nursery for propagation.

“Last year, nearly 1000 seeds were collected from bags placed on 13 plants,” she said.

The Landcare Nursery will grow the plants into advanced tubestock ready for planting areas especially in the Goobaragandra valley in the coming year.

Project Manager: Cherie White 6941 1402

Media contact: Tracey Bell 0428 435 029

Caption: Steve Hamill from the Landcare Nursery and members of the Tumut Green Army team help to place bags over the Grevillea flowers.