Saving the endangered Zieria obcordata

A team from the Australian National Botanic Gardens and the New South Wales Office of Environment and Heritage converged on a Wellington district property this week to help save a nationally endangered plant.

The landholders on whose property the plant occurs have been nurturing a small population of the plants but were worried that numbers were plummeting in the drought.

In 2008 we took took cuttings of the plants to propagate in our nursery at the Botanic Gardens in Canberra. As a result of this work 46 Zieria obcordata shrubs have been translocated to the Wellington site — one of only two sites the plant is known to exist.

Zieria obcordata was first discovered in 1822 and is only known to occur on granite outcrops in the Wellington and Bathurst areas. A small shrub, it grows to about 50 centimetres high, produces a pungent odour and has leaves similar in shape to a three-leaf clover. The flowers are small, pale pink to white with four tiny petals.

If you’re visiting the Gardens in Canberra, you can see this plant on the Main Path. Our staff at the Visitors Centre can point you in the right direction. {

Paul Carmen, Australian National Botanic Gardens