Gardens provides ark for ‘extinct’ native plant

Rulingia appella - found in the Australian National Botanic Gardens' vast living collection of native plants.

Rulingia appella – thought to be extinct, this plant was found thriving at the Australian National Botanic Gardens.

The Australian National Botanic Gardens could be the Noah’s Ark for a plant native to Western Australia but now thought to be extinct in the wild.

Dr Carol Wilkins, a visiting researcher from the University of Western Australia School of Plant Biology discovered the plant thriving amongst the living collection of native plants at the Gardens.

Rulingia appella, now known as Commersonia apella, is one of over 6,000 different kinds of plants growing at the Australian National Botanic Gardens. It was propagated from  wild specimens collected by Gardens staff some years ago.

The plant had last been sighted in the wild by an amateur botanist in 2003 but had not been found since.

If you’re visiting us, you can find this plant in Section 4 of the Gardens, just below the rock garden.

 

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