Gardens lends a hand

Generous volunteers also took part in the plant-out, and will assist with ongoing care of the plants.

Generous volunteers also took part in the plant-out, and will assist with ongoing care of the plants

The Australian National Botanic Gardens have stepped in to help protect the Ginninderra peppercress – a locally endangered perennial that grows only in two small parts of the ACT.

The herb is a member of the mustard family and grows in the Canberra suburbs of Lawson and Mitchell – in a combined area of just 300 square metres. The plant is significant for the overall diversity of threatened grassland communities –  areas that are easily overlooked because they lack trees, shrubs or showy flowers, but nevertheless are an essential part of Australia’s biodiversity.

We collected seed from the Lawson site and propagated the plants in the Gardens’ on-site nursery. Together with the community and Greening Australia staff we have planted more than 1000 new plants at sites in Dunlop and Crace. These new populations will provide insurance against bushfire, prolonged drought or human activities that might lead to further declines in the original population.

A large amount of seed was produced from the stock propagated in the nursery, and is now securely stored in the Gardens’ seedbank for future restoration efforts and insurance for the species’ survival.

We’re undertaking this work in partnership with the ACT Government and Greening Australia – it’s a great example of the results that can be achieved working together.

Tom, Seedbank Manager, Australian National Botanic Gardens

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