New flora discovered on coast


Renowned botanist Geoff Carr has identified indigenous plants near Anglesea and Aireys Inlet that have never before been documented in the area.

The plants were discovered as part of Mr Carr’s ongoing study of local flora in the area and included three new plant species which are thought to be rare and vulnerable.

Rough Cranes-bill  (Geranium sp.4)  found near Aireys Inlet

“The plants in Anglesea and Aireys Inlet are of international significance. This is due to the area’s unique location as the meeting point of East and West Victoria,” Mr.Carr said.

Mr Carr will present samples of the plants to the National Herbarium of Victoria where they will be included as part of flora notes on the area.

As part of his study, Mr Carr has been working with local environment groups such as the Anglesea, Aireys Inlet Society for the Protection of Flora and Fauna (ANGAIR) in order to monitor the progress of these plants and recently hosted a workshop with local environmental volunteers and flora enthusiasts.

Friends of Allen Noble Sanctuary coordinator Ellinor Campbell said plants discovered included Lemna trisulca, an ivy-leaf duck-weed which is thought to be rare and vulnerable and Austrostipa scabra subs falcata, a rough spear-grass which is known to Victoria but not recorded in the local area.

“Also discovered was Bulbine aff. Glauca, a bulbine lily which has not been documented at this stage but will probably one day be a species and Geranium sp. 4, a rough cranes-bill which has been seen in this area before but is more common in high rainfall areas,” she said.

Tall spike-sedge
Tall spike sedge seen at Allen Noble Sanctuary

ANGAIR member Carl Rayner said while the aim of the workshop was to learn about indigenous flora, it also highlighted the importance of the work undertaken by amateur botanists who play an important role in the discovery of new plants.

“Amateur botanists may find new plants when they survey areas of bush or as they compile a plant list for an area.

“It is difficult for professional botanists to survey every last hectare of bush due to the lack of resources available to them,” he said.

“ANGAIR holds nature walks every month on the Surf Coast and occasionally we find new plants,” he said.

Tall spike sedge near Anglesea

For information on ANGAIR or the Friends of Allen Noble Sanctuary (affiliated with ANGAIR) contact Carl Rayner:  5263 2193 or 9331 2810 or Ellinor Campbell: 5289 6581 or 9583 2736.  More information about environmental volunteering can be found at http://www.gorcc.com.au

This story also featured in the Surf Coast Times Greening the Coast column.

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