A behind the scenes look at the small conservation collection of Acacia phasmoides (Phantom wattle), which has just started flowering in the Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria (RBGV) nursery. The Phantom wattle only occurs on Pine Mountain, in northeast Victoria, and Woomargama in NSW. This species is federally listed as Vulnerable and is at risk of local extinction due to unpredictable natural threats, including severe floods or fire.
RBGV conservation geneticists are analysing genetic data to guide ex situ conservation of the Phantom wattle, which will include collections for the Victorian Conservation Seedbank and propagation of additional plants to build the conservation collection.
Holding seed and plants ex situ acts as insurance against the loss of wild populations and forms part of the Preventing the extinction of Victoria’s threatened flora project. RBGV botanists will be joined by members of the local community when undertaking surveys and collecting the plants.
This research is funded by DEECA’s Victoria’s Nature Fund. The ‘Preventing the extinction of Victoria’s threatened flora’ project is led by Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria in partnership with La Trobe University, Australian Network for Plant Conservation, DEECA, Trust for Nature, ENVITE, Bairnsdale & District Field Naturalists Club, Friends of the Grampians Gariwerd, Wimmera CMA, Nillumbik Shire, Halls Gap Botanic Gardens and the Australasian Native Orchid Society Victorian Branch
Image: Acacia phasmoides growing in the RBGV nursery. (Laura Simmons)