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Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria and La Trobe University scientists are working hard to protect the Critically Endangered Sphaerolobium acanthos (Grampians Globe-pea).

Growing up to 1 m tall, this spiny shrub has vibrant flowers that are bright orange, but can range from yellow to red in colour.

Sphaerolobium acanthos is restricted with less than 200 individuals remaining in the Gariwerd National Park in Victoria. As part of ongoing conservation work, populations of S. acanthos are being surveyed with genetic studies underway to inform seed collections and propagation for future reintroduction.

The species is thought to be pollinated by native bees, and pollinator studies are helping to establish exactly what these pollinators are so that suitable reintroduction sites can be found to save the plant from extinction.

The Grampians Globe-pea is threatened by animal browsing, habitat loss, and dieback caused by the pathogen Phytophthora cinnamomi (Cinnamon fungus).


This research is funded by Department of Energy, Environment and Climate Action‘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, Wimmera Catchment Management Authority, Nillumbik Shire, ENVITE, Bairnsdale & District Field Naturalists Club, Friends of the Grampians Gariwerd, WAMA Botanic Gardens, Halls Gap Botanic Gardens and the Australasian Native Orchid Society Victorian Branch.

Images supplied by La Trobe University