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Safe Custody for Native Guava

From March 2022 to April 2023, the ANPC led this collaborative project between botanic gardens and government agencies in QLD, NSW, the ACT and Victoria to deliver conservation actions for Native Guava (Rhodomyrtus psidioides) using a pilot dispersed-custody model (metacollection). This species is listed as Critically Endangered under federal, New South Wales and Queensland legislation. Native Guava was common and in good health before Myrtle Rust was introduced to Australia in 2010 but has suffered significant declines as a result of this pathogen. Ex situ (offsite) conservation is needed to ensure this species will survive while long-term recovery options are pursued.


Image credits (L-R): Veronica Viler, Nathan Emery, Veronica Viler

Read this Botanic Gardens of Sydney blog piece to find out more about how ‘genetics is helping to save plant species decimated by myrtle rust’ dated 28 June 2023.


This project provided a coordinated national response to the conservation of this species across its range through the following activities:

  1. Boosting ex situ conservation through collection of Native Guava germplasm from NSW and Queensland. Genetic analysis of this new material will allow us to better understand population dynamics in the wild.
  2. Providing resources for maintaining potted Native Guava collections in Queensland and NSW.
  3. Engaging with researchers and promoting partnerships to provide Native Guava plants for further research. This can include tissue culture trials, susceptibility assays, RNAi vaccine trials, genetic research and investigating host/pathogen interactions.
  4. Supporting the creation of an in-ground living collection of Native Guava at six locations across NSW, Victoria, Queensland and the ACT. This dispersed living collection of 60 individual plants contains genetic lineages from the NSW germplasm collection.
  5. Raising awareness of Myrtle Rust and promoting the project by producing and publishing the two short videos below.
  6. Holding a Webinar in collaboration with the BGANZ BCARM group, the recording of which is below.

    Webinar – “Collective action provides hope for future recovery from Myrtle Rust” held 29 March 2023



We’d like to thank our partners for their generous support and commitment to the project and the future of the Native Guava:

Image credits: Veronica Viler (L) and Nathan Emery

Key Staff

Project Manager was Dr Amelia Martyn Yenson.

Image credit: Michael Lawrence-Taylor

This project was supported by funding from the Australian Government.

Thank you to all our partner organisations