ARS Victoria Newsletter – October 2018

  • Date: 3rd October 2018
  • author: Francis Crome

NQ PROJECT SUCCESS - CONGRATULATIONS AUSTRALIAN TROPICAL HERBARIUM

In the February 2018 newsletter we announced that work was progressing with the Australian Tropical Herbarium (ATH) for the next phase of the NQ project whereby the many other endemic plants on the NQ mountaintops will be surveyed and propagation material collected. This material will be used to ensure survival of these species should climate change irrevocably change their montane niches.

Darren Crayne of the ATH put together a major collaboration of the ATH, ARS, Brisbane Botanic Garden, Cairns Botanic Garden, Mossman Botanic Garden, Royal Botanic Gardens
Sydney, Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria (Cranbourne), Wet Tropics Management Authority and the artist Donna Davis and applied to the Ian Potter Foundation for funding. It was announced this week that the project, now titled “Securing the future of Australia’s threatened tropical mountain flora for science and society” has been successful in its application and the Foundation has awarded the project the entire requested budget of $500,000 over 5 years.

This is a fantastic result and the society congratulates Darren for his tremendous effort and also to Andrew Rouse for his continued support to Darren in achieving this result.

For ARSV the long–term aim for these “companion plants”, together with the vireyas already propagated, is that they be a permanent ark for the montane plant community of
Queensland’s tropics at the Dandenong Ranges Botanic Garden and the intent is that they be displayed in a “NQ mountaintop bed” - reproducing the communities on these mountains.

This all started with Simon Begg pushing the need to get the NQ vireyas into  cultivation and our first tentative trips to the NQ mountaintops. The role of ARSV will be minor as it is the ATH’s other collaborators who will do the hard yards of learning how to cultivate what are likely to be difficult plants. The various botanic gardens involved will ensure the plants will be in their core collections and our role is to back that up at Olinda in the “mountaintop beds”.

So once again congratulations.

As a first cab off the rank the ARSV will be running a “design” day for ARSV members on 7th October.

To read more download the newsletter.