They may be the more humble components of our diverse landscapes, but Australia's native plants are just as deserving of protection – in fact, entire communities of animals may depend upon it!
Across every vegetation type there are hundreds of native plant species, many of which are endangered and unfortunately escape the human eye. Delicate orchids, vibrant peas, stately gum trees and discrete wetland species – they are each a vital cog in the wheels of a complex ecosystem. Although the larger native Australian trees are more obvious sources of shelter and food for native animals, smaller native plants nevertheless play an important roles in stabilizing and enriching soils, and nourishing smaller creatures.
The Nature Conservation Trust (NCT) understands that some of the NSW’s most threatened native Australian plants now survive only on private land. We hope to convince land owners that they should manage their acreage for its natural value. Protecting plant biodiversity has never been more important.
The NCT’s work in private land conservation is helping to protect the habitat of native and endangered Australian plants including the bordered guinea flower, crimson spider orchid, slender Darling pea, southern swamp orchid, and those found in box gum woodlands and grasslands.
The crimson spider orchid (Caladenia concolor), which is endangered in NSW, boasts deep purplish-red flowers that are said to smell like a hot motor when they bloom in September.
The pea-like flowers of the slender Darling pea (Swainsona murrayana), which is listed as vulnerable (endangered) in NSW, are pink or purple with red stripes on hairy slender stalks.
The endangered southern swamp orchid has flower stems up to 2 metres tall with up to 20 large, showy flowers per stem. The southern swamp orchid has four petals that are white at the outside and brown with white or yellow veins in the interior.
Healthy box gum woodlands and their associated grasslands typically possess white box, yellow box or Blakely’s red gum trees and a rich understorey of native grasses, herbs and shrubs.