Discovering new plants
We discover more than 50 new species of plants, algae, lichens and fungi in Queensland each year. These new species are formally described under international rules, and are then recognised as part of the established native flora of Queensland.
Descriptions and illustrations of new species are published in the Queensland Herbarium’s international journal Austrobaileya. Identification keys and illustrations are also included in the publication to assist users. Additional identification keys to the Queensland flora can be found on KeyBase.
The Census of the Queensland Flora records the status and distribution of all of the known flora species in Queensland, and is updated annually to include newly described species, new records and new naturalisations along with name and status changes that have occurred during the year.
For more information on these publications contact the Queensland Herbarium.
2016 plant species discoveries
In 2016, botanists described 19 new plant species and 2 new lichen species, as documented in the latest issue of the journal Austrobaileya.. A further two species are recorded as new for Australia.
Lagenophora, family Asteraceae
Lagenophora species are small herbaceous daisies with a rosette or basal leaves and tiny white or mauve flowers. The genus occurs only in the southern hemisphere. Three new species of Lagenophora are described by Jian Wang and Tony Bean, all from Queensland: Lagenophora queenslandica, L. fimbriata and L. brachyglossa. Lagenophora fimbriata is restricted to the Darling Downs district in south east Queensland, and is recommended for listing as Vulnerable under Queensland’s Nature Conservation Act 1992.
Lindernia, family Linderniaceae
Lindernia species are usually thin stemmed annual herbs with delicate tubular flowers. The genus occurs across the world, with approximately 50 species known to occur in Australia. Three new species of Lindernia are described by Bruce Wannan: Lindernia stantonii and L. beasleyi from Cape York in Queensland, and L. barkeri from Western Australia. All three species occur in moist sandy soil in wetlands and woodlands.
Solanum, family Solanaceae
Thirteen new species of Solanum are described by Tony Bean. Two of these, Solanum apodophyllum and Solanum ultraspinosum are restricted to rugged sandstone slopes in the Northern Territory. Eleven species are newly described for New Guinea: Solanum arachnoides, S. banzicum, S. exemptum, S. invictum, S. malignum, S. oomsis, S. ortivum, S. petilum, S. phoberum, S. pluriflorum, S. scolophyllum. New Guinea is considered to be one of the megadiverse areas of the world and the genus Solanum is well represented. In spite of this, there are few taxonomic studies of the genus in New Guinea.
Mycoblastus, family Mycoblastaceae (lichens)
Lichens are a large group of organisms occurring throughout Australia and are poorly documented. The crustose lichen genus Mycoblastus occurs worldwide, typically occurring in moist environments. Two new species are described by Gintaras Kantvilas: Mycoblastus oreotropicanus from Papua New Guinea and M. physodalicus from the summit of Bellenden-Ker, north Queensland. Both occur on mountain tops on twigs and bark of shrubs.
New records for Australia
Two new species records for Australia are described. A new record of a Critically Endangered (IUCN) mangrove species, Bruguiera hainesii (Rhizophoraceae) has been discovered at Trinity Inlet near Cairns, described by Wendy Cooper, J. Kudo and Norman Duke. It also occurs in India, Malesia and the islands in the west Pacific. Mallotus pleiogynus (Euphorbiaceae) is a newly recorded species discovered on eastern Cape York in Queensland, described by Paul Forster. It also occurs in New Guinea. This species is not considered to be threatened.
Historical plant collectors
Two articles on historical Queensland plant collectors are included in this volume of Austrobaileya. John Dowe describes colonial botanist Walter Hill’s interest and involvement with palms including expeditions and collection notes. Tony Bean describes the excursions, collecting activities and botanical legacy of the medical doctor and surgeon Frederick Hamilton Kenny.