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For the greater Goodenia

The Goodeniaceae is a predominantly Australian family and is characterised by a specialised cup-like structure at the apex of the style known as an indusium, which collects pollen as it pushes past the stamens in bud and functions as a pollen-presenter. The corolla has five lobes, each typically with wing-like extensions that are infolded in bud, and the lobes are arranged in various configurations to produce two-lipped, fan-shaped or other flower types.

A recently published paper by Kelly Shepherd of the WA Herbarium in conjunction with five other researchers will result in name changes for eight of the 86 species currently listed in the SA Plant Census for the family Goodeniaceae. The paper (downloadable here) is the culmination of a series of collaborative studies investigating relationships within the Goodeniaceae using next-generation sequencing across nuclear, chloroplast and mitochondrial DNA.

Analysis of the molecular data grouped some other genera and species of Goodeniaceae within the largest genus, Goodenia. Maintaining monophyly requires either that Goodenia be divided and new genera erected, or else its definition be expanded to incorporate those new elements. The authors made the pragmatic taxonomic decision to adopt an expanded Goodenia, which minimises the number of new names. For South Australia this means that Velleia (6 species), Selliera (1 species) and Scaevola collaris will be transferred to Goodenia, and those existing names placed in synonymy.

As amended, Goodenia now contains 230 species (54 in SA) and can be defined by various combinations of characters, although not by the development of any obvious advanced character held in common. Shepherd et al. (2020) also revised the infra-generic classification of Goodenia to better reflect its internal phylogeny, recognising three subgenera and 10 sections.

South Australian representatives for some of these groupings are illustrated below and provide a glimpse of the great floristic diversity in this genus.

Subgenus Goodenia, section Goodenia

Goodenia ovata, is the ‘type species’ of the genus Goodenia and shows the yellow two-lipped flower type found in most of the SA species.

Goodenia ovata, Kuitpo, SL. Photo: L. Jansen.

Goodenia radicans (formerly Selliera radicans). This is the most widely distributed of the Goodenia species and is found in Australia, New Zealand and Chile. Its extra-Australian occurrences presumably result from long-distance dispersal and are not surprising given that it has sticky, fleshy fruits and occurs in swampy habitats frequented by migratory birds. The fan-shaped flowers resemble those found in Scaevola.

Goodenia radicans, Piccaninnie Ponds, SE (Photo: R.K. Sandercock); L. Jansen 1544, Salt Creek, SE (Photo: A.L. Carle).

Goodenia collaris (formerly Scaevola collaris) is closely related to the above; it also has fan-shaped flowers and specialised fruits, which in this case are woody. It is associated with gypseous soils and with clays adjoining temporarily inundated areas.

Goodenia collaris, BS94-10, Lake Tamblyn shore, Simpson Desert. Photo: P.D. Canty.

Goodenia saccata is endemic to northern Flinders Ranges and has strongly scented white flowers similar to those in G. albiflora but differs in a number of characters including its more shrubby habit.

Goodenia saccata, PJL 2875, Gammon Ranges, FR. Photo: P.J. Lang.

Subgenus Goodenia, section Rosulatae

Like many of the species in this section, Goodenia glabra often grows as a simple rosette-leaved herb, but sometimes it can develop a more bushy habit as in this example. It occurs on both rocky and sandy habitats and in SA extends from the Gawler Ranges to the far north-west of the State.

Goodenia glabra, PJL 2923, W of Indulkana, APY Lands, NW> Photo: P.J. Lang.

Subgenus Monochila, section Velleia

The former genus Velleia now resides in its own section of Goodenia. Its species differ from most others of the genus in having the ovary to a large degree superior.

Goodenia arguta, M.J. Thorpe 227, S of Gawler Ranges. Photo: SA Seed Conservation Centre.

Goodenia arguta is widespread on loamy soils in mallee and dryer woodland areas of the State. Goodenia connata, with its distinctive perfoliate leaves, occurs on sandy soils. It is most common in northern parts of the EP and MU regions and often appears after fire or other disturbances.

Goodenia connata, BS1137-199, Great Victoria Desert, NW (Photo: R. Butcher); Murray Mallee, MU (Photo: SA Seed Conservation Centre).

Shepherd published a new name, Goodenia capillosa, for the species formerly known as Velleia hispida, because the name “Goodenia hispida” had already been applied to a different Goodenia species. The main distribution of G. capillosa is in Western Australia, but there are small outlying occurrences in SA at Mt Finke (GT) and in the Indulkana Range (NW).

Goodenia capillosa, Mt Finke, GT. Photo: SA Seed Conservation Centre.

Subgenus Monochila, section Scaevolina

Goodenia rameliiThis striking species is found on rocky substrates in the ranges of central Australia. In SA it is restricted to the northern part of the NW region.

Goodenia ramelii, PJL 2950, near Kalka, APY Lands, NW. Photo: P.J. Lang.

Subgenus Porphyranthus, section Ebracteolatae

Most species in this large section lack bracteoles on their flower stalks. Goodenia heterochila is distinguished by the highly modified upper corolla lobes, and the epithet is derived from the Greek heteros (different, other) and chilos (lip). In SA it is confined to the NW region.

Goodenia heterochila, PJL 3005, ENE of Victory Well, APY Lands, NW. Photo: P.J. Lang.

Subgenus Porphyranthus, section Porphyranthus

Species of this section have small flowers and seeds and are differentiated by their numerous ovules being scattered over the surface of the placenta rather than arranged in two rows. In SA, Goodenia modesta is mainly found on low-lying flats and drainage areas of the NW and LE regions.

Goodenia modesta, Mt Willoughby, LE (Photo: SA Seed Conservation Centre); D.J.Duval 2216, Ingomar Station, LE (Photo: P.J. Lang).

Contributed by State Herbarium botanist Peter Lang.

2019-20 Weeds Report now available

The State Herbarium of South Australia documents all known plant taxa (species, sub-species, varieties and forms) native and naturalised (weedy) in South Australia. These taxa are listed in the Census of South Australian Plants, Algae and Fungi. All newly discovered State and regional records are added to the Census throughout the year. The records are based on preserved plant specimens, verified by a botanists, and housed in the vaults of the State Herbarium.

Hedera hibernica at Leg of Mutton Lake, Mount Gambier. Photo: A. Laslett.

For all new records of non-native plants, an annual report is produced by the Weeds Botanist Chris Brodie and colleagues from the State Herbarium. The report includes the list of new weeds recorded for South Australia with locations, descriptions, and photographs. Also documented are updates to other taxa that have had a change in distribution, weed status or name. Other activities carried out by Weeds Botanist are also summarised, such as field trips or presentations to community groups.

The latest report is now available online:

Brodie, C.J., Lang, P.J., Vonow, H.P. & Waycott, M. (2020). Regional Landscape Surveillance for New Weed Threats Project, 2019-2020: Annual report on new plant naturalisations in South Australia. (16mb PDF).

Also available for download are last year’s 2018-19 report (4.2mb PDF), as well as the reports for 2017-18 (4.5mb PDF), 2016-17 (3.8mb PDF) and a compilation of all reports from 2010 to 2016 (3.7mb PDF).

These reports highlights to land managers, which non-native plant species have recently been found in South Australia and where. New records are listed as either “naturalised/established” (*) or “questionably naturalised/established” (?e).

Isopogon latifolius, naturalised in South Australia. Photo: C.J. Brodie.

Naturalised plant taxa are those that have originally been introduced by humans to an area, deliberately or accidentally. They have self-propagated without aid where they are not wanted, possibly spreading by natural means to new areas. Examples listed in the recent report is Hedera hibernica (Irish ivy Link here) from Europe and the closely related Hedera algeriensis (Algerian ivy), originally from Northern Africa. Both of are examples of garden plants that have become weedy (see also a 1985 article by P.M. Kloot; 733kb PDF). Australian species can also become weeds, with Isopogon latifolius (Drumsticks) and Eucalyptus salubris (Gimlet) both from WA.

Questionably Naturalised plant taxa (i.e. possible new weeds) are introduced non-native plants that may be self-propagating without aid, but are not well established or lack data to classify them as naturalised. An example of this are Gasteria obliqua (Lawyer’s tongue) and the hybrid Populus ×canescens (Grey poplar).

At the end of June 2020, there were 5134 vascular plant taxa recognised in South Australia, of which 1611 are weeds, i.e. 31%. This year, 17 new weeds have been added to the Census; and over the last ten years, Chris Brodie’s weed surveys have discovered 236 new naturalised plants.

Any unknown or possible new state or regional weed records should be reported to Chris Brodie (0437 825 685, chris.brodie@sa.gov.au). If you have permission from the landowner, you could press a plant, record collection data, and submit a preserved plant specimen for identification.

The pressed plant or part thereof should consist of stems with leaves attached and preferably flowers and/or fruit. Collection data includes, plant location, habitat, frequency, height and width, colour and smell, and what the plant looks like when alive and growing. Images can also help in identifying plants. Also include the date, your name and contact details.

Please use the pro-forma collection sheet (available as single page: 200kb PDF, or for double-sided printing: 220kb PDF) in pencil and submit it together with the pressed plant specimen.

Compiled by State Herbarium
weeds botanist Chris Brodie.

Preliminary studies of the fungi in Flinders Chase National Parks after the 2020 fires

Peziza aff. petersii. Photo: David Catcheside.

Fungi play important roles after fire. Their fine, root-like hyphae bind soil particles, stabilising the soil and reducing erosion. Fungi provide nutrients for plants, helping to re-establish plant communities. They reduce the high pH of the ash bed. Many fungi break down the burnt litter and wood, returning nutrients to the soil. A previous Blog on fires and fungi in Flinders Chase National Park was written before a recent survey of the Park.

Plicaria recurva. Photo: David Catcheside.

In mid-July 2020, Pam and David Catcheside surveyed the fungi in Flinders Chase National Park, devastated after the previous summer bushfires. These surveys  augment those made after the 2007 bushfires in the Park (see references below) and enable comparisons to be made of the fungi fruiting after those fire events. In 2020, 96 % of Flinders Chase was burnt, more than the 85 % estimate for the 2007 fires. Preliminary analysis suggests that, although there is some overlap between the species that occurred after the 2007 and 2020 fires, there are differences both in species composition and species richness, perhaps reflecting the differences in severity of the fires.

Pulvinula archeri. Photo: David Catcheside.

In 2020, collections were made at a number of sites, all of which had been severely burnt: near Rocky River, Platypus Waterholes, the Ravine des Casoars, Gosselands and Kelly Hill Conservation Park. The fungi were similar at all sites, though fruiting was less at Gosselands and at Kelly Hill.

Disc fungi made up most of the fungi that were found. These fungi are important colonisers often fruiting in profusion soon after fire. They reduce the strongly alkaline pH (around pH 10) resulting from the ash closer to neutral (pH 7), a pH more favourable for plant growth. The most common species were a fawn to pinkish-brown species of Peziza, possibly P. petersii, black-brown Plicaria recurva (see images above) and the small, brilliant orange Pulvinula archeri. There were a few patches of orange Anthracobia maurilabra and A. muelleri.

Anthracobia aff. maurilabra. Photo: David Catcheside.

After the 2007 fires, Anthracobias were abundant, often in circles around the bases of Xanthorrhoea semiplana var. tateana in contrast with the few patches seen in 2020.  Also after the 2007 fires Pulvinula archeri, though present, was not in the profusion found in 2020. Disc fungi are often difficult to identify to species. Almost all require microscopic examination of often nuanced characters such as spore ornamentation. Samples of some of the disc fungi collected have been taken for molecular sequencing and analysis. Results should help to clarify the tentative identifications made so far on the collections.

Laccaria aff. canaliculata. Photo: David Catcheside.

A few gilled fungi were found, including a species of Laccaria. Laccarias are early colonisers of burnt and bare ground and are mycorrhizal, forming essential partnerships with plants.

In contrast with the fungi found after the 2007 fires, there were few fruit bodies of ‘stone fungi’, species of Laccocephalum.  Their hard, pored, mushroom-like fruit bodies come up almost immediately after fire from a sclerotium, an underground storage tuber. This year, fruit bodies of Laccocephalum tumulosum, the only species of Laccocephalum found, were much smaller than those seen after the 2007 fires, reaching only 5 cm in comparison with the up to 20 cm of the 2008 collections. In 2008 and 2009 five species of Laccocephalum were collected: L. tumulosum, L. mylittae, L. basilapiloides, L. minormylittae and L. sclerotinium. Their sclerotia can be mixtures of fungal tissue and sand (false sclerotia) or consist only of fungal tissue (true sclerotia).

Laccocephalum tumulosum. Photo: David Catcheside.

At one site at the Ravine des Casoars, an undescribed species of coral fungus, Ramaria or Ramariopsis, was pushing up the sandy soil over an area of several metres. When excavated, this fungus was seen to have a false sclerotium, a structure previously unknown for any species of coral fungus (see images below).

Fungal fruiting is rain and temperature dependent and it is difficult to select the optimal time for surveys and collections. June and July are usually good months for fungi in South Australia. In 2008 Pam and David spent a week in early June when they collected 14 species of disc fungi, approximately 17 species of gilled fungi, two boletes (soft pored fungi with a central stem), a few club, bracket and coral fungi, in all approximately 40 species. The conditions prior to their collecting trip in 2020 were dry and would have had a somewhat detrimental effect on fungal fruiting. Nonetheless, the results were unexpected: only nine species of disc fungi, four of gilled fungi, two coral fungi with a total of 18 species. These preliminary results from the two sets of surveys suggest that both species composition and richness are less after the more extensive and more severe summer fires of 2020.

Ramaria sp. Sclerotium (left) and habit (right). Photos: David Catcheside.

References

  1. Catcheside, P.S. (2009). The phoenicoid discomycetes on Kangaroo Island. Fungimap Newsletter 38: 5–7 (1.2mb PDF).
  2. Catcheside, P.S., May, T.W. & Catcheside, D.E.A. (2009). The larger fungi in Flinders Chase National Park, Kangaroo Island. Surveys 2008. Report for Wildlife Conservation Fund and Native Vegetation Council.
  3. Catcheside, P.S. & Catcheside, D.E.A. (2010). The larger fungi in Flinders Chase National Park, Kangaroo Island. Surveys 2009. Report for Wildlife Conservation Fund and Native Vegetation Council.

Contributed by Pam Catcheside (State Herbarium Hon. Associate)
David Catcheside (Flinders University).

White, hot, or wandering: three new mushrooms described

Lactifluus albopicri from the Northern Territory. Photo: Teresa Lebel.

Dr Teresa Lebel, Senior Botanist & Curator Cryptogams at the State Herbarium of South Australia, mentored a citizen scientist, Fran Guard (PhD 2020-), and a summer intern, Lachlan Tegart (Hons 2018), in publishing descriptions of three new species of mushrooms.

On Monday, these new species were published in the “Fungal planet” series of the mycological journal Persoonia.

Lebel, T. & Tegart, L. (2020). Fungal planet 1086: Lactifluus albopicri T.Lebel & L.Tegart. Persoonia 44: 404-405 & online supplement. (880kb PDF).

Lebel, T., Tegart, L. & Verbeken, A. (2020). Fungal planet 1087: Lactifluus austropiperatus T.Lebel & L.Tegart. Persoonia 44: 406-407 & online supplement. (830kb PDF).

Guard, F.E., Barrett, M.D., Farid, A., Smith, M.E. & Lebel, T. (2020). Fungal planet 1091: Marasmius vagus Guard, M.D.Barrett & Farid. Persoonia 44: 514-415 & online supplement. (960kb PDF).

Lactifluus austropiperatus and Lactifluus albopicri belong in a group of mushrooms called the ‘milkcaps’, all of which produce a milky latex when the fruiting body is broken. Both of these species are white or pale cream in colour and have a hot-peppery taste, which lingers on the tongue for some time afterwards!

Marasmius vagus is, as the name suggests, ‘a wanderer’. While the species is quite widely distributed in natural habitats in northern and central Queensland, Fran discovered that it appears to have recently been transported to Florida, USA, where it has become established in gardens and nature strips in urban areas.

Written by State Herbarium mycologist Teresa Lebel.

World Environment Day 2020

Celebrating Biodiversity on World Environment Day 2020

World Environment Day is an international opportunity to raise issues requiring environmental action. This year, the theme is biodiversity!

Through our own experience here in South Australia with the recent massive bushfires across South Australia concerns about the recovery of biodiversity from the fires is in the front of mind for many members of the community.

The Botanic Gardens and State Herbarium of South Australia has some COVID-19–appropriate options for engagement this year!

Take the quiz‘ on biodiversity available on the Global World Environment Day website to learn more!

Best wishes from the Science and Conservation Team at the Botanic Gardens and State Herbarium.

Contributed by Michelle Waycott