State Herbarium of South Australia botanist Jürgen Kellermann and PhD-student Francis Nge recently spent a week on Eyre Peninsula to collect plants, in particular Rhamnaceae (Cryptandra, Pomaderris, Spyridium, Stenanthemum ¹) and Myrtaceae (Calytrix ¹).
The State Herbarium is host-institution of a project revising the plant family Rhamnaceae for the Flora of Australia, with Dr Kellermann as the lead investigator. Rhamnaceae is one of the 20 largest plant families in Australia and a well-known component of Australia’s temperate and semi-arid flora: 25 genera and over 250 species occur in Australia (see ABRS 2016 Conference abstract; 1 mb PDF). However, the only Australia-wide treatment available to date is by George Bentham (Flora Australiensis, 1863). Together with interstate colleagues, the family will be examined using molecular and morphological methods. The 3-year project is funded by the Australian Biological Resources Study.
Francis Nge is using Rhamnaceae and Calytrix as case-studies for his PhD thesis on the evolutionary history of the Australian temperate flora. He is based at The University of Adelaide and the State Herbarium.
Francis & Jürgen traveled mainly in middle and northern Eyre Peninsula, especially the area around Kimba, Pinkawillinie Conservation Park, Cleve, Cowell and Hincks Conservation Park, with a short trip to Wanilla Settlement Reserve. During the field-trip, they collected 168 specimens, many with duplicates, as well as leaves in silica gel for DNA analyses and flowers preserved in 70% ethanol. Almost all collections were documented with close-up photos, habit and habitat shots.
¹ The links provided are to VicFlora genus factsheets, as there are no current South Australian or Australia-wide treatments.
Contributed by botanist Jürgen Kellermann.