WA now has 10000 plant species

Angianthus globuliformis M.Lyons & Keighery

Our colleagues at the Western Australian Herbarium have announced the addition of the Western Australia’s 10,000th species of native vascular plants to their Census. Angianthus globuliformis is a small daisy and occurs only on gypsum-rich dunes at the margins of one salt lake near the town of Lake Grace in the Wheatbelt region. The species was first discovered in 2000, but not formally described until May 2015 in the WA Herbarium’s journal Nuytsia.

Western Australia is one of the world’s biodiversity hot-spots.  More than 50 new native plant species are named and described each year from WA .  That state has the greatest number of plants in Australia; if subspecies and varieties are included (i.e. “taxa” are counted), this increases to over 12,400 natives.  In 2009, the number of described vascular plant species in Australia was reported as 19,324, and the total number estimated to be about 21,645.

In South Australia, the number of native vascular plant taxa (i.e. species, subspecies and varieties) is currently at 3,463.  In addition there are 1,536 weeds present in the state. The number of taxa added to the SA Census is about 50 per year, which can be roughly divided into three: one third are newly described taxa, one third are plants already known in neighbouring states and now recorded as occurring here, and the last third are weed species.