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A better plant census for the ACT

Plant enthusiasts across the capital can find more information about local plants than ever before thanks to an updated ACT plant census. Available online, the Census of Vascular plants, Hornworts, Liverworts and Slime Moulds of the Australian Capital Territory provides the scientific community and general public with quick, easy to access information about native and introduced plants growing in the wild in the ACT. “We’ve worked closely with ACT Territory and Municipal Services to improve data for this new version of the census,” Curator of the Australian National Herbarium, Brendan Lepschi said. “We’ve made significant improvements to the previous version, which we released in 2008. “We’ve added 152 vascular plant species, mostly through collecting specimens in the field and examining our historical collections. We’ve also included information on name changes for a further 127 species. “This version also includes common names of plants and information on a whole new group of organisms - the slime moulds.” Mr Lepschi said every plant documented in the census is supported by a specimen in the Herbarium collection. “These specimens allow us to better understand what is happening with our local plants. For example by referring to our existing collections, last year we were able to confirm the survival of a tiny lily called Laxmannia gracilis. “Last seen in 1960, we found the lily again on Black Mountain – right next door to the Australian National Botanic Gardens and CSIRO.” To access the Census of Vascular Plants, Hornworts, Liverworts and Slime Moulds of the Australian Capital Territory, visit www.anbg.gov.au/cpbr/ACT-census-2012/ The Australian National Herbarium is among the world’s largest collections of Australian plant specimens and supports research into the taxonomic and evolutionary origins of Australian plants. It is jointly managed by the Australian National Botanic Gardens and CSIRO.