27 September 2019
Conservation status and taxonomic changes were recently made to a number of Queensland flora species.
The Species Technical Committee (STC) recently recommended the reclassification of 2 flora species to reflect current scientific knowledge as well as changes to the scientific names of 16 flora species.
The STC assesses native species (plants and animals) that occur in Queensland to determine their listing status under the Nature Conservation Act 1992 (NC Act).
These changes came into effect on 19 September 2019 (see tables below).
Reclassification of flora species
|Former Qld status
|New Qld status
It is quite alarming to learn the introduced myrtle rust has struck and the conservation status of both Rhodamnia rubescens, scrub turpentine and Rhodomyrtus psidioides, native guava has been downgraded from Least Concern to Endangered.
The devastation of these species in the Bryon Bay area of New South Wales has spurred Queensland authorities into action. Extinction of these species in Queensland is a major concern.
Flora species scientific name changes
|Current scientific name
|Amended scientific name
|Cardwell midge orchid
|Brittle climbing orchid
|Kunzea sp. (Dicks Tableland A.R.Bean 3672)
|Kunzea sp. (Herbert River R.J.Cumming 11309)
|Phalaenopsis amabilis subsp. Rosenstromii
|spotted urchin orchid
|small urchin orchid
|Tableland midge orchid
|Blackall Range midge orchid
|Pederson’s midge orchid
|Blackdown midge orchid
|Tapered sphinx orchid
|Dave’s creek midge orchid
|Coastal sprite orchid
Ongoing taxonomic activities impact the scientific names of plants. Advances in technology are certainly enhancing tools to assist the taxonomist. Change in well-known scientific names appears to be inevitable.
Taxonomic revisions are one way new scientific names appear in the Census of the Queensland Flora. The other reason is the location and description of a new species to science.
It is reported that over 20 new species to science are reported annually. Two recent additions are:
- Kunzea seriothrix
- Kunzea truncata.
More changes on the way!
The taxonomists have not run out of steam yet. More changes are on the way. We hope you are not tied too closely to the genus Plectranthus and can get used to Coleus in the near future!
Census of the Queensland Flora
Work has commenced on the Census of the Queensland Flora 2019.
If you’re interested in plant statistics, the Census of the Queensland Flora 2018 provided a published list of all the known native and introduced species of plants, algae, fungi, and lichens in the State. There are 14,385 known native species across all groups.
The Introduction to the Census of the Queensland Flora 2018 provides additional interesting information and is well worth a read. Links are provided below.
Author’s note: The term ‘wildlife’ applies to both animals and plants that grow independently of people, usually in natural conditions.
- Bostock PD & Holland AE. 2018. Introduction to the Census of the Queensland Flora 2018. Queensland Department of Environment and Science, Queensland Government. [https://www.qld.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0028/67447/qld-flora-census.pdf]. Accessed 27 September 2019.
- Queensland Department of Environment and Science, Queensland Government. 2018. Census of the Queensland Flora 2018. [https://www.data.qld.gov.au/dataset/census-of-the-queensland-flora-2018]. Accessed 27 September 2019.