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Celebrating the achievements of landcarers

04/12/2017

The Tamar Island Wetland Cares Volunteer Group has been recognised in the 2017 Landcare Tasmania Awards.More

Horsetail Falls walk now open

15/11/2017

Visitors to the West Coast are in for some spectacular views on the new Horsetail Falls walk near Queenstown.More

Bruny Island Neck lookout re-opens

10/11/2017

The walkways and lookout at the Bruny Island Neck will re-open to the public today, following the completion of a new, larger car park that will provide improved access to the popular lookout.More

Davies' Waxflower

Current status

[Photo of St Helens' Waxflower by W. E. Brown.]

Listed as Endangered under the Threatened Species Protection Act 1995 and critically endangered under the Federal Act.

Why is it endangered?

Davies' Waxflower (Phebalium daviesii) is endangered because there are less than 40 plants left in the wild and all occur on private land. It is an endemic plant, only found here in Tasmania. Until December 1990 it was presumed extinct as despite searches none had been found in over 100 years! Imagine the excitement when the plant was 'rediscovered' by a fern collector. Unfortunately as well as being limited in numbers there does not appear to be much sign of seedlings or regeneration.

Where it is found?

Davies' waxflower is a woody shrub which grows about 2-2.5m high and has pretty white flowers. It was first described in 1805 and later named after its collector, R. Davies (Davies' waxflower).

Past collections were all from Constable Creek. In 1990 new plants were discovered in a different locality, this time on George River, in NE Tasmania. Initially five plants were found, 20 m apart and all mature. Since then more plants have been found from the same area, two of which are seedlings. It has been proposed to call this flower St Helens' waxflower after the area in which it now occurs.

What's being done?

A recovery plan setting out the action required was undertaken first. At this stage it was only believed there were five plants. Since then the Tasmanian Royal Botanical Gardens have propogated specimens from all mature plants so we now have a collection of the entire genetic base for Davies' waxflower. They have an endangered species outreach program in schools which allow seeds to be collected and planted. A large number of plants were replanted. They also have a list of all the P. daviesii grown privately from their collection so that they can use the plant material if necessary in the future. In 2001, a single plant was found several kilometres upstream from the main population.

View Distribution Map

Recommended further reading

Lynch A.J.J. and M.W.A. Appleby 1996. Phebalium daviesii Flora Recovery Plan: Management Phase. Parks and Wildlife Service, Tasmania