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Shining nematolepis Nematolepis wilsonii

Shining nematolepis was thought to have become extinct in its one known site after the bush fires in Australia, during February 2009. However, more intensive monitoring discovered a new population nearby with some adult plants and healthy seedlings.

Shining nematolepis was confined to a single population in the catchment of the Yarra river, east of Melbourne. After widespread bush fires, the species became extinct in the wild, however, banked seed from rescued plants will be used to propagate additional specimens.

As a conservation measure, a few specimens had been removed with the intention of establishing new colonies, but due to prolonged drought these plants were still at the Royal Botanic Gardens of Melbourne and Cranbourne.

Then came the devastating bush fires of Black Saturday, in which at least 210 people died and nearly half a million hectares of land were destroyed. As a result, the Shining Nematolepis is now extinct in the wild. Seed from the rescued plants have been banked and are being used to propagate additional specim

It is a small tree or shrub, to 10 m tall, with mottled bark and with star-like white flowers. The leaves are lance-shaped with a smooth and glossy upper surface and a lower surface covered with silvery scales. 

Thanks to Neville Walsh, Royal Botanic Gardens, Melbourne, for the photographs

 
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