The new plant is in the Hibbertia genus and is only found in one known location in the Ku-ring-gai suburb of Turramurra but its exact location has not been publicly disclosed.
It has been an eight year journey for Andrew Robinson, the Council’s Bushland Technical Officer, who first came across the plant in 2006. According to Andrew, ‘it’s been a challenging and at times exhausting process, but I’m very happy with the outcome.’
“Over the last few years I’ve worked closely with researchers from the Royal Botanic Gardens and a plant expert from the State Herbarium of South Australia to establish that it is in fact a new native species.”
“My hope now is that we can ensure the long term conservation of this important new species through relevant legislation and appropriate on-ground management.”
Mr Robinson added he had received official approval to name the plant after a close friend who died four years ago. As a result the common name for the new plant will be Julian’s Hibbertia.
Mayor Jennifer Anderson said the new plant discovery was proof that rare plants could survive in an urban setting.
“It seems quite incredible that in the year 2014 we are still discovering new species of plants. It means there could be others out there waiting to be found,” she said.
“Our priority now is to ensure the plant’s long-term survival. We are working with the Royal Botanic Gardens to arrange the collection and storage of viable seed.”
Mayor Anderson said the Council would also take steps to protect the plant’s location. “We have already applied to have the plant listed as critically endangered to give it the strongest legal protection as well.”
The plant is described on the NSW Government website for Environment and Heritage.