For the first time ever the rare Pomaderris viridis plant, a slender shrub that grows up to five metres high, has been found in Victoria. The plant, which looks a little similar to Dogwood or Native Hazel, is more often found in NSW - but even there it is rare. Despite extensive searching only one specimen has been found so far.
It was discovered during a Forest Protection Survey conducted in East Gippsland in August by the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning. These surveys are carried out to protect the habitat of threatened plant and animal species from timber harvesting. Harvesting that was scheduled for the forest will now not take place to better protect the area where the plant was found from further disturbance.
The discovery, approximately 100 kms from the nearest NSW sighting, is a significant one. It was originally thought that the plant was likely a hybrid of two other Pomaderris (Pomaderris aspera and Pomaderris cinerea) because those species were found at other known locations of the plant, which looks similar to them. But as neither of those species were present at the Victorian discovery site, it seems very unlikely that Pomaderris viridis is a hybrid.
Since the plant was identified, a 250-metre special management area has been established around the Pomaderris viridis and a fence has been erected to protect it from damage by deer. With the special management area now in place to protect the plant, any future activities planned in adjacent areas, including harvesting, will require additional targeted surveys for the plant. If more of the rare plants are found as part of that survey, action will be taken to protect them further from impacts including timber harvesting.
At this stage, only one of the rare shrubs has been discovered in East Gippsland. Scientists believe there are probably more of these rare plants at other sites, but they simply haven’t been found as yet.
Page last updated: 26/06/19