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Rare Aussie plants sprout in rain

Botany student Jenny Silcock holds a native licorice plant near Lake Dartmouth, north-west of Charleville.
Botany student Jenny Silcock holds a native licorice plant near Lake Dartmouth, north-west of Charleville. Supplied

RARE Australian plants are a passion for Jenny Silcock whose studies of western Queensland flora have been boosted by an excellent season.

Good rain has caused some plants not seen in western Queensland for more than 50 years to spring from the ground.

It has been a thrilling start to Ms Silcock’s PhD studies which are focussed on the rarity, threat and conservation of arid zone flora in areas such as the Channel Country.

The 26-year-old former Pittsworth State High School student said she had recently come across a native burr which had not been seen since the 1940s.

She also spent a month as part of a team riding camels through the Simpson Desert earlier this year.

“We found quite a few plants known only from two or three records in Queensland.”

Ms Silcock said she enjoyed working in remote areas.

“We have spent a lot of time trying to work out what plants are in trouble and how to make sure they are still around in 100 years time.”


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