A guide to propagating Norfolk Island plants

23 Feb 2022


Mark Scott
Co-author of the handbook Mark Scott, Norfolk Island National Park Threatened Flora Officer.

A guide to propagating Norfolk Island’s native plants and seeds is a new handbook that aims to expand seed-based conservation and restoration of native, endemic and threatened plant species across Norfolk Island. The handbook details techniques for seed collecting, processing and propagating many of Norfolk Island’s plant species.

Production of the handbook was led by University of Queensland PhD student Leah Dann, in collaboration with UQ researchers and staff from Norfolk Island National Park and the Australian National Botanic Gardens’ National Seed Bank. Leah is supported by a top-up scholarship from the Friends of the Gardens.

Norfolk Island—a remote subtropical island in the South Pacific—has 46 plant species listed under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act, the majority of which are endemic. Threats to Norfolk Island’s flora are common to the flora of many islands, including habitat loss and introduction of invasive plant and animal species. Restoration of native vegetation and plantings of endangered species have already been effective in preventing the extinction of some of Norfolk Island’s most threatened plant species, most recently through a 10-year flora program being undertaken by Norfolk Island National Park staff.

The release of this handbook provides a public resource for anyone interested in planting Norfolk Island’s native plants, from local community members and groups to conservation practitioners. It provides information to help optimise germination success, improve seedling establishment and features species profiles, horticultural notes and fruiting times. The species selected for the handbook also include a number of plants that have cultural significance on the island, such as Wikstroemia australis (kurryjunk), Hibiscus insularis (Philip Island hibiscus), and Rhopalostylis baueri (niau palm).

The handbook has been produced as part of a National Environmental Science Program (NESP) Threatened Species Recovery Hub project to conserve the threatened flora of Norfolk Island. It is available to download from the NESP Threatened Species Hub website.

Originally published by Parks Australia.