What better way to mark Halloween than to share the tale of a 150-year-old cemetery in Melbourne’s west and how it could help an endangered daisy survive.

European settlers were laid to rest in Truganina Cemetery as far back as the 1860s. Nobody knows whether the cemetery’s permanent residents have anything to do with pushing up the Button Wrinklewort daisies located there. But strangely, these flowers are genetically quite diverse, despite being tucked away within the cemetery and away from other Button Wrinklewort daisies.

Our research work with Monash University has found that the rare little plant is flourishing in parts of NSW and ACT, but these daisy populations have poor genetic diversity.

So, we’re investing $100,000 into the Button Wrinklewort daisies at Truganina Cemetery to help this endangered species survive. La Trobe University researchers are working with us on the project. It’s part of the Melbourne Strategic Assessment, which is helping us manage the impact new and growing suburbs have on native plants and animals.

Interestingly, the Truganina Cemetery, which was protected from grazing in the 1860s, is also one of the best remaining examples of the grasslands that once covered Victoria’s volcanic plains. As a result, it’s home to several other rare plants and animals.

Nowadays, much of the cemetery has been reserved for these species to live on, rather than a final resting place for the locals.

Page last updated: 01/11/19

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