Scientists are elated after discovering new and booming populations of a nationally endangered, petal-less native flower.

The Winged Peppercress struggles to stand out among Victoria’s showier native flora that bloom in glorious golds, brilliant purples and vibrant reds. This subtler, understated and often overlooked species has been in decline for decades.

It has only 13 known populations in Victoria and NSW. Little is known about the plant, which impedes making plans to ensure it remains a survivor.  

Arthur Rylah Institute scientists have recently discovered several other populations of the Winged Peppercress, as well as a 10-fold boom at known sites. It’s a very promising discovery in terms of the Winged Peppercress’s survival.

In 2003, only 15 plants remained in the state’s northwest. This year, more than 1600 were found at the same site. In Hattah, near Mildura, researchers found 2433 plants, up from 250 in 2018! This event is a great example of what we can discover when experts search for cryptic species.

Scientists are heading back into the field to learn more about this little herb, which will soon disappear from the landscape for another year as the weather gets drier. They hope to use this window of opportunity to learn more about the species and inform its ongoing management.

Page last updated: 13/12/19