Gahnia radula belongs to the family of Cyperaceae. It is a perennial, tufted sedge that spreads by underground rhizomes. The leaves are thin and narrow and leaf tips point downwards. It grows up to 2m tall. Flowering around Melbourne occurs in September and fruits are grey/black. It is widespread in woodlands, open forests, forest clearings and along roadsides. However, it is generally absent in restoration sites. Its distribution includes Victoria, Tasmania, NSW and SA.
Its value in the conservation of biodiversity
- ‘key’ or ‘characteristic species’ of many ecosystems in Victoria
- long-lived and competitive native plant
- suppresses weeds, as it develops a dense and competitive ground layer
- provides shelter, food and breeding habitat for wildlife, including Skipper Butterflies
Problems with its propagation
- hardly ever produces viable seeds
- seeds are dormant
- very reluctant to vegetative propagation
- sensitive to relocation
Use of plant tissue culture
Through the use of plant tissue culture we have been successful in propagating Gahnia radula on a large scale, starting from seed. A small amount of starting material is sufficient to produce thousands of plants.
Our plants originate from more than 20 seeds, thus are NOT clonal. We are regularly initiating new seeds, to assure the plants carry the genetic diversity desired for revegetation.
The issue of provenance
At this moment, there is one population in culture, which was initiated from seeds collected near Drouin (VIC). If you provide seeds of a different provenance, we can establish a new population.
A genetic study by the University of Melbourne (to date unpublished data) has shown that populations from Anglesea, Cardinia Reservoir Park, Frankston Reservoir and our seed source population near Drouin carry very little genetic diversity between them. Hence the Greater Melbourne Area is considered one big provenance. A population from the Grampians is being analysed at present.
For projects outside of Victoria no plants can be supplied to due the unknown risks of introducing non-local genetic material and we thank you in advance for your compliance.
The first 100 Gahnia radula plants derived from tissue culture were planted out by Parks Victoria near Beaconsfield (Vic) in October 2013 to improve biodiversity outcomes in their revegetation sites.
Plant Tissue Culture: $AUD 0.85ea + GST
The minimum order qty:500 plants/variety To check availability of tissue culture stock or if you would like to place a forward order, please feel free to contact us.