Seven plant species listed as vulnerable, endangered or critically endangered that were re-introduced in Adelaide as part of a unique recovery program have been recently surveyed and appear to be growing well – an encouraging sign for the conservation of these rare species.

Brown paper bag containing seeds sitting on a wooden ledge with greenery in the background
Seeds collected and treated (to improve germination rates) from vulnerable small scurf-pea (Cullen parvum) plants.

Golden billy buttons, tall daisy and the small scurf-pea are just some of the species re-introduced thanks to a joint initiative by Green Adelaide, Trees For Life and the SA Seed Conservation Centre.

The project aims to rapidly improve the conservation prospects of these threatened species, and also improve our urban biodiversity. The plants are located at 20 sites across 8 Adelaide metropolitan councils, with local government land managers assisting with recent surveying and care for the plants.

Plants with protective collars around them in a bush setting, including golden billy buttons (a green shrub-looking plant with yellow flowers) in the foreground
Golden Billy Buttons (Pycnosorus chrysanthes) plantings in Hillbank.

Green Adelaide Ecologist Jason van Weenen said already some of the plants are providing a source of seed that will enable more plantings into the future.

‘This project is key in recovering some of the region’s amazing threatened plant species and boosting biodiversity across metropolitan Adelaide at the same time. The project will also assist in informing the preferred growing conditions for a range of rare plants, helping to get these native species into the most suitable areas around Adelaide,’ Jason said.

“Most of the planting occurred in June 2022 and it is great to see these rare plants growing well across a wide variety of sites. It has been a promising start but we anticipate that there is a fair way to go to be confident about the recovery of some species.

‘Green Adelaide staff and Trees For Life volunteers have re-visited sites to check on plant progress and found good rates of plant survival and seed set for many of the species.

‘Incredibly, some species have done so well that it has already enabled the collection of seed from these sites that can now be propagated for future plantings,’ Jason said.

A daisy looking flower with a pollinator sitting on its yellow centre, greenery in the background
Tall Daisy (Brachyscome diversifolia) planted in Stonyfell with a pollinator visiting

Volunteers from Trees For Life were instrumental in the initial planting project and contribute to the long-term care and viability of the planting sites.

Bush For Life Manager Amelia Hurren praised the work of volunteers tending for these species at Bush For Life sites across Adelaide.

‘Our volunteers care deeply about the progress of these rare plants, and have been involved in monitoring the sites,’ she said.

‘They play a fundamental role in the continued survival of these rare plants, helping to ensure that weed threats are managed to ensure the rare plants can flourish. Trees For Life volunteers have also managed the propagation of newly collected seed at the Trees For Life nursery, before planting out of the seedlings can occur once the weather cools again.

‘The adaptive nature of this project means that we are learning a lot about the preferred habitats of these rare species and the findings from last year’s planting are being used to guide the next stages of the threatened flora project,’ Amelia said.

Learn more about how this project started.

A purple flower with small green leaves in a bush setting
Clover glycine (Glycine latrobeana) planted in Stonyfell

What was originally planted?

Scientific name

Common name

Conservation Status in SA (National Parks and Wildlife Act 1972)

Conservation status in Green Adelaide region

Conservation status in Australia (Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999)

Brachyscome diversifolia

Tall daisy



Swainsona behriana

Southern swainson-pea


Critically Endangered

Podolepis jaceoides

Showy copper wire daisy



Pycnosorus chrysanthes

Golden billy buttons


Critically Endangered

Dianella longifolia grandis

Yellow-anther flax lily



Cullen parvum

Small scurf-pea



Glycine latrobeana

Clover glycine




You can see what species are considered threatened under the NPW Act here.

You can search for species considered threatened under the EPBC Act here.

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