Also on the list is a new legume genus, Tabaroa catingicola, discovered by Brian Stannard from the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew and his Brazilian colleagues, on the lower slopes of the Rio de Contas mountain range in southwestern Bahia. The legume family is of great research significance because so many species are used throughout the world as sources of food and medicine. Great potential exists to utilise more species, which is why continued taxonomic research into this family is essential.
Knee-high eucalyptus discovered in SW Australia To many British gardeners the eucalyptus is a fast growing monster; casting shade and debris usually in the neighbour's garden. In Australia, however, the over 900 species of eucalypts are integral to the landscape and culture and come in all shapes and sizes. It seems fitting, therefore, that the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew's Director, Professor Stephen Hopper, an Australian himself, has recently described two fantastic new species in southwest Australia. "You might expect that the plants of Australia are already well-known," says Professor Hopper, "but these kinds of finds are far from unusual, especially in the southwest." Professor Hopper discovered Eucalyptus sweedmaniana with his colleague Luke Sweedman, after whom he named the plant. It is a dwarf in comparison to most eucalyptus species, forming a low-growing mallee (shrub) around 1m high. It survives the bush fires that are common in the area by dying back to a woody underground rootstock, known as a
|Contact: Bronwyn Friedlander|
Royal Botanic Gardens Kew