SPECIES: Ballantinia antipoda — Southern Shepherd's Purse


Southern Shepherd's Purse has so far managed to fly under the radar. It's a small, annual plant growing to only 5cm high, with a rosette of spoon-shaped leaves and white flowers. More likely to be found growing on moist moss mats in shallow soil, but has also been known to grow in stony or rocky areas. Presumed extinct until it was rediscovered in Victoria in the early 1980's, its flowers attract a variety of pollinating insects including native ants and bees.

Southern Shepherd's Purse is currently listed as an endangered species, threatened by land clearing for agriculture, introduced weeds, animal grazing (rabbits, feral pigs and feral goats) and human activity, including bushwalking, mountain bike riding and four wheel driving. So please, be careful of the native vegetation when adventuring outdoors.

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