A word about Protected Plants

Bruce Noble

Many members of BRAIN are avid growers of native plants. As such it is important that we are aware of our responsibilities in regards to plants protected under the Nature Conservation Act and Regulations. The Department of Environment is responsible for this legislation and has provided the following information:

"The law protects all native plants listed as rare or threatened and some common plants which are harvested from the wild. More than 1000 species are protected, including: - orchids (all epiphytic species and some terrestrial species), cycads (all native species), epiphytic ferns (staghorns, elkhorns, crow’s nests, tassel ferns and others), grasstrees (all native Xanthorrhoea species), lace plants (all Aponogeton species) and other native plant species listed as endangered, vulnerable or rare. Anyone intending to collect a protected plant from the wild must be authorised by the Department of Environment. Collecting includes taking whole plants, seeds, flowers, foliage and other plant parts from the wild (bush) on land of any tenure (private/freehold, leasehold, state forest and other state land)."

It is also worth noting that such collection must have the approval of the relevant landholder.

There is a further level of protection:

"Sought-after species which are either heavily collected in the wild as whole plants or subject to significant harvest of seed or other plant parts are listed as restricted plants. About 300 species, such as orchids, cycads, epiphytic ferns, grass trees, lace plants and the Foxtail palm and some rare and threatened plants are restricted. When offered for sale a restricted plant must have a tag."

These tags are official numbered tags provided by the Department. Further licensing may be required when offering such plants for sale.

"To encourage the artificial propagation of restricted plants, people who can show they are propagating restricted plants from cultivated stock can be declared ‘authorised propagators’ and do not require commercial wildlife licences."

This is by no means a definitive article about protected plants and you should contact the Department of Environment for further information – Central Moreton District Office, 55 Priors Pocket Rd., Moggill. PO Box 42, Kenmore, 4069. Ph 3202 0200.