Flora of Tasmania Online now live
With National Science Week about to commence across Australia, the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery (TMAG) is proud to launch the new Flora of Tasmania Online website which replaces a now 50-year-old scientific publication.
Having the Flora of Tasmania available online allows the content to be updated as new research becomes available, providing up to date scientific information on Tasmanian plants.
The site is intended for use by professional botanists and people with a specialist or working knowledge of botany and botanical terms.
It aims to eventually describe all of the approximately 3 000 plants that grow wild in Tasmania (not including non-vascular plants such as mosses, liverworts and algae).
The resource is crucial for users such as researchers, consultant botanists and land managers who need to identify Tasmanian plants with a high degree of confidence.
For members of the public with a keen interest in botany, the site contains useful links to help them learn more about Tasmania’s native vegetation.
The site also has practical economic outcomes, as it allows environmental impact assessments for development proposals to be done efficiently.
In this way, the Flora is helping to support Tasmania’s economy, as well as serving as a useful scientific and educational tool.
The new site is a project by TMAG’s Tasmanian Herbarium, aimed at providing a modern account of Tasmania’s plants.
The Tasmanian Herbarium contains the world’s largest collection of Tasmanian plant specimens, from the early European voyages of exploration in the late 18th century, to collections made today. The Herbarium’s collection spans 250 years of investigation into Tasmania’s remarkable plants.
Formally-trained botanists working at the Herbarium manage and develop Tasmania’s botanical collection, which consists mainly of dried and permanently preserved specimens (such as the Banksia below). They also participate in the annual TMAG Expeditions of Discovery program to build TMAG’s collection of plant specimens and discover new species.
The botanical information on the new site is largely the original work of the Herbarium team, with some content contributed by experts from similar institutions in Australia and overseas.
“The Flora of Tasmania Online unlocks the marvels and mysteries of Tasmania’s remarkable plants. It offers immediate access to TMAG’s extensive knowledge and collections that underpin the way we use our plants, whether it is for economic, scientific or educational purposes, or simply to enjoy the world around us,” Dr Gintaras Kantvilas, Head of the Tasmanian Herbarium.
TMAG is involved in a wide range of National Science Week activities culminating in the popular Beakerstreet@TMAG pop-up science bar event over two nights from 16-17 August. To learn more, please visit the events page.
Visit the Flora of Tasmania Online at flora.tmag.tas.gov.au
Flora of Tasmania Online editor Miguel de Salas undertaking research into the species boundaries in Tasmanian daisies
Silver banksia (Banksia marginata Cav.), Adventure Bay, Bruny Island, collected during Captain James Cook’s 3rd voyage in December 1777
Header image: Drosera binata, a carnivorous plant. Sentinel Range, Tasmania. Photo by Miguel de Salas