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Acid treatment could help save rare plant

Scientists at Victoria University in Melbourne are developing a chemical seed treatment that could help save one of Australia’s critically endangered grassland plants from extinction.

The spiny rice flower (Pimelea spinescens) is one of 30 plants listed by the federal government for priority conservation research. The species occurs in central and western Victoria, where land clearing for farms and housing developments has reduced its range to around 20 locations.

Randall Robinson and Deborah Reynolds from VU’s applied ecology research group are researching techniques to grow the plant from seed.

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