The Grampians Pincushion Lily
Image: Grampians National Park, Photograph by Thomas Parkes, Courtesy of Parks Victoria.
Curation notes by: Lucinda Horrocks, Wind & Sky Productions and Neville Walsh, Senior Conservation Botanist, Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria.Contributors
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Copyright in image with Parks Victoria. Copyright in text with Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria.
Borya mirabilis (Grampians Pincushion Lily) is one of the rarest plants in the world.
This is a plant known only to exist in a single population of plants found on a rocky outcrop in the Gariwerd-Grampians region in Western Victoria.
The fragile lily only occurs in a small area of 60m x 20m. It grows in interconnected clumps known as ‘colonies’. Only seven colonies of plants (about 70 clumps in total) have ever been known to exist in the wild.
The lily grows brown, branched stems up to 15cm tall with tufts of spiky leaves. During springtime it produces attractive round heads of star-shaped white flowers. It is known as a ‘resurrection plant’ which means that though it appears to die off completely in dry periods over summer it is actually dormant and the apparently dead, brown leaves will re-green with autumn rain.
Because it has only been found in one place, researchers don’t know if the lily was recently more common and has declined because of post-colonial human impacts, or if this is a remnant population that has been rare since ancient times.
Curation notes by: Lucinda Horrocks, Wind & Sky Productions and Neville Walsh, Senior Conservation Botanist, Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria.