The West

A scientific expedition into the Mid West has identified rare and previously undiscovered plant species.

Luke Sweedman, plant collector for Kings Park and Botanic Garden, said the team believed they had found new species of sedge grass and a prickly shrub known as granitites.

The sedge had been found at a granite outcrop in the Murchison and the granitites had been found in the Wheatbelt.

The granitites, a prickly shrub about 1.5m high with white flowers, is an ancient plant with close relatives in the Queensland and Northern Territory rainforest, Mr Sweedman said.

The expedition brought back cutting material to propagate in the Kings Park nursery.

The expedition set out earlier this month, following the route of a journey into WA's Mid West by surveyor Robert Austin in 1854.

The team also included former director of Kings Park and Botanic Garden Stephen Hopper, now director of the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew in London.

Professor Hopper said they had not located a rare species of eucalypt but hoped it would be found in a subsequent expedition.

The West Australian

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