clover-glycine-flower-and-leaves
The clover-like leaf of the Clover Glycine is distinctive, as is the flower – especially when you know what to look for!

Looking through the   Department of Environment and Primary Industries (DEPI) publication “Advisory List of Rare or Threatened Plants in Victoria 2014”  I noticed a couple of listings under Glycine, including Clover Glycine. As it is a native pea species and one of my projects this Spring is to identify as many of the pea species as I can, I looked it up online.  It turns out the species I had  photographed and identified as Twining Glycine (by looking through field guides) last year is actually Clover Glycine.  The DEPI publication outlines three different systems of classifying rare or endangered plants, and the Clover Glycine is listed on all three of them.

  • The National Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act lists Clover Glycine as “VU” meaning  “Vulnerable: A taxon is vulnerable when it is not critically endangered or endangered but is facing a high risk
    of extinction in the wild in the medium-term future.”
  • The Department of Environment and Primary Industries (DEPI) list refers to plants in Victoria, and this also rates Clover Glycine as vulnerable.  Under their definition, vulnerable means ” Vulnerable in Victoria: not presently endangered but likely to become so soon due to continued depletion; occurring mainly on sites likely to experience changes in land-use which would threaten the survival of the plant in the wild; or, taxa whose total population is so small that the likelihood of recovery from disturbance, including localised natural events such as drought, fire or landslip, is doubtful”
  • A second National list of rare plants, assessed under the Environment Protection Act lists Clover Glycine as “L”, meaning “Listed as threatened”.

Apparently Clover Glycine  is a plant which is attractive to grazing animals, so with so much land being used to graze livestock, the occurrence of the plant continues to dwindle. We only have a small patch of Clover Gycine and the fact that we have any is probably due to the fact that the land on our property has never been used for livestock.

I’ve only recently come across the lists of rare and threatened species. So far, I haven’t really had time to sit down and work through them, but I do intend to do so. One of the things I would like to understand is the difference between these three classification lists in a little more detail.  I’ll report back to you when I have worked it all out.

macro-shot-of-clover-glycine-flower
The flower itself is tiny, but the bright colour makes it reasonably easy to spot. In form, it is a typical pea flower.