A new plant has been found in Ku-ring-gai.

Brooke Van Der Woude

A 32-year-old Ku-ring-gai Council bushland officer has discovered a new plant species in Ku-ring-gai bushland.

It has been an eight-year journey for Andrew Robinson, the Ku-ring-gai Council’s bushland officer, who first spotted the rare plant in 2006.

I had a gut feeling. It was when I first started working for the Ku-ring-gai Council and I came across a plant that was growing in a quite specific environmental condition. It is very much a significant plant,” Robinson said.

Part of the Hibbertia genus, the plant is the first new species to be found in decades and is only located in a specific area of Ku-ring-gai.

An arduous eight-year process, the young officer explains he remained driven by his love of Australian flora.

It’s been a challenging and exciting eight years, at times frustrating, but I’ve stayed quite persistent through my passion for plants,” he said.

Having become fascinated by plants and the outdoors at a young age, Robinson’s discovery has only served to fuel his interest in our surrounding natural environment.

It originally stemmed from my father taking me bush walking at a really young age, it’s been a natural progression ever since then. I’ve always read about plants and conservation issues.”

The rare plant will be known by its common name, Julian’s Hibbertia, and is named after a close friend of Robinson’s who died four years ago.

The location of this exciting discovery won’t be public knowledge for the time being, primarily as a means to conserve and protect the plant.

The reason why the plant’s location is not listed is because it is critically endangered with a high potential for extinction in the near future. To make sure it is conserved we need to keep it a secret,” Robinson said.

He said there were a number of measures already in place to protect the endangered plant.

We are protecting this new plant by using fencing to reduce the public’s impact, [as well as] reintroducing a fire regime, as fire is an important part of their ecology.”

As more rare and significant plants continue to appear in and around Ku-ring-gai bushland, it is always wise to be mindful when bush walking in the area.