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Triggerplants (Stylidium spp.) remain front and centre of a broad-ranging research program at the Western Australian Herbarium


Juliet Wege — who is preparing an overarching treatment of the triggerplant family (Stylidiaceae) for the Flora of Australia — has teamed up with Ben Anderson (WA Herbarium) and Felix Forest (Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew) to sequence 240 members of the triggerplant family in partnership with Bioplatforms Australia as part of the Genomics for Australian Plants initiative. This collaborative research, which forms part of a global effort to better understand the angiosperm tree of life, will paint a clearer picture of evolutionary relationships in the family and provide a sound framework for Juliet’s ongoing taxonomic work and associated conservation efforts.

In addition to preparing descriptive profiles for more than 300 Australian species, Juliet continues to sort through thousands upon thousands of specimens held in Australian herbaria, capturing data and correcting misidentifications to provide a more accurate understanding of what species we have, what they look like, where they occur, and how rare they are. This research will be published via the Flora of Australia’s online portal, with information on the WA species also displayed on Florabase with a fresh suite of images. Identification tools are also in the pipeline and a series of identification workshops for key stakeholders in south-western Australia will be held once they’re ready to be tested.