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The journal of the Western Australian Herbarium

Three new species allied to the ‘Mirbelia viminalis group’ (Fabaceae: Mirbelieae), from Western Australia

Mirbelia balsiformis R.Butcher, M. corallina R.Butcher and M. ferricola R.Butcher are described herein as new species allied to the ‘M. viminalis group’ Of the newly described species, M. balsiformis is widely distributed between Kalbarri and Shark Bay, and is not conservation-listed, while M. corallina and M. ferricola are listed as Priority Three conservation taxa in Western Australia. Mirbelia corallina is restricted to sandplains in the Kalbarri area, with most collections from Kalbarri National Park. Mirbelia ferricola is restricted to Banded Iron Formation ranges between the Koolanooka Hills, east of Morawa, and the Bremer Range, west of Norseman. Although this species has a wide area of occupancy, the biodiverse ranges on which it occurs are small, disjunct islands in an otherwise subdued landscape, and are highly prospective for mining. The putative taxon M. sp. Carnarvon (J.S. Beard 6008), previously poorly defined, appears to be a recognisable variant within the variable M. ramulosa (Benth.) C.A.Gardner. The name is retained on Western Australia’s plant census, however, until its status can be clarified by a comprehensive study of variation in M. ramulosa across its range. This paper describes, illustrates and provides distribution maps for M. balsiformis, M. corallina and M. ferricola, and distinguishes them from similar, scale-leaved Mirbelia Sm. species in Western Australia. A key to species of the ‘M. viminalis group’ is also provided.