Cassinia rugata: Sowing Seed
Cassinia rugata is our top priority threatened plant species.
Can Cassinia rugata plants be grown successfully by sowing seed?
Does caging increase the vitality of the seedlings?
We sourced seed of Cassinia rugata from Rubicon and the nearby Carter’s property. We separated the fatter viable seeds from the nonviable ones and counted out batches of 100 – 50 from Rubicon and 50 from the Carter’s.
We planted these mixed batches in ten small plots, that were randomly allocated to the caged or uncaged treatment. The image is of uncaged plot 16 shortly after seed had been distributed and lightly covered with sand.
The remaining unsorted seed was distributed in a defined area near to the plots. At the first monitoring date, 7 October 2014, we examined this area again and identified 6 plots with clusters of seedlings. These were flagged and numbered for future monitoring.
The additional seed plots identified in October 2014 were alternately allocated to caged or uncaged treatment in sequence along the linear extent of the seed dispersal area.
Results to January 2016
There are approximately 9 living seedlnigs at each plot. The survival of seedling plants is not affected significantly by caging, judging by the number of living seedlings or the height of the tallest seedling at each plot. However, their median height is less than half of the height of uncaged translocated plants that are still alive. The caged translocated plants are much more robust still. Clearly some seedling plants do survive and grow to maturity in natural settings. Translocated plants, at this stage, seem to have a distinct advantage in meeting the competition with surrounding vegetation.