Updating Australia's guinea flowers
“One of the largest plant genera in Australia is receiving a taxonomic overhaul,” says Dr Tim Hammer, postdoctoral researcher at the University of Adelaide and State Herbarium of South Australia. Tim’s three-year ABRS-funded project has been on the enigmatic genus Hibbertia (Dilleniaceae), commonly known as guinea flowers.
“There are currently more than 300 species in Australia and with planned publications, there is likely to be around 150 more species published in the next couple of years, which will make the genus one of the largest in Australia.”
ASBS project support
Tim’s project is to complete the Flora of Australia treatments for all of Dilleniaceae (i.e. Hibbertia, Dillenia and Tetracera), complete a comprehensive identification key to species, and reconstruct the molecular phylogeny of Hibbertia using hybrid capture methods. Tim was awarded the Marlies Eichler Postdoctoral Fellowship in 2021 to support his project on Hibbertia.
“The grant has enabled me to sequence most of the known and putative species in Hibbertia.”
With big taxonomic changes on the way for Hibbertia, Tim’s project will help end-users adjust to the changes, enabling them to the confidently identify species, and put the taxonomy into a phylogenetic framework.