Wurmbea biglandulosa, a rare, native lily has been found in the Coolum area 104 years after it was last seen in Queensland.
Wurmbea biglandulosa, a rare, native lily has been found in the Coolum area 104 years after it was last seen in Queensland. Kathy Sundstrom

Rare flower blooms 104 years after its last SEQ sighting

IT'S so tiny and delicate, most people would have walked by and missed it.

But the hard-working people at the Coolum Community Native Nursery knew there was something unusual about a flower they found while walking.

Nursery manager Fuschia Collard said the group decided to take a photo and go back and see what information they could discover on it.

What they found seemed so unlikely, they had to obtain further verification they were correct.

It was an extremely rare, tiny native lily (Wurmbea biglandulosa), which was last seen in south east Queensland in 1912.

It has a delicate, white flower that only appears once a year.

Ms Collard said when the group first spotted it "we didn't realise it was rare".

"We just thought it was unusual so we took the photo and contacted Glen Leiper, the author of Mangrove to Mountains, which is a bible in the industry."

Mr Leiper confirmed it was the rare lily.

On returning to the site, which cannot be revealed for fear people may go in search of the plant and damage it, they discovered there were in fact six flowers.

"They are very tiny and easy to damage," Ms Collard said.

The group, which is run by volunteers, also sent a photo to the Queensland Herbarium, which has also confirmed it is the very rare flower.

"It has pink markings on its petals, which sets it apart," Ms Collard said.

She was hopefully the plant would not be damaged as it was a protected area, but she said the find highlighted the importance of community groups.

"Most people don't always have time to notice."



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