Coastal Peppercress Lepidium banksii The "Kakapo of Plants"
Referred to locally as the Kakapo of Plants, the nationally critical Lepidium banksii is a difficult plant species to keep alive. It favours the coastal margins which makes it vulnerable to catastrophic events such as storms. It is also threatened by biological influences such as invertebrate (diamond back moth and cabbage white butterfly), rodent and rabbit browse.
Fortunately it produces copious amounts of seed. But this seed is only viable for a short amount of time. And due to a decline in sea birds it no longer has the same long distance dispersal.
To secure a long term seed supply the community, lead by the Coastal Garden Club, has begun growing Lepidium banksii in their own gardens. It is relatively easy to grow, but requires care which 35 members are providing. This is an excellent contribution to a nationally critical plant species survival.
The seed obtained from these plants provides the Department of Conservation with a supply that can be regrown or dispersed in new areas.