The so-called 'small-flowered myrtles' of Western Australia are one of the least-documented groups of Australian plants. Several hundred un-named species are known but have not yet been formally described and named, partly because even the genera in this group have not yet been fully resolved. Many species are currently placed in the genus Baeckea, but few of those will remain there.
In a paper published last week in the Western Australian Herbarium's science journal Nuytsia, taxonomist Barbara Rye describes no fewer than 25 new species and five new subspecies in the genus Scholtzia, one of the largest of the small-flowered myrtle genera.
Most of these are conservation-listed in Western Australia, as many small-flowered myrtles have small ranges and are rare.
Barbara Rye is one of Australia's most prolific taxonomists, having described or reclassified over 300 new species and other taxa during a long career at the Western Australian Herbarium. She is amongst the world's most-published botanical taxonomists.