Walking through the endless rows of native tree and shrubs, nurseryman Peter Radke's personal attachment soon becomes apparent.

Each species has its own story.

"I can see plants and I just know exactly where, you know, that was on Silver Plains, the rainforest on the Rocky River and that was on the road going into Iron Range (in Cape York)," Mr Radke said.

"I only ever collected that plant once and that was over 25 years ago. I can still see exactly the spot.

"I can probably take you back to within about 100 metres of where it came from. Nobody else has ever collected that material for a nursery."

Mr Radke estimated about 1800 species have been introduced to Australian horticulture since he and wife, Ann, embarked on a lifelong passion of establishing their own native plant nursery on the Atherton Tableland more than 30 years ago.

"Probably 50 per cent of the plants we have here, no other nursery has ever grown and or ever will grow," he said.

"So, if Yuruga doesn't survive, a lot of native plants are not going to be available to the public anymore."

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